Wandering minds

Several people have asked in the past several months whether I’ve considered writing for money. What is this? Work in exchange for pay? Is that something people do?

Well, yes, I would like to make some money by writing. In the past, I’ve tried building up the readership of this site so that I could run ads, but my small reserve of perseverance has always evaporated after a few weeks. Forcing out a blog entry every day feels a lot like work, and that taints the joy of it.

Sometimes I’m a little too eager to share though. I post something here only to recognize later that I could have crafted a great essay, something worth money, if only I had pressed it against the lathe a bit longer. My nemesis, Facebook, awaits with its instantaneous comments and “likes.” I want to be liked! I want instant gratification!

I’ve been holding back on you a bit lately, forcing myself to write for a larger — I hope — audience. Where is that audience though? Based on what I’m seeing, I’m not the only person who likes instant gratification. So many websites publish only morsels, nuggets, lists. What has happened to our attention spans? I know I’m the last writer to join this refrain, and I know that even for this journalist, taking the time to read a 10-page New Yorker story can feel as indulgent as bathing in heavy cream. Surely there is some middle ground though.

I’ve been working mostly on essays related to parenting, and most parenting websites fall into one of two categories: fluff or gravitas. Of course, the gravitas is usually considered niche publishing — sad that great writing reaches only a handful.

I know that my writing isn’t hitting the gravitas category, but I am trying to pierce the skin a bit, not just let the words slide off. For now, I’m reaching out to publications that find a happy-medium. (If you read a parenting website or magazine that fits this description, I’d love to hear.) I aspire to the furrowed-brow, thick-glasses publications though. You should, too.