Dear Creative Writing World and Supportive Readers,
I feel as if this is the elephant in the room. Journalism is becoming a lost art. We have
the world at our fingertips and we are confined to writing abstract lists and open
letters to appeal to the masses.
Journalists: We all read, soak in, and spread like the plague whilst not
acknowledging what we are doing to ourselves.
PLOT TWIST: Story time. Get your readers on cause this is not a list and skim you
can share and retweet in five minutes.
Actually continues to read further
Ready for deja vu?
You shuffle with your eyes half open to find the screaming siren in your ear. You
wake up, finally shutting your cell alarm off after the three snoozes you’ve been
flirting with the past half hour. When I say you wake up, you spend the first 15
minutes post slumber squinting at your bright screen.
Checking to make sure you didn’t miss anything the short five hours you actually
spent sleeping, cause let’s get real here you were up late drunk tweeting, to see what
clever statements you could have liked or re-shared that were posted at four a.m.
You’re already behind schedule; still needing to shower, grab something to eat, and
make the twenty-minute commute to work. “10 Reasons Being Single in Your
Twenties is Okay” pops up and you have to read it; running into your bathroom door
and stubbing your toe with your eyes still glued to your rectangular screen. As you
like and re-share, cause obvi this is just so accurate, you forget to grab your toast out
of the toaster on your way out of the door.
On your way to work you almost rear end an elderly person going ten miles under
the speed limit cause you were reading a tagged post on your Facebook wall from
your bff Jenny titled “An Open Letter to My Blond Bestie.” Hashtag bff goals. Like
how cute of her to think of you and how accurate right?
You mosey on at work, exhausted because you were already late so you didn’t get
your five shot espresso this morning. You finally make it to lunch break, and
wanting to kill some time and you heard about a sale on your favorite online web
store so you cave and add things into the virtual shopping cart. Nearing checkout
there’s a photo link of “What Your Ex Didn’t Tell You About Your Relationship”-
pause. Read. UGH HELLO INSTA BAD MOOD!
Are you catching my drift yet
It seems that every time I go online whether it be Facebook, Twitter, a random
website with promotional links on the sidebar, etc. there’s a photo with a link with
“An Open Letter To”, “Five Reasons..”, “What blah blah Didn’t Tell You About blah
I know what you’re thinking, ”this girl is just jealous and she’s being terribly
cynical.” I do recognize and realize that some of these pieces are cool to read. I admit
to reading them myself, obviously, or I would have left out the entire beginning of
this article and would have ranted at my audience the whole time instead.
My point is not that these articles are bogus, because sure, maybe every blond does
need a brunette best friend, maybe there are some weird things your ex never told
you, and maybe being single in your twenties is okay. And just like anything else in
the entire world, there will always be literature you can identify with to make you
feel better about your life and what you are going through. That is typically what
these posts and works are geared for.
My point is also not that it is terrible that we are spending time producing these, nor
spending time reading these. I am disappointed in the absence of creative
journalism, inspired souls passionate about anything and everything.
I appreciate all types of journalists as well as all aspects of journalism. To each his
own, of course. Their stories are all unique, whereas we all have different stories
and different drivers. I’m just losing my spark. I suppose I can only speak for myself,
but reading others’ work is genuinely inspiring and motivating. It is incredibly
exhausting to weed out all of these articles flooded on mainstream media sites and
the sites I used to enjoy reading articles and blog posts from everyday.
Ultimately I feel as if the vast majority of journalists are succumbing
themselves to a strategy that will make them visible, instead of making their
passions and everything they stand for visible.
I feel as if many journalists are relating their successes as a writer to how many re-
shares they can get now-and it’s clear and brainless on how to do that. Appeal to the
masses. Producing these types of articles are usually broad, and purposely intended
to relate to most anyone. So someone re-sharing and slapping hashtag YAS THIS> on
it is now shaping journalism. The easy way to being read. (I understandably see this
as a social media problem as well, not solely the content). Things can go viral in a
day with the power of the media, but that is an entirely different subject I’m sure
you’ll hear me bitch about in due time.
Sequentially, I am using this as a cry out. WE CAN DO BETTER. Individuals don’t
dream of being a writer so they can be confined to making these impersonal lists
and open letters. Writers want to be writers because they love to WRITE, and they
have a MESSAGE.
I just want MORE. I want to read about everyone’s dreams, aspirations, where they
are and how they got there.
I want to read about what you hate about society and how you wish to change it,
what you’ll do to change it and what you love about it right now. It’s easy to be on
autopilot and to do what you have to do to get to where you think you need to be.
It’s clever to watch and duplicate what you think is working. But give me more.
Be bat shit passionate and give your all into your work. Be biased, be scared, read,
learn, explore. This industry can be beautiful and we have the power to make media
great. I’m a baby in this industry and I want to change the world. Give me something
to look up to. Where are all of the Nellie Bly’s of the millennial journalists?