The death of a writer

When did writing become so calculated?

When did we start putting more emphasis on click-through-rates and impressions than creativity and exploration?

I was sitting in a marketing meeting, listening to coworkers discuss our blog’s monthly engagement score when I realized how much of the analysis seemed like bullshit. I mean, not on merit. The data was real. But, the fact that a meeting about a blog focused more on numbers than uniqueness or authenticity, felt wrong and out of place.

When did getting paid to write mean giving up the part of writing that you like the most?

The reason I first put pen to paper was to write about something that was burning at the bottom of my soul. It was to give life to a character that I did not know existed but was excited to meet.

Writing took me through the awkward stages of middle school, the dramatic relationships of high school, and the best years of college. I became a reporter, and wrote for many different voices, using a voice of my own.

Now, I don’t even recognize my voice.

When every new blog post gets determined by a preset list of keywords and a customer persona, does it still count as writing? Or perhaps it’s a sign that I sold out too early in my life.

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind,” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

Except for the bolt of a creative agency, Virginia, where you get paid to be anything but creative.