I Hate In-Text Advertisements

Words can’t describe how much I hate in-text advertisements. We have come to a point in time where the creation of content has more to do with how many ads can be wedged in and very little to do with the quality of the content itself. The abundance of websites spewing out content on an hourly basis is astounding and it grows larger with each passing day. The fact that this number is growing is not a sign of progress. On the contrary, a lot of these websites are dispensing the digital equivalent of mold, crowding the landscape and distorting the conversation in the process.

I don’t mind the in-text advertisements that are automatically placed and unobtrusive. I hate the ones that lead to all sorts of menus and sidebars that I don’t want. These disruptions have a way of rearing their ugly head when I’m trying to go from the top of the content to the bottom. This journey is not conducted for any reason other than the read the piece of content I clicked on. Maybe the people who create this nonsense don’t want you to read their content at all. Instead, they churn out whatever they think you will click on in the hopes you will stumble on their advertisements.

I realize that, in writing this content, I am creating a moment similar to the one Newt Gingrich had when he created a video to marvel over a fantastic device we all know as a smartphone. In this video, he holds up a smartphone and tells the audience everything it can do. He wonders aloud what this device could be called. I am not the same way about clickbait content. I know what it is and I will tell you that it’s cancerous and a tremendous misuse of the internet.

Quality content still exists. You just have to look for it. The problem is nobody wants to invest in its creation. Anyone who needs content claims that they can create it on their own. If they farm out their content to another source, it’s almost always someone who will do it for pennies on the dollar. What’s the point? I hate seeing words so blatantly misused. They have the potential to tell stories that have yet to be told. It’s a shame that they’re being wasted on articles whose entire meaning can fit into a tweet with characters to spare.

Can We Get Rid of Ladder Climbers?

I will never understand why we have to tear each other down. I have worked with people in the past that can best be described as ladder climbers. These individuals will do whatever they can to climb the latter without caring about whose toes they step on along the way. The people in charge are often oblivious to the charms of the ladder climbers because they have been convinced that they can trust them. Ladder climbers are skilled at persuading their supervisors that they’re qualified when really the only skill they have is sabotage.

I am not saying that everyone who has made their way to the top doesn’t deserve it. On the contrary, there are so many great people whose current position in life is based on nothing but their merits. I applaud them. This article is not about them. This article is about the people who act like they’re going to work with you and be your friend when really they would be the first person to put a hose in your mouth if they came across you drowning. Someone needs to come along and flush all these people out of working life.

The worst part about ladder climbers is they’re given practical autonomy over whoever they’re assigned to supervise. It doesn’t matter how often they prove that they’re incompetent. Their bosses will still stand behind them and tell them about the wonderful work they’re doing. We have to come to the realization that everyone is paying the exact same amount of attention, which is absolutely none at all. Each of us works as hard as possible to make it so we can do as little work as possible. Our lives are a breakneck trek towards a reality where we don’t have to do work at all.

Perhaps we need to stop acting as if we’re retired now and resign ourselves to the potentially lengthy working life we have in front of us. Being a boss should not be the start of an effort to delegate every possible duty to anyone other than yourself. It should be an opportunity to impart your wisdom and expertise on people who have less experience than you. Power is quite the drug. Once you start getting steady doses, it’s tempting to let it go to your head. Avoid this temptation and become someone that people will tell their friends about. Become a person that people will want to work for.

Bosses Need to be Able to Relate to Their Employees

Why is it that the people who are put in charge of another group of people have no experience doing the tasks they’re supervising? I’ll give you an example. Say that there’s a person who has a lot of business experience, but has accomplished nothing in the creative realm. The people who are in charge of a creative company look at this person, see that they have considerable management experience, and decide that it would be a good idea to put them in charge of their creative team. This manager runs their new team exactly like they did their old team and never attempts to understand the creative process.

A new rule needs to be established where the only people who can be in charge of creative individuals are people with experience in creative pursuits. This rule should be a no brainer, yet it’s something that seems to evade just about every creative company. I understand that it’s sometimes difficult to find someone who has leadership skills; however, it’s not impossible to find someone from the ranks of creative people who is capable of leading the pack. You have to be willing to trust your workers, not pigeonhole them into their respective duties.

I have no idea why it’s so difficult for people to see creative individuals as leaders. There’s no law against someone creating new material and leading a team of workers at the same time. That’s another thing that seems to go by the wayside in these situations. Managers of creative people should continue to create themselves. Naturally, their workload would decrease as their management duties become more demanding. They should never be in a position where they’re creating nothing at all. Everyone should do their part to contribute to the overall vision of the company.

I wish bosses could realize the impact they would have if they worked with their employees once in a while doing the same thing they do on a daily basis. Again, I’m not saying all bosses are this way. There are some bosses out there that are the envy of everyone in their industry. They’re not afraid to get their hands dirty and they remain well liked by their employees. Every industry needs to have more of these bosses. Workers deserve the joy of knowing their boss can relate to them because there was a time when they were doing what they are doing.

 

 

The Frustrations of Content Creation

There are times when I hate the words I’m putting on the page. I get stuck in such a rut that I ponder putting up my pen and walking away from writing for good. I don’t know why I wind up in these positions, but I do occasionally. I take my writing very seriously and want nothing more than for it to be as good as possible. I look at producing content and producing content I’m happy with as two different things. I am fully capable of delivering material on a daily basis; however, the quality of said material might be questionable every so often.

In my career, I have heard the “quality, not quantity” nonsense more times than I can count. I get it. The fact I understand it should not be seen as permission for you to ram it down my throat yet again. I disagree with the notion that a person who releases a lot of content is jeopardizing quality in the process. On the contrary, prolific content creators deserve just as much as those who release new productions every so often. Taking more time to create something is a state of reality, not a sign that said production is somehow higher in quality.

I like to keep everything in perspective. I want to cover as many topics as possible in my career, so waiting around for a piece to coalesce is not a realistic proposition. Plus, as more editing is performed, the piece in question begins to lose its original uniqueness. I prefer to release a piece as its originally written with any editing being performed along the way. I write like I talk, so every word is precisely chosen and the thoughts are flushed out organically. I will never understand why writers need to edit their stuff for days or create mountains of useless material to cut down later.

If you’re checking in on my progress, please know that I’m not ignoring the topics at hand. I am sitting back trying to come up with creations I’m satisfied with.  I won’t publish something just because it needs to be published. I will only publish pieces that are worth publishing. I read so much material that leaves me wondering if the person who created was proud of what they have done. Creators have the tendency of aligning themselves with people or entities that do not understand the creative process. These alliances lead to forced, haphazard material coming out long before it should.

We have to stop trying to turn creators into something they’re not. The idea of a corporate voice is as absurd of a notion as any that have ever been generated. Why would you hire different creators if you wanted all your creators to sound the same? That idea makes no sense. You should create a website that’s filled with content from unique voices, not another stop where people pull up to read the same cookie cutter garbage everyone is peddling. Clickbait content has turned the internet into a landfill where everything is on fire. The diamonds are hiding under the stacks of burning, filthy debris, but the fact that they’re there does not mean you’re doing anything other than digging through stuff other people threw away.

On Writer’s Clog and Receiving Credit

I would like to introduce a new term that’s the exact opposite of writer’s block. It’s called writer’s clog. Writer’s clog happens when someone has so much to write about that they don’t know where to get started, so they end up having writer’s block. 

A person might think they have writer’s block when really they’re knee deep in writer’s clog. Getting over writer’s clog involves a process that’s likely familiar to writer’s block sufferers. You pick the first thing that comes to your mind and write about it, even if that thing isn’t at the top of your list of unfinished topics.

Actual writers are unable to turn off their need to write. Anything can inspire them, even if it seems like it’s not inspirational to other people. More time is spent thinking about what’s been or needs to be written than is actually spent writing.

The contributions of creators who’s pieces come as the result of collaboration between a team of skilled writers and editors do not count. I am often outraged at the fact certain writers get praise just because they have a team backing them up. I would never say that a person’s creation is worthless just because they worked with others on it. I am a big proponent of teamwork; however, I believe that everyone should be honest about each person’s contribution and not give one individual the glory.

I believe the only truly great creators are those who have earned their keep by writing and editing their own work. I have done that throughout my career. While I have not reach the level of success that creators with teams enjoy, I am happy because I know that I’m doing what I’m doing on my own terms. No one can take that away from me. I’m also not beholden to anyone who has thrown their hat into the ring.

I often don’t care about getting credit for something I’ve created. That’s not the reason why I create. You could read me something I wrote 5 to 10 years ago and I will think that it was written by someone else. I don’t keep links to stuff I’ve had published and my hard drive is free of clutter from hundreds of Word files.

I release my stuff into the ether and leave it up to those who read it to make of it what they will.

Stop Assuming and Start Investigating

Empathy is displayed by few, yet it’s the professed strength of many. We all try to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else. The reality is that, unless we are that person or experience the exact same thing as them firsthand, this exercise is one that’s rife with erroneous speculation. We shouldn’t assume things about what another person has gone through or does on a daily basis. Instead, we should devote our energies to supporting the person about which we’re speculating. The practice of speculating not only wastes time, but it creates a negative cloud over everyone’s heads.
It’s baffling to me that we would rather waste our time continuing to fear that about which we know nothing than filling the holes in our knowledge.

As a writer, I come face to face with misconceptions all the time. People wonder why it takes me as long as it does to complete a piece. I tell them that quality content doesn’t come easy. You have to work at it. Sometimes one approach doesn’t work so you have to scrap everything and start over. So many things can happen that leave a piece dead on arrival.

I’ve heard so many times that writing isn’t about creating. It’s about cutting. You’re supposed to write two or three times as much as you need. I fail to see how devoting so much energy to creating material you will never use is worthwhile. A baker doesn’t whip up more batter than they need. A construction worker doesn’t cut more wood than they need. Why then does a writer write more words than they could ever use? It’s absolute nonsense to me.

We have this magical filtering apparatus known as the human brain. We do not have to put words on the page unless they belong there. The writers who tout the wonders of this approach likely do it because they want to toot their own horns. They want people to bow at their feet, spreading word of their brilliance to the masses.

We need to stop assuming the worst in each other and start trying to make our fellow man better. When you enact some vicious plan to destroy someone else, you will destroy yourself in the process. Perhaps if we work together to improve humanity, we will be able to accomplish everything we have on our bucket list and stuff we could have never dreamed of doing.

Either it’s Great or it’s Scrapped

Sometimes I start writing something and, if I don’t get it done right then and there, I never finish it. I don’t do well with drafts. I understand the people who are able to stitch together a piece and like the finished product. I’m not one of those people. Either I get it done when I start writing it or it will remain a draft forever. 

Writing for me is all about energy and rhythm. I get going on a topic and if I run out of steam, I’m done with that topic. I never force anything. I read articles all the time where it seems like the writer had nothing, but they couldn’t admit it and change topic. I never want to write anything like that. 

I have numerous articles online railing against no nothing writers polluting the well with their nonsense. If I came out with the same variety of garbage, I would be no better than them. Integrity is in short supply in the writing world. The last thing I would want to do is be another scribe who has cashed in their dignity in return for an audience.

I used to struggle a lot with wanting to alter my writing to make it more universal. I won’t lie and say that talking to as many people as I can is something I would hate. At the same time, I have to deal with myself at the end of the day. If I don’t like what I see, any progress I’ve made or success I’ve had will have been in vain. Either what I’m doing now will get an audience or it won’t. All I know is, regardless of what happens, I am happy with what I’m doing.

I never judge my output by the number of posts I’ve written. I judge it by the quality of my content. I will not release a piece of content unless I’m happy with it. Arbitrary deadlines lead to rushed, substandard content. While I might not be the best writer in the world, it would be foolish to call my content anything other than quality. 

You might disagree with my approach sometimes. I get that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I am doing things in the way I feel best. I support any creator who has that mindset. I feel like there’s no better way to do things.