I had a friend reach out recently who suggested a content creator’s site called Patreon, essentially a way to make income whilst writing or whatever else I wanted to do. I’d known about Patreon for a few years, when I came across a YouTube gamer called ‘Call Me Kevin’, and the end screen showed a way that you could donate so he could eventually move on to creating content full-time. I didn’t donate, but Patreon sure has come a long way.
The issue that I’ve always found in my twelve-ish years of creating content is that money has never really been the motivating factor. Which is funny because there are different ways to look at content creators; I’d hardly call my twelve-year-old self lip syncing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ worth paying for. The internet has given us a platform to produce content and distribute it all around the world, but does that mean we shouldn’t get paid for it?
There is always someone somewhere who’s figured out how to get paid for something that they wouldn’t have originally. I refer to my boxing writing career, for years I was taking unpaid roles to help spread my name in the hopes of one day being offered a full-time job. It happened, after two internships, one freelance company and the many articles I wrote for – I shit you not a few quid. Before Boxing Social, I had probably earned around £65 for my writing – the majority of this coming from my editor at World Boxing News, who I guess felt like I should’ve been paid.
Now I’m no longer on a salary and I’m back writing for free again. I’m not mad about it, because after all my professionalism has gone way down. The motivation to transcribe and get a written piece turned over as quickly as possible is nothing compared to when I was 21 and fresh out of university. Is it something to do with being paid generously for something beforehand and then no longer getting it? I don’t know, at this current point in time I’m just trying to get the love of writing back again. This blog is getting me there.
I guess I’ve just never understood why many in the creative field are unpaid. I’ve just come to accept it, but if I turned up for my first shift at Spoons and they said ‘you won’t be paid’ would I still be working there? Absolutely fucking not. Of course, there is a difference, you don’t have to be incredibly smart to work behind a bar, or most jobs in the hospitality trade for that matter.
I’ve spoken to people in the past, who have asked me about how to get paid for their writing. I’m convinced it’s just luck at this point. I’ve always said to myself that any career which is solely writing and pays at least £12,000 a year is my dream, that may have changed with the harsh realities of actually living on this planet. However the point still stands, I’ll continue to write for as little as possible and next to nothing because I enjoy it. I’ve done this since I was a kid, and if my passion and hobby can be turned into a full-time job (again) then great! If not, I will always have something that I’m working on, whether it be this blog, a YouTube channel or whatever. I guess I’ve finally learned to accept that.