We are constantly told that we live in an impossible climate for young creatives. Interminable internships, mass competition and everyone’s general unwillingness to pay for good writing on the internet have created a climate where even some of the world’s most popular culture websites (to pick one from experience as an example, Drowned in Sound which an ex of mine wrote pro bono for) do not pay the vast majority of their writers.
That said, writing opportunities on the web are extremely plentiful, and there are many websites dedicated to finding out hem. The very nature of the Internet, however, means that you really have to wade through some real shit to find them, discarding many jobs that will offer the holy trinity of Internet fuckery: low paid, low interest and low exposure. Although this process often brings up work that I would love to do because it’s so hilarious (like a sexual health blog I remember was looking at which was looking for ‘the voice of syphilis’. Cue an entertaining half hour where I wondered what voice syphilis would have, and decided on Michael McIntyre’s), the whole thing can often feel incredibly dispiriting the vast majority of the time.
Luckily, I had a breakthrough last night during another unfruitful hour on Tinder. Let’s be clear here: I hate Tinder. This is not due to any sort of romantic ideas I have about serendipitous meeting and true love – I am just as lonely and desperate as the rest of you. What I hate about Tinder is that I am so bad at it. Being averagely attractive at the very best, any situation in which you are judged almost completely on looks is not going to go in my favour. Not only that, but when I do get a match my brand of dark, sarcastic referential humour doesn’t go down really well on the average Tinder user, who’s just looking for someone to send them dick pics without going first on a surreal ramble about Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’ (note: I did this today, and it went about exactly as bad as you’re imagining it did).
Even though I hate it so much, though, I still find myself spending hours on it, left swiping my way to my perfect guy, a ginger, Jewish, Madonna fan (seriously, if that’s you, get on that ‘contact me’ form RIGHT NOW). Somehow, the dejection and rejection are part of the fun. The next swipe could always be The One, and occasionally people are so horrible you get an almost gleeful wave of repulsion. Thinking this, I suddenly had my realisation: all you have to do is making looking for articles enjoyable is replace your Tinder/Grindr/3ndr (although I’m still convinced that’s an urban myth) time with looking for work time, and treat it much the same, turning the hours you spend on it into an epic cosmic game, where the perfect writing job is only round the corner, where the hilarious jobs are saved for future hilarious anecdotes to tell your friends.
The only difference between this approach and Tinder is that sending a picture of your penis to employers is not recommended.