“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch.... Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”
“This is not sustainable,” he said.
AND: Isn't this the truth?
Have you ever seen such shameless traffic-baiting from the failing New York Times? Are they really feeling the Pinch this badly? And yet, I’m touched. So here’s a sympathy link.It's really a dilemma. Should one link to these pathetic, absurd things? And aren't we pathetic to link to them when they talk about us?
I'm seeing a bunch of posts mocking the NYT article — mainly for pitying bloggers who complain about their working conditions. For example, noting the tales of bloggers getting heart attacks, Dr. Helen writes:
Funny, I had a heart attack before I started blogging. Now I am fine. Coincidence? I think not. Some bloggers actually see their craft as therapeutic. Perhaps it depends on your mindset. And as I have said before, I think many people who blog don't feel well to begin with. If they did, they might be out doing less sedentary things. So, some, though not all, may come to the keyboard already with health problems.I think the mindset that makes blogging oppressive is doing it for money. I don't think Dr. Helen is blogging for a living, and I'm not blogging for a living. I get money from ads, but blogging wouldn't be so fun and fulfilling if I was depending on it for my livelihood. Some of the bloggers described in the article were working for someone else and getting paid $10 a post. At my rate of blogging — which is pretty intense and 365 days a year — that deal would bring in less than $30,000 a year. That would in fact be not sustainable. I'd feel like an idiot working this hard, getting this many readers, and only making that much money. Warning alarms would be going off in my head constantly: You have a terrible job! Feelings of self-doubt and regret would torment me. Friends and family would tell me I'm crazy, and I'd have a special segment of my brain playing a tape loop: Am I crazy? Am I crazy?
So is blogging "a young man's game"? If it's a game, it's several games. One is for young men and women: Use it as a calling card. Get some recognition and leverage it into a job in journalism, a nice book deal, or something else more substantial. Blog hard, but not for too long, and make it work as a means to an end. An older person changing careers might do this too. But there are many other games to be played through blogging: You can amplify another career (a career that brings you real income). You may care passionately about your cause and or your beliefs, something that you might otherwise contribute money to. You can do it with no idea of improving your income but purely for personal satisfaction.
Know why you are doing it and pay attention to whether it is doing what you want it to do for you. That's good advice for anything you do by choice. I think the stress people feel — in blogging, as in many other things — comes from the unattended-to knowledge that what they are doing doesn't make sense.