When I received that fateful e-mail from Michelle and Danielle pointing out just how much it was costing them to keep Writedge and DailyTwoCents afloat My heart went out to them. The model they set out with in 2013 was Incredibly good but over generous to the contributors. That meant indeed that in February of 2014 they were forced to peg back the amount they were going to be paying to writers but even this measure was not enough it seems. I had not the slightest inkling of any idea that their wonderful efforts were in fact costing them dearly or that the fantastic model they had created was not attracting enough writers to the group.
The plain truth appears to be that our two founders have been out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars over the past year just keeping the dream alive. Of course such a situation is unsustainable and we must all respect that things have to change dramatically if the two sites are to have a continuing part to play in on-line writing but I fear that many will jump ship. In fact a couple of lady writers have already declared that they simply cannot afford to continue contributing to the sites because a 70% drop in income is not acceptable when writing is their main source of family income.
When push comes to shove there are few writers out there who submit work out of pure altruism and everyone who gets posts published on sites like these wants to earn something for the work they put in to producing their written works. I had already declared that I intended to mostly step back from submitting posts as much due to other commitments and it seems that I might have had an unconscious premonition about what was pending. As somebody who appreciates that it is possible to earn as much as two dollars a WORD from the best paying publications – I never got that far but I have often in the past been paid twenty cents per word – I understand just how little one earns from most writing sites for the effort involved.
That said, WE and DTC were trying to break the mould and even paying reasonably well at $5.00 per 1,000 views and I was as sure as the site owners that their openness, honesty and willingness to communicate would get writers flocking to sign up to their new sites. They were offering a fresh take on the whole business of web writing and the whole thing was very exciting to those of us that got involved but the sad fact is that the numbers never really matched the hoped-for expectations. I can genuinely empathise with these two wonderful ladies in having to accept that their dream is sadly doomed to fail unless they make very unpopular changes.
I sincerely hope that this amazing writing family does not fall apart at this sad news even if some contributors no longer feel able to be part of it. The ethos that drove the two ladies to set up WE and DTC was commendable and they deserve for the sites to succeed enough that they actually do make money from them. That will involve all writers concerned giving the whole issue some careful thought. These Harlow Media sites can still be THE place that writers want to belong to, as long as we don’t abandon them because times are hard from a financial viewpoint and difficult decisions have had to be made. I intend to stick around in my small way. How about the rest of you?
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
I enjoy feedback from readers, and interaction with fellow writers. Anyone who gets in touch with me will get a reply. I am always happy to read and comment upon the work of others, as I think we writers are something of a definite sub-species of humanity!