Here’s the terrifying thing about the state of music in 2024 (from The Verge):

“The tech industry’s introduction of MP3 slowly felled major retailers. Behemoth music stores went belly-up in the 2000s: Tower Records, Virgin Megastores, and Sam Goody. FYE bought up the rest. Ads from those retailers vanished, too.”

Like, that happened 20+ years ago and we’re still recovering. All the music knowledge, the time we spent going to those stores, the jobs that were cut and lost… the digitization of music is an atomic bomb that I don’t think we’ve recovered from.

Back when we paid $16 for a CD, yes, music review sites were crucial. And of course, yes, music critics are of course needed, but they’re not valued (as we can see).

There was a time you could write for an online outlet and make a few bucks. There was also a time when you could write for a newspaper and pay the rent.

Ernest Hemingway was paid $1 a word in 1936. That’s more than $21 per word in today’s dollars. The maximum I was ever paid to write for a glossy magazine in print was $2/word, in 2021. No one (and I really mean no one) in media makes $21/word. That compensation just doesn’t exist. 

That’s from Defector (above).

When I ran Noisecreep in 2008 we were paying writers $50 a post.

A few years later, I was writing posts for $5 a post.

Now Yahoo for Creators isn’t even paying per post, but they “offer a competitive 50/50 ad revenue share from ad placements in your articles as well as e-commerce benefits like affiliate revenue share.”

CPM display ad placements. On blog posts. It’s 2005 all over again.

“I have one piece of advice: if you read a book you love, tell other people about it. Tell them face-to-face. In your groupchat. On social media. Even on Goodreads. Every book is a lottery ticket, but the bezzlers are buying their tickets by the case: every time you tell someone about a book you loved (and even better, why you loved it), you buy a writer another ticket.”

Cory Doctorow


In this post Dan Blank describes how we can now take a video and upload it in seconds for the world to see.

I take it for granted how easy it is to do with just WORDS on a screen! We’re all typing, and hitting post, or send, and whoosh it goes out there and people can read it on their computers, or their phones while in line at the drug store, or on the bus!

Then those words can take us on a journey, much like the post I’m talking about today!

They lead us on sharp turns and twists, and then we sit with them, and laugh, or cry, or leave comments, or share them with a friend.


I started my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletter in late 2021, writing all about email marketing in the magical music world, in a very niche sort of way. It’s not for everybody, and that’s just fine.

But it’s for 500 people right now, apparently.

This happened mostly without social media. I deleted Twitter, stopped posting on Instagram, and Facebook? My goodness, I never log in, really.

All that time saved creating “assets” for social media platforms, and “engaging,” now I just spend that time on writing. Hell, I moved to a summer schedule, posting just once a week, down from three times per week.

Most of the subscribers come from Substack, and recommendations from other people who also have Substack newsletters. And I picked up two new clients from writing the newsletter.

Maybe this “not being on social media” thing will work out fine.


Throw it a prompt, get a result, and tweak it. Edit it. Ask it to reword a sentence, or a concept. Have it summarize the last two lines, reword the intro.

Since you’re leading the writer room, you now hack it together with tape and glue.

You’re not just copy and pasting the results into an email to your client, or a pitch to your boss – you’re using your years of experience and wisdom to pull out the best parts, get your mind moving, and hopefully get to a few “light bulb” moments during the whole process.

I’ve been writing online since 2001, and chatGPT is a great automated computerized writing partner, and I’ve used it for my newsletters, small bits of client work, and some emails here and there.

For me, my biggest obstacle in starting any written project is the EMPTY PAGE.

So even if you just use chatGPT to start a written project, it can be huge.

– Write five social media captions about my new music video
– Write how this new video “hit me in the face like a ton of bricks”
– List some keywords I can use on YouTube for my project
– What big technology thing happened in 2007 (see attached image)?

Now, for anything factual (like big technological things in 2007), make sure you fact check! It’s not perfect, BUT, it’s a starting point.

Just like when things get thrown out in a writer room, you’re not going to put everything on paper and publish it the next day.

So yeah… try it out, at least to just get past the “staring at a blank page” problem. Edit. Rework things. Have fun!


From ‘The life and the work are equally important

“Let’s face it—artists are always working, though they may not seem as if they are. They are like plants growing in winter. You can’t see the fruit, but it is taking root below the earth.”

André Gregory

My goodness, I believe this to be true.

I feel like my creative life has had so many stops and starts, as if it must be one continuous flow to be valid, but this quote above reassures me I’m wrong.

(via Austin Kleon)


Seth Godin with the heat on the whole GPT3 thing:

If your work isn’t more useful or insightful or urgent than GPT can create in 12 seconds, don’t interrupt people with it.

Technology begins by making old work easier, but then it requires that new work be better.

If we can stop writing boring text and “good enough” copy to appease search engines, then we can get to writing better material.

We can write scripts for video, and emails to influential people to affect change. We can write insightful instructions to get everyone on the same page, and move things in new and efficient ways.

Just Starting with The Copy Workshop

I signed up for the Copy Workshop, sort of at the last minute. It’s a “cohort based learning” set up, meaning most of the magic comes from the other people involved in the class. My first foray into this was the Freelancers Workshop, back in 2019, and that seriously changed everything for me (and continues to have an impact two years later).

It’s a nice mix of message board back and forth, with the guide posts being a weekly lesson which is mostly text, some videos, and som links for reference. Then it’s sort of like, okay, GO. And everyone runs off and writes their answers for everyone to see, and then a bunch of people chime in and offer suggestions, make comments. It’s very chill, but puts some focus on really writing in a space where that takes place.

If you sometimes feel like you’re hitting your head against the wall, you should check it out.