The Awl Showed Us What Writing Looks Like When It’s Not Treated as a Commodity
12 days ago
Although this piece is an eulogy to The Awl and Hairpin, this particular section rings true on a different level.
Paradoxically, The Awl and The Hairpin, in their seeming pointlessness, championed a different, more deviant kind of point, which was this: unbridled passion should always prevail. If what’s driving you is pay or cachet or social relevancy, you’re going to sink into a deep, dark pit of self-deceit. And you’re going to hate yourself. “There are people who care way too much, about something, anything, everything — love, art, politics, ideas, music, other people,” writes former Awl contributor Heather Havrilesky in The Cut. “And then there are people who narrow all of that noise and commotion down to one single point of light: career success.The people who care about nothing but career success will tell you that unpopular things are unimportant, and things that don’t pay well enough are uniformly pointless. Anyone who doesn’t reward you handsomely for your work is automatically disrespecting you. Anyone who ignores you over and over isn’t just busy, but is bad and worthless and should be punished for it. Every relationship is transactional and those who don’t see it that way are naïve. But the best things I’ve ever done in my life fly in the face of those assumptions.”