Recently I got this email:
My name is Cliff and as I’m sure you’re busy, I’ll be brief. I’m a young writer trying to gain recognition for myself. Having recently started a sports blog called [redacted because this is probably spam] with a group of like-minded friends from college, I personally aspire to write about more than just sports.
That said, I would love an opportunity to contribute some of my own work for Muddled Ramblings in a non-paid role, as I think I can provide some great work for you and hope there is an opportunity for me to do so. Hopefully you can use someone with my particular set of skills on your team, as I’m willing to jump in wherever I can help out. I’m a pro with WordPress and blogging and a quick study when it comes to content management systems.
Here is a more recent piece I wrote on the USSSM:
[redacted because this was probably spam]
I can write about absolutely anything and would greatly appreciate the chance to work with you. I am eager to expand my topical range and make new connections.
If you’re the wrong person to speak with, I apologize and would appreciate you forwarding along my information to the right person.
I get these from time to time, and because they are so misplaced, sometimes I reply. I always hope that somewhere on the other end there is someone who appreciates the answer, even if it does them no good. I fervently hope that someday I’ll even get a response. Maybe this will be the time. Anyway, here’s what I wrote, complete with grammatical errors:
I get offers like your from time to time, offers that make me wonder if there is a “Cliff” or a “Betsy” or whoever. Offers from people (or perhaps robots) who have clearly not visited Muddled Ramblings and Half-Baked Ideas. People (or robots) who probably haven’t even read the name of the blog, since they still think I’m interested in, as you put it, “great work.” There is damn little great work here.
Also, your ability to be brief is not really a plus.
But I sense something different about you, Cliff. Something I can’t put my finger on, but I think the heart of the connection comes from your use of “college” and “sports”. Muddled Ramblings is no more about College or Sports than it is about anything else, but someone interested in sports who also went to college probably wrote more than one term paper in the small hours of the morning after doing keg stands and playing the travesty of a game kids are calling “beer pong” these days.
When I was a kid, beer pong included paddles.
I’m not interested in the term paper that scored you the ‘A’, that’s for Mainstream Media and big-money prima donnas. I want to hear about that time you were hammered and still wrote an essay that the professor had to confess was based on an “interesting idea”, and for that reason alone you got a ‘B’. Hell, even as I write this I’m partaking in blended Scotch Whiskey (I call it my “gluggin’ scotch” to differentiate it from actual sippin’ Scotch Whiskey, which is always single-malt. Don’t tell me how much you paid for the Johnnie Walker Ultraviolet Label; it’s still a blend, buckaroo), and you can bet these words will appear on Muddled Ramblings.
Truth be told, I’m often sober when I post to MR&HBI, but the spirit is always there.
So Cliff, if there is a Cliff, I’d be curious to see if you could share a bit of work in the “Muddled Style”. It probably won’t make your robot overlords happy writing something for such a small audience without links to their shit in the text, but hell, the robot overlords will have to get over it.
Just so you know going in, the revenue stream at Muddled Ramblings and Half-Baked Ideas is zero. Nil, nada, nix. I pay more than I should to keep it running for one simple reason: I love doing it. If you want to participate, you have to write for the same reason. For the love.
Can you do that, Cliff?