The Young Writer Responds!

Followers of this sprawling mess of a blog will recall that a few days ago, I responded to an offer from someone who claimed to be a young writer looking for work. I get a lot of these requests, and generally they’re from robots. So when I respond to these messages, I am responding to an email spammer. That can make me rather flip. Apparently it also makes me sound Canadian.

Turns out Cliff is real! And he wrote back! And… he was pissed off. And he hates Canada.

Anyway, in fairness, it’s only right that I present his response here.

Hey man,

Not sure what life did to you that made you this way, but its unfortunate. Bottom line is i’m not a very experienced writer, but I one day wanted to try to make some money doing what I love. I know that day is not close, and likely there are some stages in between, one of which is gaining experience wherever I can and just getting my name out there.

So to keep it short, I knew the best way to try to gain experience was to offer to write for free, and since really i’m just looking for experience and to get out of my comfort zone a bit, I’m open to write about pretty much anything. So I made a catch all template and compiled a pretty decent list of websites that in some regard I thought were cool or at least decent enough to attach my beautiful and regal name to, and reached out. I’m sorry I didn’t personalize the reason for Muddled Ramblings making the cut in my template, if I did it might sound like this

Hey Virgin,

I think your site is pretty cool. I’ve always been a fan of blogs that are about nothing and everything at the same time, that contain good writing, and manage to post at least somewhat consistently. I thought maybe my writing, although not on the level of yours (I guess it’s easy to write well when no other humans will talk to you), might be close to a decent enough caliber to get published on your site. I have lots of ideas, but probably the one that’s going to fit best with your site that looks like actual poop, will be a recent interaction I had with my new puppy that deals with me pulling a piece of feces out of his rectum while not in the process not getting and excrement on my prized nike boots. What do you think, would you be into that kind of shit? (see what i did there, with the double entendre for shit, get it, I’m like the Jay Z of crap puns, wink emoji, hehe)

Anyway, hope you’re doing well in Manitoba Quebec or whatever fuckin canadian shit hole you probably hail from, and if you’re not, well i’m sorry about that, I know the effects of inbreeding sometimes manifest later in life.



OF COURSE I had to reply. Like moth to flame, I am compelled to fling myself at boorishness. I have to admit, had I looked up #MAGA before I wrote my reply, I might have answered differently — and his letter only reinforces my opinion of those who chant that mantra. Anyway, this is my response:

Ah, Cliff,

You see the thing is that you sent your query to an address known pretty much only to email spammers. I get offers like yours all the time, and they’re invariably from article factories where people are paid to shovel out shit promoting whatever product the factory is marketing that day. Forgive me if I assumed you were one of those. The fact I responded at all is an indication that your pitch was better than most, however; there was at least the glimmer of humanity in it.

Crafting a pitch letter is difficult, but you need to keep in mind whom you are competing against: shit factories and spammers. Links to articles set off the spam alarm, while offering to write is shit-factory move. Personalization is key, as you point out yourself, and is also a good chance for flattery: “I really enjoyed your episode about…” In fact, your response, underneath the anger, contains the seeds of an excellent pitch. Beautiful and regal, even.

Writing and marketing are very different skills, but it pays to have a thick skin when doing either of those things.

I’m glad to hear you’re writing for the love of it, and I wish you success. I’m not sure what it was about my message that flipped your switch — ironically, I thought my reply was most likely to bring a brief smile to a tired shit-factory marketer before being thrown in the trash, as much of the humor was at my own expense. Perhaps next time I’ll try to make it more clear who my assumed audience is. Had you responded with something approaching a civil tone, we might have been able to work something out. I’ve never had a guest writer on the blog, but the idea was starting to appeal to me.



6 thoughts on “The Young Writer Responds!

  1. In fact, I don’t understand his rationale at all.

    If you want to write, do your own blog, then go to all those other cool blog sites and attach your beautiful and regal name to some well-written comments, which have a link to your site. People who appreciate your style and view point click-thru, and bang, you build your own audience.

  2. The other part of his rationale that I have difficulty understanding is reaching out to a writer saying you appreciate his platform and would like to contribute, and when that writer asks you a reasonable question like “prove to me that you’re not a spambot”, you respond by lashing out. This is the Internet. Spambots abound, and are growing evermore sophisticated with each passing day. A simple “yeah, I can see why you might think that, but I assure you I’m a real human, throw me a Captcha and I will solve the hell out of it” would have sufficed.

    And Cliff, congrats on the new puppy and thank you for giving it a home. In case this is your first time as a dog dad, for the sake of your floors I recommend picking up a bottle of Nature’s Miracle Advanced, it’s great stuff.

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