Friday, October 14, 2011

Demand Studios Cuts Thousands of Articles

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." - Rabindranath Tagore

Freelancers and business owners all know the risk of relying too long and too heavily on one big clients, and writers around the world -- myself included -- are now feeling the heat for this poor business strategy.

Demand Studios, for whom I do a great deal of writing work, has recently began restructuring their business so that they have fewer articles published to their clients (content sites like eHow and Livestrong) and the assignments that remain are better quality. While low-quality articles that clog up the net are definitely a problem, this restructuring has come on suddenly, unexpectedly (at least to me and hundreds of others), and has left many, many writers almost completely out of work. There are not enough assignments to go around for the first time in years, and the list of available articles to write has dropped by +20,000.

As writers, we are told not to fear. We are told,this is a temporary restructuring. That the articles available to us will be higher quality, easier to write, and increasingly frequent. We are told this is all normal and will improve working at Demand Studios overall. And then, we as writers sit and stare at our screens, and wait, and wait, and wait. 

Now, if we had taken ourselves, our businesses, and our livelihoods more seriously, we would not have put all our eggs in one baskets, as this timely article that arrived in my inbox the other day describes: Make More Baskets by Rob Garrett. 

For the moment, I am more or less surviving. In fact, I am taking this as an opportunity to broaden my horizons, find new clients, challenge myself in new areas and take my writing business more seriously. But thinking of all the people that relied on this giant company for their income till now, I feel deeply concerned --  and wonder why hardly any forewarning was given to the freelancers who make their company possible? 

Time will tell how this pans out for all of us involved. Talking to people, reading inspiring quotes, and in general staying positive is an important regimen for me during this transition, and I remind myself that not all changes are bad ones. 

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