Well, hello again Feasting Fort Collins readers. It has been four months since you’ve read from me, and that four months feels like a year already. Time flies when you’re not eating and hiking instead.
As you may have seen on the Feasting Fort Collins social media accounts today, Lynsey made the decision to resign from Feasting Fort Collins. Rest assured that it was her decision, and she did not get fired from our network.
Writing Feasting Fort Collins is not an easy gig. It never was to begin with. During each interview I make it abundantly clear how incredibly difficult it is to write in Fort Collins. “Oh, you’re just trying to scare me away,” potential writers balk back.
No, I’m being honest. As honest as I possibly can be. But, there’s really no conveying how difficult it is until someone actually experiences it for themselves.
The eating part of the gig is fun until you find yourself eating an abundance of mediocre food, or until you get food poisoning. The writing part can be a whirlwind of excitement, sharing stories that are interconnected with dining experiences while making new friends in the process. But, it can also be difficult to hear critical feedback from readers. I do not deny that it can get under your skin, ruin a day, or even begin to negatively impact your self image. It absolutely did that to me.
Overall, the pay leaves SO much to be desired, especially considering our writers only get paid from the advertisers that support them. This has never been a secret. We’re not a corporation like a newsroom may be. Even then, newsrooms are shrinking and journalism is suffering because of the lack of subscriber revenue in our post-truth, clickbait, fake news era. We’re as bootstrapped and grassroots of a media company if there ever was one. We make whatever we get, and a lot of people in our community feel that information, and the effort that goes into it, should be free. This shortens the lifespan of a writer in our network, for sure.
But we try.
In fact, I’m oh so very close to releasing our Choose Your Own Fort Collins product that readers will be able to purchase so that our writers aren’t solely dependent on advertising revenue alone. This turns the information we write about into experiences for readers. So, people aren’t paying for information like a typical digital information source, you’re paying for actual adventures. Good lord, this development has been an excruciatingly long process – a full year to be exact. I wish it could come to fruition faster, but I’ve learned (thanks to Feasting Fort Collins), things happen when they do. You can’t force it.
Some writers are cool with the insanity of trying to accomplish something from nothing, others burn out quickly, others get overwhelmed with the entrepreneurial aspects that are needed to be successful, and others move onto bigger and better things from the things they’ve learned while writing in our network. We’ve had former writers get great dream job positions because they had the network on their resume. We’ve had other writers go on to build their own start-up businesses.
Everyone leaves for a reason. Hell, I left Feasting Fort Collins!
I know some of you enjoyed my writing over the seven years of Feasting Fort Collins, and others knew I was burnt out from the straight up boring reviews I was writing near the end. Some of you were thrilled with Lynsey’s creative flair in writing style and found it refreshing and entertaining. Other’s did not. Opinions on someone’s writing is a lot like opinions on food, I suppose. Although, do know that I wish Lynsey the best of luck in her future endeavors.
I do not, cannot, and never expect any writer in my network to be as dedicated to this process as I am. Nobody is going to put up with as much as I am, either. But, in these last almost-5-years of operation of this network, I know my dedication to this – in any form through its evolution – is undeniable.
And so, I’m pulling up a chair at the community table again. Feasting Fort Collins will continue with me, even if it’s temporary, because I believe that much in community writing in Fort Collins.
Cheers. Let’s get back to eating.