Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

The most soul-sucking job in the world...

is celebrity blogger.

Hi, I know it's been a while (nearly two months), but this has been the summer from hell in terms of my online access, and while I hope to get back to writing and putting things out there and all that really, really, really soon, right now I'm looking at packing boxes and wanting to scream.

This was a really crappy weekend if you were a celebrity. Really crappy. 

It was also crappy if you were in the proximity of a celebrity.

I found it crappy being online at all, but super, super crappy watching things being said by people I call friends.

Here's what I feel like I need to share: celebrity blogging is a horrible job. Sure, there are some people who truly delight in tearing other people down, but for the most part, these are people trying to make a buck, and they do so in spades because people on the Internet read these blogs.

If you build it, and no one comes, there's no money in it.

I did this for quite a while, for a site that no longer exists. I needed money and it came with no byline under my own name and a super-nice client who paid my invoices on time, and that's a damn nice thing in the world of freelance.

Sometimes, it's okay, and even fun. I mean, snarking about someone like Miley Cyrus with her wagging tongue and her little-girl pretend-play urban girl when we all know she grew up with money and a godmother by the name of Dolly? Hilarious. 

But a lot of the time it sucks. Hard, and long. The whole premise of online news sites is being first to break a story. Being the first to have something. Or having the most of it. Do you want to know what it's like spending hours poring over every site available trying to find pictures of a celebrity being carried out of somewhere in a body bag? Knowing that it's your job to do that and write about it and at the same time, knowing that person has a family who is sick with grief and you're only going to add to it?

I can tell you. You are hitting your search terms with your right hand and holding a bucket to barf into with your left.

I once spent an entire day alternately sobbing and puking to deliver a pithy post that I'd be able to invoice $15 for. 

That's right. $15. For 100 words and a picture of a body bag. 

Most places probably pay less than that, with traffic bonuses. If you've waited tables, you're familiar with this theory: You make next to nothing per hour, but if you luck out, you might rake it in on tips. With online writing, that usually depends on traffic, so if you have THE post on something, and your post brings in a lot of eyeballs, you might make more money.

At the same time, every one of those celebrities is a person. Sure, there's a sort of gentleman's agreement that to make big bucks and get awesome freebies from designers and such and walk all these red carpets, you give up a certain amount of privacy. Thing is, your mom didn't sigh up for that. Or maybe your girlfriend. Or your siblings.

Whenever things are done on line -- pictures leaking of private moments -- it's not just the celebrity in question whose privacy is invaded. It's everyone who was involved in that person's life. Friends. Family. Kids, if they have 'em.

I got involved with a blog a couple of years ago where I thought I was going to be writing about things I loved -- particularly music. I was thrilled. For once, no reviewing. Nothing deragatory. I only had to talk about things that were amazing.

But I very quickly realized the others weren't doing the same. It was very quickly becoming a "celebrity news" site, and not only didn't my voice match, but it was something I'd sworn I'd never be party to again. I bowed out quietly with apologies, and the site has gone on to be fairly successful, with great access to stories and celebrities and events.

I haven't thought twice about my decision to resign. Because when i see things like this weekend's events? I want as far away from that industry as I can be. I don't want to see it. I don't want to hear about it. And I can't help thinking of that being one of my kids whose privacy was taken away entirely. 

Imagine it was your kid. Or your sibling. Or your niece or nephew. How would you feel about it?