For the Last Time: I Have No Issue With Your “Side Hustles.” I Have Issues With Your Lying.

A recent text message from a friend both complained about ‘those’ posts of mine and succinctly laid out the problem.

Joel Eisenberg


What follows is a disorderly, jumbled rant. If you’re looking for a literary masterpiece from me, maybe tomorrow.

I recently received the following text (unedited):

Joel, I’m happy you’re back, but those posts of yours on Medium are repetitive to the point of being one-note and boring. People lie, that’s what they do. You don’t know those people online, and if they take advantage of other writers it’s not your problem. I know what you’re saying, but if someone is gullible enough to buy anything from total strangers who have no visibly noteworthy professional background, when they can find everything they need for free online, that’s on them. Not you. Go back and share your writing experiences. Be a teacher. Pretend you’re at one of your speaking engagements; would you spend two hours bitching about “side hustles” and scam artists on content sites? No, you’d be teaching about writing and filmmaking. I love you. Please stop wasting your fucking time.


My knee-jerk response to the note was my writing about the various Medium scams that proliferate on the site struck a chord with my buddy.

My measured response, minutes later upon a reread?

He was entirely right. Spot-on.

And I thanked him for his honesty.

A common fallback line I hear fairly regularly is this: “I’m a writer, not a businessperson.”

The possible implications in that comment:

  • I’ll do anything necessary to make it.
  • I can make money as a writer, but I don’t know enough about business.
  • I need to learn more about how to make this writing thing work for myself.
  • I need to order courses and learn from others who have already made it.
  • The seller of the course sounds trustworthy. I’ll give it a shot.
  • Scammers would not be allowed to write for…



Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.