Writing “just because” feels like one of the most innocent, humble human activities. Just like making up games to play as a kid. If you step back to view our manufactured world from the frame of what is human vs. non-human, this is clear to me.

We have our screens, and our great technology and economic systems, far removed from the natural world we came from — they’re “human” in the modern sense of the word, rather than the ancient meaning. But we also have this “old humanity” left in us, even as it’s slowly squeezed out of us with ever-encroaching modernity. We still mimic each other in empathy; we still recognize a smile and a laugh; we still gain social connection through touch.


Among other ideas I noodle on for months or more at a time, I’m very slowly mulling over monetization on — how we would do it, what fits our product, what is the most human way to approach the problem, etc. I first wrote about it a year ago, before we added support for Web Monetization.

I don’t want to just slap a copycat subscription feature on our blogs and call it a day. Like everything, I want to approach this with my own eyes, after surveying the current landscape, talking to our unique group of writers, and asking “Why?” to everything along the way.

So here are some new general principles / ideas on monetization that came to mind today, especially after an earlier conversation with one of the writers in our community, Manuel Parra-Yagnam.


For a while, I've been looking to dip our toes into payments / monetization for writers on and WriteFreely. I've taken a “wait and see” approach to this so far, but now we're starting to experiment with some ideas.