Articles like this one are dead. Or dying. Long-form ski writing is on life support. Outside is buying up all of the outlets to keep as cute little cash cows. Or something else equally dire. So sayeth the prophets of doom at least. Depending on which corner of the ski media landscape you frequent, your take on the written word’s relationship with skiing (and with all outdoor sports) is somewhere on the spectrum of “maybe a couple outlets will still do good work in ten years” to “It’s all screwed and five word social media captions are the future of ski writing.” In some ways it’s a terrible time to be a person who wants to tell stories about skiing. The old guard is firmly entrenched, and for folks looking to break in, there are fewer places to even try to aspire to break into than ever.

Seven years ago, as I prepared to transition from contract writing for NS to full-time writing in the ski industry I penned a piece arguing that more people on NS should be telling their stories. I was young and optimistic then. Ski magazines were still strong, Instagram didn’t host video content, and I was convinced that none of that would ever change. Since then of course, some things have changed. Fewer people are getting paid to write articles with fewer words. I used to know exactly who's jobs I aspired to have. I could name the writers and photographers I was gunning for, and see, generally, the path from where I was to where I wanted to be. If I was coming onto the scene today, I’m not sure it would feel so simple. There are fewer folks in those aspirational positions, and the paths to getting there are less clear.

But, with all that doom and gloom out there, I still think the best time to start writing about skiing is right now, otherwise, as the old man said, “you’ll be a year older when you do.” Skiing needs more voices, and more specifically, it needs more voices spending the time and effort to articulate their positions in long-form writing. More diversity in all aspects of ski media is great, but the magic of easily digestible social media content is that it encourages barefaced imitation. Writing requires more than a throwaway clip on the ‘gram, accompanied by a tired caption. And it requires more of your audience too. It’s easier to just watch the clip than to read and engage with an article. So if you’ve got something worth saying, consider putting in the effort to articulate it in the written word.

Reading isn’t going anywhere. Good writing will always exist. But we’re slowly squeezing it out of skiing, homogenizing it into the same tired platitudes that have always been its downfall. We can be better.

Your life, as a skier, is more interesting than the majority of the content that the ski industry feeds us. The minute dramas of getting to the hill, dealing with adverse conditions, the value of the relationships and experiences you forge on two skis, these are all more compelling than the latest paint by numbers ski film. Even if that film does happen to feature one more woman than they did last year.

I want to read your stories. Skiing needs to read your stories. Maybe the grammar is a little rough, maybe your photos don’t pop like the ones that used to be in Powder. Maybe you won’t get herds of groupies hanging on your every word. But telling your stories will make skiing better, and it will make you a better writer.

There are fewer magazines to mail your manuscripts to (although Mountain Gazette is there to aspire to). Your photos will probably get buried in the floods of good-enough content on social media. But for now, there’s a website where with a few clicks, you can put your words out into the world, for skiers to read. That’s a big part of why I still write for NS. Sure, they pay me, that’s great, but deeper than that, I believe in this website’s core premise: Create a place where anyone can display their perspectives on this silly sport, to an interested audience.

If skiing makes you feel some sort of way, tell us about it. If there’s a kid at your home hill who’s killing it, write them up. Want to try your hand at satire? This is the place. Do a decent job, and they’ll pay you. Do a terrible job and at least it’s easy to try again.

“Everything is broken,and nobody cares,” the pessimist inside me complains. But for now at least, NS is a place to start, a place to grow, and a place to write. What is skiing? Why are you skiing? What makes it worth it? We want to know, we want to read your words.