Welcome to Motormouth (and Chatty)

A brand-new editorial marketplace and digital magazine dedicated to showcasing the best in nonfiction storytelling and making great writing more accessible (and fun) for all.

The other day, while trawling the bottomless depths of Wikipedia, I happened to catch a delightful term passed along from the French (and one worth passing along to you): éminence grise.

The éminence grise, translated as grey eminence, refers to a powerful decision-maker or adviser who operates "behind the scenes" in a non-public or unofficial capacity. According to Wikipedia, the OG E.G was a late-1500s French Capuchin friar nicknamed Père Joseph. His eminence Joe was most closely recognized for his influence over Cardinal Richelieu and his frequently-worn beige robe (beige was termed "grey" in that era. Don't ask us why).

As you might have guessed, I'm a big fan of little guys like Joe — and of all those behind the curtains toiling tirelessly (and often thanklessly) to keep the show rolling. Especially those setting sail in this vast ocean we call the "creator economy."

More than 2 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders are already making six-figure incomes online — not to mention the millions of marketers, makers, and artists working to grow fledgling businesses and indie brands across the globe.

But you don't have to study the waters long to realize most writing companies are optimizing more for speed and profit than helping to developing writers and their craft.

And this is where Chatty enters the story. On the surface,  we're a service connecting publishers with professional writers, editors, and other talent. But in the spirit of the grey eminence, there's more to Chatty than first meets the eye.

The more I spoke to writers — from journalists to content marketers, from indie creators to fast-growing publishers — the more I realized the most successful writers don't churn out quality work in a vacuum.

They have help. Often, lots of it.

Many couldn't stop talking about their favorite editors — how they took their writing far beyond the writers' comfort zone, improving not just the writing but the writers themselves. All while, in the true spirit of éminence grise, receiving little credit.

Taking all this into consideration, combined with countless hours of research about what modern writers need, where they struggle, and what they need to become successful, led to Chatty. And Chatty led to Motormouth, our online magazine.

Here you'll find us sharing practical (and impartial) advice for improving your storytelling and business writing, behind-the-scenes insights from those making a living from their words, and deep-dives into some of the best online writing through annotations of a project by the writers involved.

In short, we're here to make great writing more accessible to all — and to have ourselves a little fun while doing it.

So what is Chatty? Well, it's a unique editorial talent marketplace built by writers for writers. We're way more than other plain-vanilla grammar-checking tools, and we're not just another freelancer free-for-all focused on high-volume projects; in fact, we're the complete opposite. Whether you're ready to take your newsletter to the next level or you're scaling your content team, Chatty hand-matches you with the best freelance writers, editors, strategists, and other talent in the business, so you can publish with confidence. It's content, the way it should be.

There's no big secret  when it comes to writing, no silver bullet that can transform your words from drab to fab overnight. Great writing takes a pinch of common sense, a heap of practice, and — most importantly — the right people behind-the-scenes. After all, while Joe might have been a few hundred years early for starting a Substack, he wouldn't be making an appearance in this blog if it weren't for his remarkable impact.

So let me be the first to welcome you to Motormouth, and to Chatty. I guess the only question now is, where do you want to begin?

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Kieran Tie
Kieran is both the founder of Chatty and an expert editorial consultant helping tech companies around the world unlock their stories and create engaging editorial.