writing, painting, or any professional work done for hire and usually following a formula rather than being motivated by any creative impulse.

1850–55; hack2 + work

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World English Dictionary
hackwork (ˈhækˌwɜːk)
undistinguished literary work produced to order

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
He did, of course, engage in too much hackwork for his own good or his
History was written as hackwork by two authors of eminent genius.
The little literary criticism then existing was lifeless-mere hackwork,
  subsidised by publishers to puff their own wares.
But the dialogue is hackwork and the effect is generally tedious.
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