I’d much rather just move on with a post about anything else and forget about this whole money issue. But to be very frank, it is a weight on my heart, I feel like I have a few things to say, and moving on isn’t working, I tried. I feel like as a ‘writer’ I am supposed to present a cohesive, consistent, confident self to you all. But isn’t that what I so fight against? The bullshit image? I am a real, live, fallen-from-grace person over here behind this screen. With many layers of confusion.
When I say I really debated about this money thing, it’s no joke. I batted it back and forth in my head for months. In the end, I’m not at all sure I made the right decision. Your comments were mixed, and who’s to say what those who kept quiet think? Of course I’m not supposed to care what you think, I’m supposed to bravely fly my flag regardless. But we all know that’s bullshit. If I didn’t care, I’d be writing this whole blog into a journal under my bed.
To lay myself bare here I will tell you that it makes me very sad and anxious to think that people might trust my words less now, trust me less. I can see how that would happen, in fact that is the exact thing that held me back so long. I have the same distrust of commercial blogs.
Let me get a quick defense out of the way. Someone mentioned blogging for money. I put probably 15 hours a week into this blog. I’m not sure how many readers there are here, but I’m going to guess something like 150. If one out of ten tipped me $2 I’d make a big fat $30. Not per week, period. Clearly, I would not be blogging for the money. I make almost that much cleaning under the couch. That’s why I was excited about the phrase ‘tip jar,’ because I feel like it correctly represents it. As in, not a wage, but extra for extra.
At which point a reasonable person might ask, ‘Why the hell bother?’ and that is a good question. I’ve been asking myself the very same. I know it was partly spurred by the fact that I’ve been writing a lot more lately, and I’ve been enjoying it. But I can’t sustain 2-3 posts/week. Our house is falling into oblivion and my daughter’s movie watching often tops the professed 1.5 hours. If I want to keep writing this much, I need to get a babysitter. Which will mean I will be paying to blog. How much should a person, already borrowing into their future (with My Man in school) pay to do the ‘hobby’ they love?
When I dig deep enough though, I think I was trying to justify to myself all that time taken away from my family. 15 hours a week when I should be doing other stuff. If I could just make a little bit of money, it would give my time validity, by my ingrained capitalist standards. Which is almost cruelly ironic, since I spent the first 12 years of my adulthood patently not giving a damn about making money. Now that we have kids, it seems like everything is sucked so tight. Everything comes down to money. If I want time to myself to indulge in something so unproductive as writing, I have to pay money for it…? How has this happened?
One commenter, a poet herself, said, ‘I do it for love. And so do you.’ Yes, we do it for love and the fact is that money and love mix about as well as oil and water.
Despite my frequent pessimism, I guess I do have some high hopes. Or at least, I want to. I want to believe we can rise above the money/love dichotomy. I want to think I can keep blogging for love, and every now and then someone will leave a few bucks on the table. I am quite confident I won’t be ruined. I am quite confident I will keep saying fuck and turning over dirty rocks, because I love to say fuck and I can’t walk 15 feet without tripping on a damned rock.
And anyway, have you ever made lotion? Oil and water baby. Just gotta do it right.