Doesn’t feel good. I feel guilty about it, feel slightly embarrassed about it. Think everyday about taking down my Paypal donate button, and more so, my little earnest 144 word speech on the home page explaining to readers why they should contribute.
Why the stigma? I’m not asking for money for the hell of it, so I can chill out at home and watch TV at your expense. I work 18 hour days, hell, to be honest I’ve worked 56 hour days; stayed up a week with a couple hours of sleep a night, sitting in front of the computer so long, for so many continuous hours, your calves swell up. And I turn out a fair product I believe – – build a good cabinet, prepare a meal at a restaurant, carry you from your house to the hospital in an ambulance when you’re sick – – what is so different about constructing informative, creative paragraphs, either for an investigation or for a well thought out essay. A lot apparently.
Writing is different. It’s perceived as a privilege to be able to write, to get to express yourself, to have people listen to you – – that’s not work, you should be thrilled that you’ve got the opportunity. Heck, it’s like someone getting paid to have fun, to play baseball or something.
So writing as a hobby. Maybe. I used to write just because I wanted to. But I used to be 16-years old as well. But if I think of what I do as just a hobby and, say, doing construction, or selling shoes is real work, what does it say about my life’s work. That it’s second class, not really of value, that it’s kind of just fiddling around.
I’m not that bitter; I’ve been paid tens of thousands of dollars for almost 20 years to write. But I still think, and I can’t help it, when I see almost 1,000 hits a day on my site, how could not even one person give me even one dollar, just a dollar for all this work. And I think it’s because I’m just fiddling around while everyone else is really working.