Well… I faced my fear yesterday and created my first “donation button” for this here diary blog of mine.
Why did I fear it?
As I verbalized it in a passage from a draft of the introduction essay I’m working on:
“It’s difficult for me to say because I don’t think I’m ‘so special’ or deserving of more attention, praise, and hard earned money than anyone else.
“Indeed, the way I’ve striven to frame my perspective on both the value of a human life as reconciled with the value of a specific individual’s productivity or socio-cultural-economic contributions has challenged my capacity to reason through ethics, politics, economics and finance, aesthetics, the niche versus the universal, factors where our individual contexts bless us with privilege, advantages, luck, abilities, capacities, et cetera that others don’t have or rather damn us with the whole gamut of “slings and arrows of outrageous [mis]fortune” (to quote but customize my use of Shakespeare’s Hamlet) from being born at the wrong place at the wrong time to being born with or ending up with debilitating disease, freak acts of nature, political or domestic violence, et cetera.
“The fact is that nature is bittersweet in its bizarre, juxtapositional, paradoxical mixture of brutal unfairness and miracles— do we not reflect on complex flashbacks where ‘it was the best of times and it was the worst of times’–?
“Forgive me if it sounds like cliché white heterosexual male from middle class suburban upbringing guilt but cliché or not it “is what it is” as that saying goes.
I do feel such guilt! Many people tell me not to feel guilt or ruminate on regrets. I disagree slightly! I think guilt and regret in moderation serves as a scar-tattoo or tattoo-scar—a reminder, like when discussing the Holocaust we often hear “never forget” or like George Santayana says: “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
“My scar-tattoos/tattoo-scars of guilt and regrets I wear with pride as at least one effort through which I can assert my wish to stand side by side with those America has hurt and continues hurting, with those the white heterosexual man has hurt and continues hurting. Not because I am a sanctimonious martyr saint and think I am so righteous and good and virtuous for I do not self identify in that manner. Nor do I even find it constructive or an act of a decent ally to bring too much attention to it because 1) the white man’s burden is not to be the comforted poor victim of his guilt, 2) I don’t see how rumination ever improves a thing.
“Thus my only point here is that in such a brutal and competitive field as the arts, where the prognosis is to starve or keep your art to yourself as something between an amateur’s weekend or early morning hobby and side hustle unless extraordinarily lucky, even putting aside the privilege of my socio-economic demographic or strand of my identity, in a world of so many artists who are so qualified and so deserving of so much more money, and not only money, but intellectual attention and praise and showcasing, et cetera, it seems to me that to assert one’s self by raising one’s hand, so to speak, and say, “notice me just one second place and contemplate my art” when even all of the aforementioned is put aside, often enough, should a person have the energy, time, and money to consume art with the utmost consideration, that in itself is quite a rare privilege, and even more than those aforementioned factors, to possess those and also have the art consumer’s personality, all of these things from the beginning of this paragraph and all through it, do they not resemble more or less, the roll of the dice, the micro-frisby toss of the wild cards, as much as any other millisecond of time and what its impact on our lives may be both universally (say, for example, how by a sequence of events beyond our control our world fell prey to Covid 19, or for the brighter outlook, say, the miracle creation of the internet) and personally (from disease and poverty to brains, looks, health and wealth and so on)?
“That being said, however capitalistic an economy is in theory (I mean regardless of its claim to socialism, totalitarianism, libertarianism, or social democracy and welfare state- capitalism), reality, for whatever reason, is inherently, metaphysically, capitalistic.
“Each of us needs resources. Each of us (or most at least) wants resources. Money. And so we have a few different ways to try and get it.
“The first is low wage labor which so many companies are all to happy to provide. You know, these part time minimum wage gigs that preserve the exploitation of the “lower class.”
“Sometimes we are handed opportunities, either through “connections” or the serendipity or the bad luck that leads us to this or that ‘job.’
“Then we have the much more romantic (in my opinion) and idealistic (though not purely so, as it can be achieved by some) pathway to work and money: what so many call one’s pursuit of “the American dream” or what I like to call, “the Universal dream”: to identify your dream job and then ‘come Hell or high water’ (as Barry Gibb once said of the Bee Gees’s pursuit for fame as musical artists) make it happen for you.
It is in the context of this third road to money and work that I share this diary blog of mine with you. I know I could have kept these writings to myself and simply mailed them to a publisher however, first of all, let’s face it, if a literary agent or publisher even happens to glace at your query letter to them, you’re lucky. I don’t decry this approach to establishing one’s self as a successful writer. Simply, I don’t rely exclusively on it. I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. There’s other ways for a writer or any person trying to land her or his dream job than the more conventional route.
“And, furthermore, whatever my fate as a writer may be, I do not visualize an end to this blog if I just so happen to “land some kind of book deal” or receive a mystery donation of $600 million dollars. I like having a blog. I like maintaining and preserving it, adding to it, experimenting with it, sharing with it, et cetera. In my mind, whatever books I end up publishing will serve as supplements to my diary blog, not as the better alternative to it. Thus, this blog is, with the exclusion of WordPress technology, and the creators of various website “themes,” widgets, plug-ins and the like, self published. And I’ll do ya’ one more. For the time being, I’m not looking for or accepting advertisement deals. I rather like the open space away from ads.”
How did it feel to at least assert for myself that I can fancy the thought that my writing could be worthy of earning me a sizeable heap of cashy dough?
To be honest with you I wonder if friends and family will consider it audacious or if they will encourage (and who knows, maybe even donate something?) this approach towards establishing myself as an independent diary blogger and creative writer. I also will not lie to you: I would be flattered and feel a tremendous victory if I can succeed in growing my credibility to such an extent that friends and family do support and encourage my efforts for at the moment the effort is… from one point of view…. chiefly sustained via self-reliance and an extremely generous wife who I aspire to better appreciate day by day. From another point of view, when I slip and fall into it, is kind of lonely. I don’t exactly hear from my family “Oh, read your blog today, enjoyed it” or “how’s the writing going?” ****[Edit: Sometimes I say things I don’t mean. Especially when writing spontaneously. Sometimes pure nonsense can slip from the tongue. I wish to make a clarification here. My family is overall extremely generous and caring. Moreover, but for them and my wife I would be significantly worse off. So in fact, I want to explicitly those members of my family (I am trying not to name names without explicit permission) for keeping me quite fortunately afloat and apologize for the over-simplified and over generalized “poor me, my family hates me” bullshit thing. Moreover, I actually am not so great a “family member.” I don’t exactly reach out and check on many people other than my mother and step-father. I don’t inquire into their endeavors and I could really improve my capacity to love my family in a more active sense. I think what I meant to say but did not say properly is that I don’t know how to bring up my work to my family so it rarely arises — my creative work– and anyway I did damage to my credibility over the years having changed my mind so much.— edit made 12:14pm) ***
To be clear, I also don’t expect it.
I don’t mean to sound cynical when I say this but I genuinely expect nothing from no one. I can make a request when I believe I have come across something I deem worth requesting of another human but that’s it. And I don’t like requesting things from people. I don’t like being or even coming across as dependent or…wanting or…needing.
I think a key question when contemplating what we wish to earn money by doing and what we wish to give our money too… in that context of what do we “owe” each other…I’m a believer in regulated capitalism/social democracy and I think pooling our money together as to sustain and grow an array social-welfare funds is a fair approach to acting on our compassion for the economically struggling.
But I’m not giving myself to this diary blog as a cry for attention and request for welfare.
Social safety net money is not the same as luxury money, not the same as the complexities of spending and earning in the niche markets.
That is to say, some of us deal in the hyper niche markets. Some of us, like the oil folk, like the computer engineering companies deal with the public rather at large.
Does this not make equity complex? Intelligence and qualifications are not necessarily, so far as how the market beyond ideal reason is concerned, relevant to the financial universe in which one deals.
I suspect it may help sometimes.
Anyway, so yes, I’ve officially asserted on public record, for anyone out there in cyber space who thinks it is rational for her or him to do donate to my diary blogging and essay writing career, yes, I would surely love your generous patronage.
I created a PayPal account and all but one of my bank accounts are now connected to it. But I need to call PayPal and/or my bank and find out why one of my accounts is not.
WordPress enables us WordPressers to create “buttons” that you may click to pay your preferred WordPressers so I created my first button yesterday.
I had no idea what in the bloody fuck to say as I find the art industry and all of the pricing and tasteful talking surrounding it, at this time, over my head.
Why and how some people manage to get paid millions of dollars for a bloody fucking white canvas with a tiny black dot, and that sort of thing…I certainly don’t know how they do it.
My thinking is simply to be straight with you so to speak. To be honest. “Hi, this is my diary blog. If you like it, I’d love your vote to remain viable in the blog market via your monetary donation.” More or less. I want to be as stripped and skinned of all marketing bullshit as possible.
I have just gone on too long in attempts to cast aside the marketing bullshit to give in to it now. Of course, another way of looking at it is that all talk is a form of marketing, even if only marketing to your subconscious/unconscious to help your conscious mind do x, y, z. That’s why I figure the best long term and sustainable approach to attracting money to you in your most desired way is to just talk its vision out into its blue print and watch it materialize.
Today I’ll begin exploring different social media platforms where it might make sense to share this diary blog and likewise seek out individuals who I hypothesize might enjoy the sort of read I provide.
It is “something” to reflect on my money-making efforts in diary form and be so “up close and personal” with how I’m thinking and feeling about it, every step of the way or at least many of then steps along the way!
If you are interested in learning more about donation buttons, I found this article from wpbuffs.com especially helpful. I also recommend the Give WP plug-in. I experimented with three or four and this one worked the best– and I think it’s among the best looking. This is not an ad and I am not being paid anything to refer anyone to these websites. I just recommend them.