Obviously you know how I feel about the Fuckwit winning.
But that’s not what I’m going to talk about.
Let’s talk about other writers, other artists, other musicians. The creative people out there who inspire us, entertain us, move our spirits.
I’m looking pretty far ahead at the moment. I dearly hope that I am 100% wrong in feeling this way, but I would not be the least bit surprised if over the next four years, life for creative people starts getting harder. And that life for people who want to be creative — the students and the kids who dream about being writers, artists, knitters, sculptors, musicians and so on — gets harder as well.
You already know how I feel about this; it’s always aggravated and annoyed me that the arts is always the last on the budget list and the first to get axed when the economy starts tanking. You can get financial help if you’re a football or basketball player, but you’re not worth much if you sit around trying to create something (that is, of course, unless you create something that’ll make tons of cash for everyone). Too many people I know are held back from doing what they do and love best because of the Real Life of having to get a secondary job to supplement their income.
I should know. I’m one of them. Sure, my wife and I are reasonably okay financially, but if I could contribute as much to our combined income using just my writing, I’d drop my Day Job in a heartbeat.
This is precisely why I love this recent vibrant era of DIY creativity. Self-publishing, pop-up galleries, personal online stores, webcomics, boutique startups, Bandcamp. It’s more, a LOT more than saying to hell with the establishment, more than saying ‘wouldn’t it be fun to put on a show in the barn’. It’s saying “I know exactly what I want to do with my life, and I’m going to make that a reality.” It’s not saying ‘fuck the rules’, it’s completely rewriting them.
I ask all of you now, do me a solid:
Look at your social media timelines. Look at those webcomics you read every day. Look at those bands whose music you download from Bandcamp. Look at that necklace or pair of earrings you bought off Etsy. Look at those artists whose painting you picked up from their tiny booth at the local pop-up gallery down the street. Look at those creative people, and realize that this, their creative work is what they do best. This is what makes them happy. This is what lifts their spirits. Your purchases and downloads and reviews are there to say “I love what you created.”
Do me a favor: in the next four years, if any of them have a Patreon, are running a Kickstarter, or are doing some kind of of fundraising so they can stay in business doing what they do and love the most in their lives, please donate. Even if it’s five dollars a month.
What you’re giving them is more than money. You’re giving them a chance to live the life they’ve always wanted to live. And that is one of the best things you can do for someone.
*Note: – Yes, my subject line is in Anjshé. It means “brothers and sisters.”