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July 3, 2009

Givin' It All Up for Nothin'

I agree with Laura Collins-Hughes's fierce protest below against writing for nothing, be it on blogs or for publications that might once have paid their writers at least a pittance but now don't feel the need to bother. Capitalism is a wonderful system on the way up, but it's painful on the way down. Maybe we need desperation and fear as well as greed in order to innovate and produce, though me, I've not yet given up on democratic socialism with controlled capitalist elements. But there is no question that recessions (or worse? maybe not) serve the Bosses' interests. They let them bust unions, knock back wages and encourage professionals to give it all up for free.

That said, there are other reasons to blog other than to attract attention to yourself and hence to get paying jobs. Laura knows that full well, I assume, since she blogs copiously, on her own blog and here. In my case, though I have a lot less money now than I had a year ago, I think I have enough (barring a real meltdown). I blog because I've spent my life responding to the arts in prose and can't get out of the habit. I suppose it encourages press agents to give me press tickets, too, or at least provides them an excuse to put me on the press list, which they might have been inclined to do anyway, so wonderful are they and I.

Aside from writing with self-advertisement the only reward, against which Laura protests, it would be unfortunate to turn over (arts) journalism to people who are retired or independently wealthy or just compulsive, willing to spend hours at the computer after a full day's work elsewhere.

I, for one, do not miss the power of the NY Times and am not out to call attention to myself in order to get paying work. I'm content with my modest number of interested readers dotted picturesquely (as seen on Sitemeter) around the globe. Sometimes I do respond to an offer to submit a freelance article because the subject interests me, and maybe some offers come from those reminded of my existence by my blog.

But mostly I'd rather just blog away, unconcerned with the consequences. After all, freedom is just another word for avoiding anyone else telling you what to do.

July 3, 2009 12:20 PM | | Comments (1)

1 Comments

Oh, John, lucky you. You have always been so above the fray.

Merilyn

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    the National Arts Journalism Program, an association of some 500 journalists in the United States. Our group blog is a place for arts and cultural journalists to share ideas and information, to celebrate what we do, and to make the case for its continuing value. ARTicles is edited by Laura Collins-Hughes. To contact her, click here.
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