Photo © by Jill Krementz
“Thanks from CultureGrrl” has been the subject-line in my recent e-mailed acknowledgements to some 44 supporters (both Repeat Donors and new ones) from 16 states, the District of Columbia and one foreign country (Finland). Individual generosity during my recent three-week fund drive ranged from $5 to $500. In all, I raised $1,945—just shy of my $2,000 goal. More than for the contributions, I am very grateful for the many notes of appreciation that accompanied them.
I love you, art-lings, and will miss you. I cherish the bonds I’ve forged over the past five and a half years with my classy, savvy audience. But as you well know, I’m a stickler. I’m going to stick to my word and, effective today, take a break (possibly a permanent one) from blogging.
In introducing my now concluded Last-Gasp Fund Drive, I wrote:
If 100 readers are willing to donate $20 each within the next three weeks to express appreciation for last year’s edition of CultureGrrl
(or if a different combination of readers and benefactions achieves the
same monetary goal), I’ll continue….
If I don’t get this vote of
confidence, I’m going to take off at least a month, beginning Jan. 9, to
undergo blogging-addiction withdrawal and seek other opportunities. I
don’t know yet whether I’ll relapse in February. But my month’s hiatus
isn’t an empty threat; it’s a promise.
My month’s sabbatical may become a permanent one. I just don’t know yet whether I can do without the instant gratification of telling stories that need to be told and expressing views that I feel need to be aired.
But I’ve become a slave to the blog, and I’m eager to see what else may be out there for me—something I couldn’t do while blogging, because I’m too much of a perfectionist. I labored much too long and hard every day, researching my posts and crafting my prose. If I’m going to continue doing this kind of work, I really should get paid.
As one of my most generous repeat donors just wrote to me:
I am a firm believer that artists, and arts journalists, should get paid for what they do. My least favorite phrase is “psychic compensation,” which is the way artists have been exploited for years into doing work for free.
But no one “exploited” me. I freely (perhaps foolishly) chose to do this, and it did bring me a some speaking gigs and broadcast exposure that I would not otherwise have enjoyed. It raised my profile and made me semi-famous to a niche group of art aficionados. What’s more, for the most part, I enoyed doing it. I thank Doug McLennan and his ArtsJournal for providing me a distinguished platform, in the company of some of the best arts bloggers in the “business.”
[Wait a minute! AJ’s Real Clear Arts just lifted my original Tobias Meyer/Richter photo! Is this “appropriation art”? (By the time you read this, it may have been de-appropriated.) RCA credits the photo to Bui Gallery, but it’s definitely one that I took and published Nov. 10 on CultureGrrl. (Did Bui “appropriate” it first?)]
There are a number of balls that I’ll be dropping this month—things on my blog’s to-do list that won’t get done. It’s going to be hard going back to being mild-mannered mortal Lee Rosenbaum, writing about a few things, after being caped crusader CultureGrrl, opinionating on everything.
Looking forward, I’m ready, willing and able to take on paid journalistic projects (including paid blogging gigs), speaking engagements and teaching stints. You can contact me through the blog. I will continue to link on CultureGrrl to my mainstream-media work and perhaps I’ll even provide on this site a little extra commentary and/or multimedia related to those articles or broadcasts.
If I can’t resist indulging my passion for online commentary, you may find me occasionally on Huffington Post. And I’ll likely continue to tweet now and then, to let CultureGrrl followers know what I’m thinking and doing.
Finally, for those of you who participated in the fund drive in anticipation of future posts (rather than in appreciation of past ones), here’s my money-back offer: Just reply to my “Thanks from CultureGrrl” e-mail with one word—REFUND—and I’ll click the “Issue refund” button on PayPal. I don’t want anyone to feel cheated.
Thanks, art-lings, for your intelligence, insights and appreciation, and for all our time together!