Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monica's Writer-for-pay Plot

A good friend of mine and pretty damn good writer is trying to go into business for herself the shareware way; writing no matter what and soliciting donations from appreciative audiences.

Here's something from her new website

What's This All About

This is an experiment. But then life generally is. Here is how it is going to work – I am going to write. People are going to read. If people like what they read, they are going to pay me. I am going to write some more. People are going to read some more. You see the cycle already?

It all sounds very cynical, very capitalistic. The truth is, I love to write. The more I write, the more I love to write. Interesting how addictions work, isn’t it? The other sad truth is, I’m poor. I mean seriously poor. Not in that charity case, six o’clock news sense, but in that college student bad cliché sense. All the successful yuppies out there are thinking “Yeah, I’ve been there, too. It’s just what you’ve gotta do. I managed to climb up that ladder and so will you.” The only glitch in that logic is that I’m not endeavoring to climb.

What does that mean? Well, I’ve got a soft spot for hard luck cases. I had this dog. I fell in love with him on the spot. He was mangy, dirty, matted, and flea-ridden. He smelled and he didn’t seem particularly excited to see me. He was nothing anybody wanted, abandoned after his frolicking puppydom but before his first birthday. He was a scruffy, scraggly, dingy shade of grey, neither large nor small, but everything in between. But he looked at me with soulful eyes and I was hooked, just like that. He was without a doubt, the best thing which had ever happened to me in all my eleven years. He was with me for the next fifteen.

So, when I finally manage to claw my way out of graduate school, I know there will be hard luck case waiting for me. Some barely functioning non-profit or energy-rich, cash-poor advocacy group. I’ll probably end up being paid in organic produce half of the time. Unfortunately, I don’t think my student loan creditors will appreciate a bushel of sweet corn in lieu of my soon to be exorbitant monthly payments.

“Social entrepreneurship,” it’s called. See what the fancy education got me already? Actually, according to the all-knowing god Wikipedia “Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors.” (As of 04/08/2008)

So what’s my social ill? Well right now it’s the cost of college. And since I never could do anything the easy way (sensing a relationship here with the hard luck cases?) I had to sign up for the double degree program, even though that meant another full year of graduate school. I’m in for both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Community and Regional Planning. What will I do when I get them? Well, save the world, of course. If you don’t see the connection, fear not. There will be plenty of opportunity for me to explain it.

Instead, let me steer back onto course and explain how you can help me help save the world. I am debuting three books, which I’ve been working on for the last few years or months. Two are fiction, one is non-fiction, sort of a journal. One is science fiction, the other romance (though not too trashy, I hope), and the other is Buddhist. I am dedicating ten hours a week to these three books. How I divide those ten hours is in direct relation to any donations or contributions made to this project. (If you are poor like me, you can still put in your two cents without actually giving me two cents.) If I make ten bucks this week and six is for one book, four for another, and none for the last, I will spend six hours on the first and four on the second. How much you donate is entirely up to you. In the name of transparency and disclosure, a full funding report will be posted each week.

I don’t expect this to be a ringing success overnight, so I’m going to give it time. After all, I love to write, so I’ll be doing to work regardless. If and when this begins to take off, I should be able to write more rather than work at all of my several pathetically low paying University jobs.

Check out the links to the right for information on the books, myself, how I’m going to save the world, and how you can help me. Visit often for frequent updates.

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