I have been blogging, now, for over four years and three months. In that time, I have written nigh on 1,500 posts and spent thousands of hours writing carefully considered posts, and replying, with equal consideration, to thousands of correspondents, from all countries of the world – and I mean all.
I realized something today about all of this: I have invested thousands of hours of my life, of my creative powers, of my thought and feeling, into this blog and into communicating my understanding of the world. That is a huge personal investment of mental and emotional energy. Now, I would like to point out something to you: all of this past four years and three months, there has been a gold donation button on this blog. It is quite easy to see, being gold on a black background and sits just beneath the description of this blog, on the left hand side. I am going to ask you to think, for yourself, and make an estimate of how much has been donated to me, in thanks for all my writing efforts, this past four plus years. In your estimation, you might like to factor in, the not inconsiderable 344,000 people who have visited my blog in all that time.
So, what proportion of that third of a million plus people might reasonably have donated something in support of my writing? Do you think 10%? 1%? 0.1%? How much do you think they would have donated each? 10 dollars? 100 dollars? More? Please factor all of these aspects into your estimate. Also take into consideration that my blog has many regular readers, whom it is clear, gain much pleasure and insight from reading my writings.
I would be very interested if you could post your total estimate, in the comments below…so be honest, don’t change it…and post it, please.
Well, how much, in total, do you think has been donated to me, to support of my writing of this blog, since the day I first began it? Please hold that number in your mind.
The answer is that the total donations, since I began writing, is precisely zero dollars and zero cents. Nobody has ever made a donation: not one, single person.
Now, personally, I found that result both startling and interesting for what it says about people. Generally, it seems, people are willing to take, and take abundantly, but not to give anything, tangible, in return. It also seems that people either do not understand the unremitting effort needed to sustain a blog like this – or don’t care to think about it. This was a sobering realization – and a little bit sad, too.
Interestingly, I asked Ainan, my son, to estimate how many people had donated, since the blog began – and he estimated that a significant proportion would have done so. He was more than a little surprised to learn that no-one had. I rather think that most people (correct me, below, if you think otherwise), would think that there would have been significant donations. Do let me know if you are as surprised as I was.
Part of the problem, I think, is that everyone probably assumes that “everyone else is donating, so there is no need for me to do so, as well”. Well, the fact is, everyone is wrong – no-one has donated, at all.
We live in a strange world. Everyone wants the products of creativity – but no-one wants to pay for them. There seems to be the belief that creative people don’t need to make a living. People seem to think that because a person writes, sings, acts, paints, composes, thinks, that they are able to support themselves and their creative activities, without an income. Well, sadly, that is just not so. Creative people need to eat too.
I have a family, as anyone who has read a few posts will know. I have three young sons, and a wife. I have, therefore, responsibilities to that family to spend my time in productive ways, that support that family. Expending thousands of hours on a blog that has never produced a cent in return, does not, upon reflection, seem the most productive way to spend my time, in support of my family. Granted, it does allow for self-expression…but, it has, to date, produced no tangible return. The benefit to others, through learning from what I write, is much greater than any benefit to myself or my family. Yet, that benefit has never been acknowledged by a donation.
Today, I have, therefore, decided to launch a fundraising drive, to support my continued writing of this blog. My writing is a creative work – and all creative acts should be rewarded with some financial return. If not, then the creative works must be created at the penalty of a sacrifice of personal income (because the time spent creating, could have been spent earning)…and that seems unfair.
If you have enjoyed my writing and/or believe that my mission to promote an awareness of giftedness and all the issues that the gifted face, in society, is a worthy one, deserving of support, then please donate by clicking on the gold button to the left of this page. Your donation will help allow me to continue my work in this cause, since it is becoming increasingly hard to justify to myself, given my family obligations, the thousands of hours I spend on my blog, without any financial return at all.
Donations may be of any size – any donation will be a help. Just reflect on what these past four and a quarter years of writing are worth to you. Reflect, too, on the value inherent in a blog that puts across the perspective of the gifted, through anecdotes, so that there might be wider understanding of all that is at stake.
In recognition of your generosity, in support of my continued writing, I am going to create a list of top donors, to be appended to the end of this post, initially. Should the list grow too long, I may create a separate blog post for it. If you would like your name to be on the list of donors, please mail me your name and, if relevant, company or organization (if they are involved in the donation), along with details of your donation. Alternatively, you can post details of your donation below. Please note, I will not put up the name of anyone who does not expressly give me permission to do so. It might be interesting if you could also include your nationality. I only ask this because it would be interesting to see if certain nationalities are more generous than others. It would also indicate which countries are more supportive of their gifted minority.
The top donors will be listed in order of size of donation with the greatest donation, and number one donor, at the top of the list. The amount donated will also be listed. At the end of the year, I will write a post detailing the total donated and my observations about any patterns of generosity (or lack thereof) around the world. Please get donating! Thanks.Top Donors in support of my continued writing on giftedness.
1) Tearsunderstars (pen name) from Singapore. 50 US Dollars on 6/1/11.
2) Lee Li Jen, from Singapore. 20 US Dollars on 27/1/11
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html
I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.
There is a review of my blog, on the respected The Kindle Report here: http://thekindlereport.blogspot.com/2010/09/boy-who-knew-too-much-child-prodigy.html
Please have a read, if you would like a critic's view of this blog. Thanks.
You can get my blog on your Kindle, for easy reading, wherever you are, by going to: http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Knew-Too-Much/dp/B0042P5LEE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284603792&sr=8-1
Please let all your fellow Kindlers know about my blog availability - and if you know my blog well enough, please be so kind as to write a thoughtful review of what you like about it. Thanks.
My Internet Movie Database listing is at: http://imdb.com/name/nm3438598/
Ainan's IMDB listing is at http://imdb.com/name/nm3305973/
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at http://imdb.com/name/nm3463926/
Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at http://www.genghiscan.com/
This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)
Labels: creativity, fair reward, fundraising drive, supporting a family