So the other day while sitting at home, watching Aliens on DVD, editing my star wars fanfic hanging out with my darling husband all the while watching my twitter feed when I noticed @thebloggess tweet about her #pantsdance. An open invitation to a party being streamed live from her bathroom with Dr. Pants a band playing live. So I joined in.
It occurred to me that this internet thing is pretty amazing. We facebook, we tweet, we message, we share photos, and we somehow become joined. We have this virtual world in which there are no borders and everyone gets to play ( well mostly). We share, it is in our nature to do so. We want to belong and we build communities just so that we can.
It has been fun to read the tweets of other writers. I am enjoying being a part of this lively and encouraging community. I'm writing at the moment instead of creating art. I'm editing the DOTE books so that I can get on with the next book I have burning up my brain. I know that DOTE is just a fanfic so in the eyes of many writers not real writing at all but that's not true. Writing is writing and stories no matter what are stories.
Lots of good advice to be had.
I also read, fairly often, that one has to sell one's work to be of worth because giving it away for free means it's worthless. I have to disagree with this. Self worth doesn't come from monetary value, at least not for me. I get my self worth out of knowing I did something well. It doesn't matter if it is my art or my words or even doing the laundry. I watched my dad try to sell himself and his art to galleries and it was something I swore I'd never do. He was a brilliant artist with water colours ( and I don't just say that as his kid) but for me watching him try to get accepted like this was painful.
I don't much care about that side of things and I never really have. I know it irks people when i say that but I really just like to make art and write stories. I give my creations away because it makes me feel good to share art. And fanfiction should never be sold anyway especially not star wars fanfics unless one wants one's ass sued to the moon and back.
I'm lucky in that I don't have to make money off my art to live but even if I did I would probably have a different job and still do art on the side. I love being creative and I don't want it to be a job. I have already experienced that once or twice and decided long ago that was not for me.
This doesn't mean I won't or never have sold my art but it's not a driving force for me, neither is being elite and famous.
So it annoys me when I see people write that giving it away for free = being of no worth. I don't think that's true. I create beautiful things and I write wonderful stories and I share my works freely so that people can enjoy it. Art wants to be free and it should not always be over priced and exclusive. Now... before the angry hordes come down on me I am all for people making a living off their art. I BUY art, music and books regularly. I try to support the people who DO make a living from their creativity. We make a living in all manner of ways I just choose not to do so from my art. Now my words on the other hand... if I ever get past the DOTE stuff and write my own worlds then we'll see but it doesn't make what I do of no worth just because I don't stick a dollar sign on it.
in the mean time I am enjoying the mad interwebz it gives me a sense of belonging when I am on my own and procrastinating.