I wrote the following as a response to Remittance Girl's impassioned essay entitled New Valuations: Erotica and What It's Worth. Please go read it. And then tell her what you think. It's the least you can do. And while you're there, take some time to read a few of her stories. She is a brilliant, intelligent writer.
Thank you so much for tying together the two issues of money and comments. I never would have thought of it like that, but of course you are right. These are different methods by which a reader parts with something (a few dollars, a few seconds, a few words) to indicate that what you gave was of some value, whether potential in the case of purchase or after the fact with a comment.
In some ways, the greatest reward is a really thoughtful comment, one which adds something to my mind's conversation with itself as I wrote. A bit of payment in kind.
Your words are especially apt for me right now as I try to write a story specifically in hopes of getting it published. In an anthology. In print. On paper. Something I can hold in my hand, if not show to my mother, and say look, I did this, someone thought my thoughts worthy of memorializing in a probably disappearing tangible form. And wouldn't it be nice, since I do write and can't live on what I make at my more respectable job, to receive a few dollars for my efforts?
I was stunned to find out exactly how few those dollars might be. Especially as I remember the $100 I received 10 years ago for a fairly short magazine article.
Still, I'm proceeding with the project. Maybe it's the submissive in me, longing to be tossed a monetary "Good girl."
Right after I read your post, and while contemplating what to respond, I took a quick look at my stats. They were fairly low for last night - I haven't put anything up in over 2 days. But someone had been there who really liked my stuff. Liked my stuff enough to spend 23 minutes yesterday evening looking at 169 pages, and then returning very early this morning to spend 57 minutes on 201 pages.
And what did I get for this?
Bupkes. Goat dung. Less than nothing. Without the electronic surveillance cameras of site meter I would not even know this person had been there.
It would have killed you to have left your calling card on the silver tray by the door? With a little note, maybe to say hi, you moved me, I came 5 times, the butterflies were pretty...
I feel raped.
This comment is too long. I am tempted to delete it and publish it over at my place, but you deserve to know how much your writing affected me. As it always does. The comments section is your tip jar and I'm stuffing in a wad of twenties.
As always, thank you.