Thanks for reading so far~
I added a donation button on my website again. About that: I was listening to a guy talk in a coffee shop this morning in Taos New Mexico about the work he does. He lives in San Francisco near the bridge, but he works for Earthjustice, so he is often around the West. I think he is an outreach person, going around checking in with the people who keep the whole thing running through donations. Earthjustice
is a nonprofit that uses lawyers to prevent bad things from happening to the environment (12o lawyers and counting). They have kept the litigation moving about Bears Ears and were at the head of the defense of Yellowstone grizzlies. In other words, they are at the top of the game when it comes to addressing sweeping decisions that affect many people and places.
It is kind of a joke to talk about a finite number of lawyers, but in a world where the ultimate power is money and money buys lawyers, it’s a way of saying that they are pretty powerful—to be able to keep 120 of them employed is saying that Earthjustice’s income has to be at least $16,785,600 a year (calculated by average income of a lawyer * 120). Of course, they may be working for a lot less than average, and some may be pro bono. Anyway….
I often struggle with the idea that Anna & I actually work every day (I write, she draws or paints) and we don’t get paid anything for it. I think creative work should be supported, and we are rewarded in many ways: the act itself is something that is self-supporting. But what is this work worth? I’d rather not attach a dollar amount to it. However, reading about lawyers and salaries and Earthjustice, it made me wonder about being paid to write.
In the typical route, if I want to be paid to write, I have to write for something, like a magazine or website. Unfortunately that takes a lot of other unpaid time and energy, such as finding those publications, sending them pitches, endless back and forth emails—resulting in work finally appearing somewhere. I’ve done this before and found the process empty of meaning. I get a lot more interaction by saving my writing energy for this newsletter, and self-made projects. So: I make money in other ways, by offering very concrete skills like design, copy writing/editing, photography, tech stuff. By the way, if you need any of these skills at the moment, I have some free time! Just reply to this email.
Anyway, all this to say: I believe the work people who have sacrificed a lot for, such as artists, should be supported with money. I know my day is benefitted when I hear new music made by my friend, or purchase something made by them. Unfortunately writing is more ephemeral, and since I’m working on something that is going to take a while yet to finish, I can’t offer anything but this humble newsletter, and the occasional poem.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you are well.