I found this image on Austin Kleon’s blog a few days ago, and it set me to thinking about these newsletters of mine.
I would love to think of them, the same way.
They are free, but definitely not cheap :)
Not to toot my own horn, but for all their recent brevity, it still is a process that involves a lot of reading, and thinking and curating and writing. (and a whole lot of slogging)
So yes, in that sense, it’s an expensive labour of love.
I’d like to think of it as something more than free, definitely not cheap but a gift, my gift to you.
Like Seth writes,
A gift costs the giver something real. It might be cash (enough that we feel the pinch) but more likely it involves a sacrifice or a risk or an emotional exposure. A true gift is a heartfelt connection, something that changes both the giver and the recipient.
So true! It works because you accept my gift with grace.
Like our traditional “Namaste” or the Zulu, “Sawubona”, you truly see me.
You acknowledge me and give of your time and your attention and your insight.
And most importantly, you push me to do more.
The key is that the gift must be freely and gladly accepted. Sending someone a gift over the transom isn’t a gift, it’s marketing. Gifts have to be truly given, not given in anticipation of a repayment. True gifts are part of being in a community (willingly paying taxes for a school you will never again send your grown kids to) and part of being an artist (because the giving motivates you to do ever better work).
Plus, giving a gift feels good.
Yes, it does. And I’m grateful you choose to love this craft of mine.