Why Give Away Your Work for Free?

I Give Away my Work Because I’m Selfish.

In response to @Litographs & @Doctorow

I write for me. Not for you. Don’t get me wrong, I love you all dearly, but that’s not what commands me to press these little lettered buttons in this special order. I write so I may stay sane (or mostly sane for those of you who might quibble). Because getting the words out of my brain, and into the universe or sometimes just a notebook, is enough. Enough for this one day.

My Medium journal is an outlet for the things that need saying. Sometimes they are about travel, life, something I read, or whatever I’m thinking about. It’s often about coping with cancer, because when you have cancer, you think about it a whole hell of a lot.

Beyond the therapeutic benefits, I’ll be honest and admit that the Facebook shares and Likes and the Recommends on Medium make me deliriously happy. There is such validation in the knowledge that somewhere out there is a person who gave up a little bit of their life to read something I wrote, and it moved them in some way. My heartfelt thanks to those of you who freely share my work and spread it around. Please keep it up. Nothing makes me happier.

Ideas shouldn’t be cooped up. My head is not the best place for those things. Regardless of whether it’s a story, a journal entry or a design, those moments when the idea is flowing out of me and are transformed into marks on paper or electrons are the very best moments. Clicking that Publish button is a singular joy that culminates the catharsis of writing. (Yes, I do realize what that sounds like.)

And #IGiveAwayMyWorkBecause because I know that when I give it away, everything I create is at least worth that price. I’ve been honored and bowled over by the people that praised some aspect of my creative work.

Hopefully for some folks, it’s worth much more than free. Someday I’ll figure that out and see if there is a way to have this aspect of my life translate to shiny coins in my pocket. But even when that day comes, if it does, I’ll still have things to say that need to be said. I will do my best to say those things and I will give those words away.

Mostly for me, and a maybe a little bit for you and together we’ll both get through this one day.

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