As you can read in my sidebar under “Mudding through life with the help of art”, I no longer write a regular column for Handmade Business, the magazine formerly known as The Crafts Report.
I haven’t for awhile now. I didn’t update my profiles nor did I advertise the fact. Truth is, I felt humiliated. (They actually didn’t even tell me. They just quit bugging me about deadlines.) (Which I never actually missed, I just couldn’t remember them.)
When I finally realized I hadn’t sent an article in for two months, they told me they didn’t need me anymore. They said I wasn’t funny or relevant anymore.
Ouch. (Gentle sobbing noise here.)
In my defense, I had about six editors there in 10 years. And my deadlines kept changing. But I still felt pathetic.
Then I heard from other writers in the industry, people I know who are truly professional, and excellent writers. Turns out that’s just the nature of the beast. Since we aren’t paid a salary, we’re technically freelancers, who can be hired (and fired) on a whim. (Though not technically fired. Just….not asked to actually write anything, for months at a time.)
I still fill in at TCR/HB with the occasional emergency article. I have no idea how they are received. And I can’t say, “But it’s a living” because, well, it’s not.
But I want to say, in their defense, that the print publishing industry is in tough shape. It’s hard on everyone, and no clear solution in site. I love print magazines and newspapers. Just check out my coffee table! But it’s cheaper, easier, and faster to get news and information on the web. And so, publishers struggle.
It’s not about me, and it’s not about them. They’re doing their best to stay afloat. I loved writing for them, and I would happily write for them again. (There. I said it. I have
absolutely no pride. a professional attitude.)
And fortunately, I still write for Fine Art Studios Online, where I also have my website. (It’s as easy to manage my own website as a WordPress blog, and the support staff is amazing.)
So if, dear readers, you know of any writing opportunities, especially any that would be thrilled to to have moi on their writing staff, please let me know. I want to keep writing. Better yet, let them know about me. (Except for pro bono work. I already write for free, right here.)
And to those of you who followed my column at TCR all those years: A big, grateful “THANK YOU!!!” from the bottom of my heart.