Channeling your inner NPR/PBS

As I was driving on Tuesday to the semi-annual developmental workforce meeting for my teaching job, I took the hour plus mind-numbing drive to catch up on the world around me, by tuning into my local NPR channel.

But as my hand left the preset, I wanted to scream.

pbsThey were fund-raising again.

Now fans of NPR know there is one week (every six months or so) that you want to avoid: fund-raising week, were every show you love is continuously interpreted with a guilt inducing plea for funds:

“If you love this show, don’t you want to keep it on the air….”

“It is people like you who…..”

“If we don’t raise $$$$, your favorite host will be executed at dawn….”

Ok, maybe the last quote was made up. But, it’s probably only a matter a time.

After five to ten minutes, I’m usually so worn down that I wish I wasn’t broke and had copious amounts of cash just so I could offer it to NPR to just shut up during day one.

But, as I listened, today I thought different about it. Maybe as artist we need to be able to channel our inner NPR/PBS, that almost cocky, whining desperate plea that screams, “I provide a service, I deserve to be compensated.” Even if it means we turn off a few of our readers/watchers.

It’s hard, as an indie artist to make a living, harder if we fall into a trap where we are afraid to demand (or ask) for compensation for  work.

The reasons, I think are varied. I tend to struggle with not wanting to annoy people as well as sometimes not feeling qualified.

But, I think I might just give this a try.


5 comments on “Channeling your inner NPR/PBS

  1. There’s a degree of nuance involved. Im more focused on legacy publishing as it suits my purposes creatively. Getting an agent was part of that and although a slow process, I will benefit from the filtering/rigour and the attendant cachet that results from that. If I do decide to self publish, it will be for the right project as opposed to any ideology or financial implications. Did you see the Amanda Palmer talk she gave at TED? I found it useful but it helped me decide that it wasn’t a route I felt suitable for me.

  2. I hate to say it..I just started downloading the podcast and listening to All Things Considered or Morning Edition interruption free. However, I do feel the guilt. Damn you Steve Inskee and your guilt giving voice..

  3. It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? While I’ve never had a problem asking for money for my work, it has usually meant I have no money since I’d rather have a fair price or none at all. I have tried to be cocky, which might actually work, but then a friend told me I sounded cocky and then I felt bad. Boy, we sure do get our psyches twisted up, don’t we?

  4. Interesting, but obvious. In order to solicit money for art you first have to produce it and start taking an interest in the art of the community you have joined, That is why I am taking my name off your list of followers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s