Friday, October 19, 2007

Money, blogging and disability

"How much do you make writing your blogs?" a friend asked.

"Nothing," I replied.

"Really? Then why do you do it?"

This guy isn't the first person to ask me that question. Some people simply assume that writing blogs pays money because they've heard that a blogger here or there does get paid. And that can happen. But most people who blog don't get paid.

They do it for other reasons. I feel it helps get the word out about issues concerning disability, for example. I've also managed to help a few people here and there who have contacted me through my blogs. And, of course, I get great personal satisfaction out of blogging which will be all I'll say about that.

I was offered money to blog over at a commercial site recently but turned it down. After considering it, I realized that it would change the nature of my relationship to not only blog posts over there but on here and my other blogs due to the affiliation. . Hardly what I imagined when I first put the words Wheelie Catholic up on my masthead. And I had to think about my future and how that affiliation would fit in when a contract was put under my nose. It didn't.

All of that brings me back to the issue of money and blogging about being disabled. I have never done anything where I've been paid for talking about or educating others about being disabled other than small gifts between twenty five and fifty dollars for speaking engagements or articles. I've done radio and magazine interviews. All for free.

And yes, that does make all of that different. I wasn't signing on to affiliate myself with an organization, to a corporate image - for money.

Yet as the years go by, I envision that for people with disabilities, including myself, decisions like this will become more common. We will find more jobs where we will indeed be paid for talking and writing about the experience of living with a disability. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as one carefully considers the whole picture. Do you agree with the organization's basic goals and mission? Are the organization's goals and missions clearly stated yet? What kind of restrictions are you being asked to agree to that may affect future opportunities? We will all answer these questions differently. There is no right and wrong here - and I don't mean to imply that. Yet when disability becomes a business, it is a very different endeavor than an individual blogging for free.

Money, blogging and disability - and decisions to make, my friends.

[visual description: An image of a sign language symbol for the deaf for money I found online. Two hands are shown - the hand on top has its fingers curled. Two arrows point to a hand below with its palm open.]


Anonymous said...

I notice you blog for withtv. Aren't you paid for that?

Ruth said...

No. I volunteer as a columnist for [with]tv.

I do it because I agree with the [with]tv mission statement. Unfortunately, blogging is the only help I can offer over there right now due to my day job's demands! Great organization.

betterolls said...

LOL! Always critics even when you do things for free. Amazing. I think people need to keep an eye on the changing times. Disability is going to be a big business with baby boomers coming and disabled vets. Money enters the picture in ways it didn't before, not that money was never made on people with disabilities. But you're right in that there will be more and more groups.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the medical equipment you sent us for my husband. It was delivered yesterday and put right to use. He's much more comfortable now. Someday I hope we'll be able to help someone else like you did. It's a wonderful feeling today and things have been hard here so thanks.

Donna and Jim

Ruth said...

Glad it arrived safely! I'm glad you let me know it's there and very glad to hear that Jim is more comfortable. God bless,