Do me a favour – don’t email me asking to blog for you in return for fresh air. You’re not the first and you surely won’t be the last to have the nerve to send these emails about how it’ll be great ‘promotion’ and give me wonderful ‘exposure’.
I think I’m doing alright on the exposure front, thank you. I mean, I’m exposed enough for you to have even found me in the first place, right? And while I’m sure you have the best will in the world, ‘promotion’ and ‘exposure’ don’t pay the rent or buy me shoes. At least be honest: you approached me because you like what I’ve got and you want some of it.
Nowhere but in the creative industries do people get away with this bollocks. I can’t ask an accountant to do my taxes and say I won’t pay him, but the honour of him working for me will give him great exposure.
I had an email recently from a start-up magazine, gushing about how much they love my blog, saying how they think there’s a special place in the magazine for me, they’d love me to do a column – in return they’d just want some promotion on my blog. So, let me get this straight: I get to spend my time writing for you and in return, I get the privilege of promoting you on my site? Get the f**k outta here!
You approach me because you see that my site is doing fairly well. You have placed a value on it. Don’t be surprised to discover that I value myself. Yes, you’re damn right, I will reply to your email with my rates and nothing else. When you want to get serious, feel free to contact me again.
See, you have no idea what has gone into this. I have spent years building this up. I spent my whole university life doing work placements here, there and everywhere for free. I moved to New York when I was 22 and spent a cold winter running all over Manhattan returning clothes from magazine shoots to fashion PRs to try to prove that I was somehow worthy. I have worked for an absolute pittance that I had to fight tooth and nail for. I have done jobs that I absolutely loathed, that had nothing to do with my overall career plan, just so I could keep a roof over my head in the hope that I could keep writing and eventually someone would be moved by my words. I started this blog with literally nothing and have spent two and a half years working tirelessly on my style, fighting for every reader, every page view like my life depended on it. I still work a 9-5 and come home and work 6-midnight on my blog because I have a readership who I love and don’t want to let down. I’m frikkin’ exhausted, but I’m building something here. I’m building my Field of Dreams and I’m doing what it takes for me to get there.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
You don’t understand the blood (paper cuts are a bitch), sweat (YOU try blogging in a tiny bedroom in Toronto in high summer with no air con) and tears (oh, the tears) that go into this.
It’s only now, at 29 years of age, that I have a 9-5 that I love (writing) that actually pays me – and even then I only scrape by. I have MORE THAN paid my dues. So, excuse me if I don’t value your ‘promotion’ or ‘exposure’. And pardon me if I consider it to be a complete fucking insult to me and bloggers, artists and creatives everywhere that you think it’s even acceptable to send such condescending emails that completely ignore the fact that we’ve spent years ‘promoting’ and ‘exposing’ ourselves, just for you to try to leech off it.
I value myself, my talent and what I’ve built here too much to let you degrade it with this foolishness. Get a budget or find some other way of paying me (but even mention the words ‘promotion’ or ‘exposure’ and expect to get round house kicked in the balls) or just don’t bother.
Thank you and goodnight!