I cannot believe how much you all love this blog, and how kind you’ve all been. Really, I am overwhelmed.
So here’s my situation, since you all deserve to know why I’m cryptically trying to sell my camera stuff.
You probably all know that last year I lost my job at a NPO I worked for when this stupid moron ugly co-worker, her even stupider and uglier husband and a pack of their intellectually challenged friends decided to stage a hostile takeover of the BoD through false means (me = still bitter). The new, fake, BoD terminated our positions, shut down the NPO and then a battle in court between them and the old, genuine BoD ensued that has tied them up in court since forever.
Piper hates the stupid ugly people.
Like any jobless person, I applied for Unemployment Benefits, full expecting to find another job right away – I always have. It’s rare I don’t get a job I apply for, historically speaking. But their timing could not have been worse because, umm, there are no jobs. The economy sucks goats. I have been unable to find gainful employment since. Hell, I can’t even find crappy employment.
This month, my Unemployment Benefits ran out. So I have no job, no money, and no safety net, because I was not exactly earning a fortune at my last job (the curse of doing Good Works for a living). I am dead serious about not being able to pay the rent – it’s no euphemism, or exaggeration. I have sold everything I have to sell, including my beloved bicycles, just to get by these last few months. My friends have been just stellar, paying for my agility classes and trial entry fees, donating dog food to my hungry canines … but I cannot continue to let people fund my life!
That’s in part why I am so reluctant to put a tip jar on the blog. People have been so very generous already, I feel downright naughty accepting more help. I’ll beg shamelessly for rescue, but it’s awfully hard for me to ask for help for me.
I also don’t want to make any of YOU pay for *my* blog! I do this because I love it – it’s so much fun to chronicle the many (mis)adventures of my dogs and the fact that you all get to enjoy it with me is just a bonus for me. Your comments often make me laugh harder than you probably do at the blog itself. You give me back as much I give you. That’s what makes this whole blog thing work, imo.
Lastly, I don’t want anyone to think I’m plugging for money. There are so many disingenuous people in this world with a sob story – I wasn’t trying to elicit sympathy from anyone by trying to sell my camera gear. I just want to pay the bills, and the camera et al is all I have left, really.
But I won’t sell it, not right now – not because I never intended to in the first place, but rather because several people have offered to buy the whole shebang and rent it back to me again until I’ve paid it off again. I think losing my cameras would be like losing an arm, so I can’t pass an offer like that up if I can avoid it (because without my arm, how would I beat Wootie for being so BAD?). So if you’ve emailed me about what I’ve got to sell and not received an answer, that’s why – not because it was a sympathy scam.
I would love for this blog to make money, I really would. But because I started this blog for my own selfish enjoyment, I would – and still don’t – have any idea how to go about making that happen. I am completely open to suggestions. I am no entrepreneur. I’m just a girl with a camera and too many dogs for any sane person. But I definitely don’t want it to make money at the expense of any of YOU. I won’t charge for subscriptions … my dogs are whackos for free, you should get to appreciate their whacko-ness for free too!
But pay ME, and I might give you another ear.
The many many emails, atop the many many comments here, that I have received are trying to assure me that my ‘art’ such as it were, is worth paying for. I really struggle with this, friends, but my protests get drowned out by your arguments. And I’m tired of Pia calling me an asshole! ;-)
So I acquiesce, and I’ll put the tip jar here on the site. I’d never even heard of such a thing until you all collectively bellowed it at me.
If you want to donate, I love you and I’m deeply humbled. If you don’t, I love you for reading the blog. And you have NO idea how much Tweed loves an audience.
ETA – I don’t know what I am doing wrong with the donate button? I just followed the paypal instructions. As you may have figured out, I’m quite techno-stupid. What’s the secret here?
Okay wait – more Edit … I think this will work. The only paypal account I have is the one associated with the rescue, so if this works, maybe just add a note that it’s not a rescue donation so the funds don’t get mixed up? ARGH! It’s already complicated ;-)
If this helps – just use the address firstname.lastname@example.org It’s all connected to the same account, I think, but that address differentiates it from the rescue one…right?
In return I promise to buckle down and try to find a way to make what I love to do pay for my simple little life. A friend and fan is hooking me up with someone who apparently knows how to make websites make money. Another friend has suggested I check out a government run self employment program for sad sacks like me with an idea but no idea how to execute it. I will also look into selling prints or other items made with my camera – if anyone is familiar with setting up webstores or similar, and wants to help me get that off the ground, I’m all ears (kind of like Dexter). And of course, if any of you fine folks in the Lower Mainland can hook me up with an actual job job, I’m all about the networking and will take any help I can get.
I don’t know what else to say, except that I promise to try and repay you all for your kindness by being funny and taking funny photos. A little birdie tells me I’m not too bad at it, after all.
But wouldn’t it be totally creepy if, like, it did?
Just wanted to say that i love love love your blog. Your Woo reminds me of my girly…barkscream and all! I'm sorry you're going through a rough bit and hope things turn around for you very soon.
Tristan and Braun says
YAY! YAY! YAY! What more can I say?!?! Glad you gave us all your fanz a listen and a chance to help! You might think it's a "humiliating" to "ask for money" butI assure you, YES YOU, do not fit into that category. People pay for art and talent all the time. I pay insane amounts to actually watch a talented person perform and I pay (sometimes in my opinion) gross amount just to enter a venue of art. But hey, that's how we keep art going, isn't it? It's intangible, but art is not measured by tangility. True art and talent is pricelss and that's where you are. Judging by the OVERWHELMING response from yoru fans far and near (doggies in tow) I would say MANY would agree with me.
So, you are THAT special person with THAT special piece of talent and throwing it away would be a complete crime.
Ok, enough of my silly blabber. Here's heading to paypal now. I wish I could give more, but I'll give what I can for now.
P/s : Urmm sidenote. My dogs might not be much fans of yours though. I'm contributing from their chicken wings fund.
PPS : Check out http://www.youdata. Just watch ads and get paid into your paypal account. I am serious. Do it. You can even do it while clicker training Dexter. Now, that's an idea. :)
PPPS : If a million fall from the sky in a complete freak accident sometime soon, I'll give more AND fly you here to take pics of my dogs. Promise.
once you get back on your feet a little more, why not select a dozen or so of your favorite photos and make a calender? Then a book? Like the Daily Coyote gal does? Huh? why not, huh? Huh? Seems like the natural thing to do so we can all enjoy your photos, even when the puter goes on the blink. And you won't feel like you're asking for charity. We all would like a 3 Ws & A Woo calender to get us through the year! Make a Wootie centerfold pin-up with lots of Flamboyance!
City of burnaby is hiring part time evenings and weekends receptionist at 22 bucks an hour. The justice institute regulalrly hires "relief" admin staff that often work more tha the fulltimers.
Check out blurb.com for easy peasy books you create and are printed up.
I will put money in the tip jar no problemo on payday. I get lots of good advice from you on how to deal with my asshole Shiba.
Some print on demand places have been mentioned already, I want to add Zazzle.com to the list. They have a great assortment of products – prints, cards, calendars, tshirts, magnets, pins, mugs (who wouldn't want a Woo mug???)etc.
It's true your profit margin is smaller than some place like Etsy but on the other hand there is NO upfront cost to offer products, you just upload the photos and hope they sell. (You have an advantage there because you already have a good following.)
I like Zazzle over CafePress because they don't charge a fee for their premium shops and since money is the whole issue right now, you probably don't want to deal with subscription fees.
Dear Food Lady,
I wish you were much, much closer to Oregon. Because, well, I'd pay you to teach me how to take great pictures of my critters. Even though my husband has a lovely Cannon 10D, we still end up with blurry leg syndrome when da ponies move around. And, I would love to take photos half as brilliant as yours. But, alas! You are far away!
So, have you thought of doing photography full time? Maybe setting up a studio? Or being the official photographer for some of the events you and the dogs go to?
In the mean time, I am glad you are staying. I need my BC fix, because, well, I seem to have most of the other common herding breeds combined into 3 of my 4 dogs. (See? Other crazy people have 4 dogs too!)
You give us all a good laugh and lift our day. We would miss you horribly if you were gone. Thank you for not going.
FL, I am sorry you continue to be unemployed. I, too, am a 3WAAW and 365 addict. I've been a reader for years, and yours are by far my favorite blogs, and my only MUST READ (or at least check!) daily.
I hope you find the techowizard/entrepreneurial help to make full time art your livelihood. Barring that, I hope the job market opens back up soon.
This girl makes money off her blog: http://www.dooce.com/
Maybe contact her and have a chat to see how she did it.
Glad you're still here.
Love your blog, your dogs and photos!
Have you thought about offering a class on how to photograph dogs? You could start by just asking people in your area and via your blog, then expand. I'm sure from the evidence we see on your sites, you have a lot to offer.
You probably already know about this website but just in case you don't you may find it useful. I'm also ecstatic that you have chosen to continue the blog, my world is a little brighter today because of it. http://www.charityvillage.com/cvnet/career_centre.aspx.
I'm glad you've discovered just how many people love this blog and are clamouring to help you.
– selling high-res digital photos (as mentioned before. I'm in Europe and shipping costs and taxes make it harder to buy cool stuff from places like cafepress – but I'd pay for high-res digital copies of some of the photos)
– give digital camera how-to workshops or classes. There's lots of people with awesome cameras that have no clue how to use them. It's knowledge you have; if you can bring it across, there might well be a market there
– give dog photography workshops, perhaps something like a day long. In the morning you do some camera and general instruction and tips, in the afternoon you go on a walk in a scenic place where people bring their own dogs, in the late afternoon you look at the digital photos and show some basic photoshop techniques. People come, have a fun day with their dog, and leave with new knowledge and an awesome photo of their dog!
– Basic dog training / trick classes?
– I could definitely see a book, photo heavy with fun little stories of the 3WAAW adventures. You have an engaging writing style and a starting audience – go for it!
Skrabble Productions says
I second Arwen's comment about looking into running dog photography courses. Taking good dog pics isn't easy and you have a super talent for it. Start off with advertising with local dog clubs, hit up your agility friends to see what they think of the idea and go from there.
I am thrilled beyond thrilled that you are going to continue. My partner has an entire hospital department checking 3WAAW constantly during breaks for some much needed humour!
I haven't had time to read all of the comments yet… I just sent you a few bucks. I will send more as I'm able. My family and friends helped me when I was unemployed for longer than I expected – I am paying it forward. One of the hardest things for some of us to do is accept help. Thank you for accepting our help. I'm sure I'll have more to blather about later. Hugs to you Sheena.
I will buy your dogs and rent them back to you until you pay them off (won't take long for Wootie, I'm sure :)
Anyway, could we please have a screen saver to spend our hard-earned dollars on? I can't believe no one has mentioned that yet. Personally I'm not a big fan of calendars, but I'd happily buy a screen saver of Big Air Photos.
Also, start thinking about how to market some variant of that as an iPhone app. Right now you only get to sell an app one time, but Apple is moving towards a model that would allow you to sell app add-ons, so in the case of a screen saver type thing you could sell a new library of Big Air Photos for the app each year or whatever. I don't know much about this, but I bet you can find someone who does.
And in the meantime, you're getting an email (since you haven't answered the last one, ahem) with a couple of money-making propositions, one short-term and one a few months out. If you don't answer that email, I may be forced to see whether the phone number that Kepler has for you still works. Or pack him a lunch and send him on a very, very long outrun to fetch you.
Because TWAAW and 365P are at the very tip-top of my daily reading list too. I want you to be able to keep doing what you do for us, for border collies, and for all the rest of the needy creatures on the planet.
I love, love, love your blog. Your pictures, your comments! I have said it before, but just for good measure; this stuff is so much better than lots of the "Dog" books out there.
I know you can't come across the border to take photos, but I sure would make the trip up there from Seattle if you had time to take pictures of my dogs. Best wishes to you in your job search.
Laura L says
Sheena, I donated too thru my son's account. Mine said 3WAAW too. Thank you for finally accepting money for the blogs! It's worth it. Besides, Woo's long distance black & white sister, Twinkie doesn't want to see him getting thinner than her.
you could sell prints on etsy.com! its a great site. and if you are crafty at other things that would work too! there is also deviantart.com where you can sell prints too. i'm sure there are others but those are the two that immediately come to mind.
i loveee this blog. you continually make me feel like a better person when it comes to my animals. so i am greatly relieved that you arent going to stop. :)
3 woofs and a woohoohoo for the FL!
Thank you for supporting us all with your blogging.
I don't know if anyone has suggested this to you yet but here are my two cents: Shop around for a publisher!
You have many great photos that don't make it to your blog and I'm sure you have much wit to go with them. There are several blogs (of lesser talent I might add) that have been made into books and sold well.
You are *for sure* good at at least two things: taking pictures and writing. Make those work for you!
Here's a small list of blogs turned books (find out their publishers and start there!)
-Julie and Julia
-Stuff White People Like
-Secret Diary of a Call Girl
Those are just a few! I know there's a ton more out there. I would die of happiness if I saw your blog turn book and would buy one for each family member just to support you!
Cheers and good look!
I'm not usually one to comment on blogs, I'm more the quiet type to read your stuff, laugh my butt off at the fact that someone else in the world has dogs that as nutty as mine is and as a photographer myself, I'm always amazed by the awesome images you capture. As a photographer I'm also struggling with the economy that sucks goats. So I found this little site called fotomoto.com that is free to sign up for and lets you add clickable "buy this" links to all the photos you post on your blog. I've yet to sell a photo of my own using it, but it's a pretty cool thing to be able to list your work for sale for free; and yours is certainly worth buying. I love your blog, it makes me laugh every day and I'm glad you're gonna try to stick around for all of our amusement. Now making my way over to your paypal button to make my meager donation :-)
Thank doG! It was just too awful to contemplate losing touch with 3WAAW.
Love the idea of buying prints…and when you get set up, my very first please-can-I-get-one-of-those will be for "For his heroic efforts, the Sofa received a Poodle blessing" from May 31, 2009. Love that one, go back to it all the time!!
Your photography and your stories are brilliant. This gift/ability of yours just has to be the way for you to make a good living.
WE WILL PAY YOU TO TAKE PICS OF THE DOGS!!
(And we have lots of them – and you have a TON of fans down here!)
If you can get down here (Santa Barbara) you and all your heathens can stay here. Plus I have agility equipment and pool….(said in cajoling tone of voice)
ohhh…some of your pics with your funny sayings on CafePress….you can put them on shirts, mugs, mouse pads, whatever…
ohhh…some of your pics with your funny sayings on CafePress….you can put them on shirts, mugs, mouse pads, whatever…
And you can come visit.
You might consider CafePress. The profits aren't much but there are no up-front costs so it's a win-win situation as far as I can tell. Hope things look up soon.
Several bloggers have turned their work into books ala "Cake Wrecks". Your humor is great and your photos fantastic, I don't see why your blog wouldn't transfer to the printed page well, however book tours with all the canines might be problematic.
How about selling prints? I would buy prints. You have some awesome photos of your dogs.