I believe this

“I believe it’s never too early – or too late – to start asking the questions: “What is it that really absorbs me?” and “What am I uniquely suited to being able to contribute to both my life and the lives of others?” – and then to have the courage, patience, and persistence to act on the answers as if your life depends on it. Because, in a very real sense it does.”
– author Andy Griffiths in I Believe This (edited by John Marsden, Random House 2004)

I found that quote in a magazine recently (Life Etc) and it speaks to me. It’s what I have spent so much time sorting out over the last ten years.

I thought of it again today when I was reading dooce. I want to send a big Woo! to Heather and Jon and their new design. If their website has a few ads in the sidebar and this can keep a whole family fed, housed and happy then I am all for it.

“Right now my website is supporting my family. It is feeding us, paying our mortgage and our insurance premiums. I happen to think that this is pretty cool, and I can’t help but believe that this is a good thing for personal websites in general, for people who want to make a living by publishing themselves. This means that you don’t have to be a gadget-freak or political junkie to turn your online writing into a livelihood. Maybe your website about Monarch Butterfly migration patterns will one day pay for your kid’s college education. COULD HAPPEN.” – dooce.com

I wish them the best of luck and I agree that this means good things for the rest of us and our blogs in the future.

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23 Responses

  1. Claire, I’m in full agreement with you regarding dooce and bloggers in general fincing work they love through blog ads. I think it’s a great opportunity for artists, writers and cottage industry entrepeneurs in general. I’ve paid for my site hosting and at least one of my utility bills each month over the past year or more with a few google ads. I’ve visited several blogs in the past few days that criticize people putting ads on personal blogs, so I’m very happy to see your opinion is a positive one.

  2. Thanks for the link to dooce…love it.

  3. hyjuki87@yahoo.com.au says:

    can you direct me to somewhere/someone who can help you figure out what it is that we are best suited to? or do we have to work it out for ourselves?

  4. Hi Chris. I think really it’s something you need to work out on your own, but personally I found “The Artist’s Way”by Julia Cameron to be the biggest help. Can be found:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1585421464/loobylu/

  5. Ahhh-thanks for this. It was great!

  6. Claire- so timely. I had a moment of epiphany a couple of weeks ago about what exactly I wanted to do with my life and suddenly things make sense. I want to specialise in disaster/emergency relief communications and media work, which I’ve been privileged to try my hand at this year after the tsunami – check out http://www.stephdoust.blogspot.com – if you want to see what I mean…and it’s me- uniquely me! Now that it’s so clear to me, I feel the need to share!

  7. i thought it was so great heather could support her family too!rock on bloggers!

  8. love that qouteand the artists way book

    another goodie is What colour is your Parachute

    I just saw that Life mag in a newsagent – think I might go back and buy a copy

  9. Hm. I just had a post on Monarch Butterfly Migration a few weeks ago. Somehow I don’t think it’ll be paying the mortgage. I’ll keep searching for my special purpose. 🙂

  10. I also think it’s great that Heather’s website is her family’s source of income. She’s gone from being fired for her website to being payed for running it. It is encouraging.
    I’ve completed the Artists Way once and want to do it again soon.
    Claire, do you still write morning pages?

  11. I really didn’t think the redesign was so bad…I think we (the readers) just got spoiled. I’ve seen a lot worse, and I’ve seen sites with NO ads that aren’t nearly as enjoyable as her site. Personally I am very happy for her that she’s able to really make a go of it financially…it’s hard to pull off what she’s doing.

  12. clairegee@optusnet.com.au says:

    I have the first version of this book, “This I believe” somewhere. If the second one is half as good as the first, then I can highly recommend it, as well as anything John Marsden has actually written. The man himself is an inspiration.

  13. I am reading “Letters to a Young Artist” now and each letter really motivates me to start creating. (just wanted to share too.)

  14. As a total non-artist (and by that I mean ‘lawyer’ which could mean the EXACT OPPOSITE of artist) I too am grappling with this ‘what really makes me happy’ thing. I won’t burden your lovely blog with my pathetically half formed thoughts but I may have to have a very public rumination on this topic soon.
    I bought Life etc and my first thought was “AARGH, this is an over forties magazine!” then I thought “I really love this magazine, it’s really interesting” then I thought “AARGH, I’m almost forty!”. Soy had to scrape me sobbing from the floor at that stage in a very “When Harry Met Sally” way.

  15. I truely enjoyed your post. It was something I was really needing to hear. I have been wanted to start my own website for some time. I have a registered name, just need to put it together, part of it is because I want to share my art and make things I like and enjoy and the other part is because I want to stay home with my kids and still be able to pay the bills. My husband has a good job but right now the company is going through a hard time and it is really affecting us. I know you don’t know me, but your words kind of gave me the encouragement to go on, I’m not alone or have a stupid idea. Thanks and Have a great day.

  16. i totally agree!:)
    its a great way to get by

  17. leafgirl72@yahoo.com says:

    I personally will no longer read Dooce because of the ads. There is so much advertising that the writing has suffered terribly. I think its important to really consider advertising before you jump into it.

  18. Haha, Keri Smith has 70 comments because she wrote about this topic, everybody overthere is completely appalled by Dooce’s ads. I don’t find it such a horrible thing. As I said in Keri’s comments, I have an illustration in the newspaper today. A newspaper wouldn’t survive without ads. Through the paper I am paid with ad money. Why should one be condemned for eliminating that middle man and take the ad money directly?

  19. “There is so much advertising that the writing has suffered terribly.”

    The writing is still the same. The talent is still the same. How can some adds on the sidebar take away from that??? It’s definitely my favorite blog, no doubt about it! I don’t care what she puts on there…I would still read her daily. I only wish I could afford to pay her for her services…putting herself out there, admits that she cusses in front of her kid, admits that she is pushed to the brink of permanent insanity, and helps me to not feel like the only psychologically challenged parent in the universe. If you can’t handle the ads…SUCK IT!

    Sorry Claire! Didn’t mean to go off about Heather on your blog! I do read yours regularly also, and love to see what you create! I only wish I had your talent!


  20. I don’t read her site, but when I saw it, I did wish that the site redesign had looked better. While I always click on ads on the blogs I visit often (trying to support everyone’s efforts), it can become ugly and distracting when the page is cluttered with them.
    I am impressed that she can support her family with the ads. And she is creating such a stir by doing so many that I bet she is really cashing in! 🙂 You aren’t the only site talking about it.

    Off to click on some ads now for your site.

  21. I don’t think its a good thing at all. Its just another way advertising is seaping through the cracks. I personally don’t read blogs to be advertised to, and I think dooce’s writing and appeal has really suffered as a result.

  22. I personally dont even look at the ads. Some of my friends have ads on their blogs and I’ll click them once in a while because i know it helps them out, but generally if its in the side bar i dont even see it. i still read dooca and you every day (or at least every time i’m at a computer) and have done for years so a little bit of extra information on the page isnt going to turn me away.
    btw. i grabbed a copy of big issue the other week after you mentioned it, i’ve only just got back to australia and i’d forgotten what a good read it can be. i still miss the newyorker though.

  23. Wow, I wonder how many other blogs are discussing Dooce’s redesign? Lol isn’t it amazing so many people know a person through their blog.
    Personally I don’t give a rats bum (using a nicer word than the one beginning with a) about the redesign, like many of you have expressed, I
    think it’s great that she can support her family through her blog and no way effects the quality of the writing.

    Anyway, isnt a blog someone own personal space…? It’s not as if there are loads of annoying pop ups getting in the way of what your reading.