The continued existence of this blog is in question.
As I’ve gone through the science coursework, volunteering, MCAT study, and such to apply to medical school, a surprising number of people have commented to me along the lines of “it’s too bad. We need your voice. How much can you write or teach in medical school, or as a doctor?” And the answer is, not much to none at all, at least for the next eight years. I have generally agreed; I want to write, you want to read, right? But, five years in graduate school, even working myself with a working spouse and parental support, have simply not
paid off professional or financially. That time I spent in grad school, the experiences teaching, writing, synthesis, insight, personal study… whether in Gospel Doctrine classes, firesides, Institute classes over 10 years, writing, or blogging, the cost to access my accumulated knowledge has been zero, with rare exceptions.
Generally speaking there’s a cultural expectation that knowledge should be free, and LDS in particular have a long tradition of distrusting people who get paid to teach religion or scripture, especially if they make some claim to specialized knowledge that merits payment. Well, guilty. I would have liked to make a living off all the work I’ve put in acquiring specialized knowledge and disseminating it, but it seems I can’t.
As with teaching and writing, my primary incentive for blogging has always been pastoral, with a concern for the community and a desire to share what meager talent I have. Given the heaviness of the last year, finishing my science coursework and prepping for the MCAT, I wouldn’t have taken this blogging offer at Patheos if not for its financial potential. Perhaps, given another year or two, increasing word of mouth, and good regular content, I might hit the mark where it makes more than pocket money. (FYI, I have about 8000 hits monthly, but need to be in the 50,000-100,000+ range. Still, I’m pretty impressed by that 8000, since only 4-5 posts go up monthly.)
But things change, and not always for the better. I’m a slow writer who revises often, and I care about what I write, which means, I estimate, that my writing here has been worth about 4$/hour and likely to go down. Living in New York and applying to medical school, I can’t justify that.
The bottom line is, I would love to continue sharing what I have to share here, but I can’t afford the time it costs me. (I hear Ira Glass and NPR Drive Week as I write this…) If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, if you value my voice here, the posts, podcasts, handouts, if you want it to stay “on the air,” please contribute, if you can. I know times are hard all over. Perhaps some of you have tried before; I just noticed that the code in the Paypal button was messed up in WordPress and fixed it. It’s been at the bottom of the About page since I started, but today it’s here too.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far here, but should I abandon the blog to focus my writing time on the book? Your comments and contributions will largely determine the answer to that question.