Yesterday I sent out an important update via the business site, asking people to please support indie creators within that publishing niche. It’s a side hustle or a hobby for a lot of those folks, sure. But when their day jobs have been shut down, or they need to self-quarantine, and they have no idea how they’re going to pay their bills, the ability to sell creative work is a lifeline.
I understand this. As a foreigner living in Finland, it’s hard to find a “normal” job unless you’re fluent in the language, have a degree from a Finnish university, or possess some rarefied skill that can’t be performed by a Finn. I had to invent my own job, and find a way to make this work so I can pay the bills. If I couldn’t do this, I’d be doomed. It’s scary a lot of the time, but I’m grateful that it’s worked out so far.
Today I want to expand upon the idea, and urge you to please support indie creators and performers who are being impacted by this pandemic. Not just writers and artists who have been cut off from their day jobs. Full-time musicians, actors, comedians, and professional wrestlers have lost work due to restrictions against large public gatherings.
I have friends in bands that have had all of their gigs cancelled for the next month. Actor friends are panicking; they counted on that two-week run of a play to make rent and now the theaters are shut down. A comic acquaintance was supposed to perform at a club out of town, but they’ve cancelled anyone that has to fly to get there. Indie wrestler friends have seen their bookings vanish; they don’t make a lot to begin with wrestling in bars and bingo halls.
Please Support Indie Creators and Performers
All of these people are desperately hoping that they can get by on merchandise sales. If you’ve got a favorite indie creator or performer, I implore you to please help them out if you can. Buy a t-shirt or a CD. Pick up a pin, a key chain, or a pop socket. Order a poster or a signed 8×10 photo. Join their Patreon if they have one.
Don’t forget the rest of us, either. I know a lot of full-time creators who don’t want to support this message. They’re afraid it will negatively affect their own sales. Honestly, I worry about that too a little bit. That doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing to do. It’s not entirely a zero-sum game.
Maybe buy one less 24-pack of toilet paper, one of my books, and a wrestling t-shirt. Only buy one giant bottle of hand sanitizer instead of three. Then download some of my PDFs, and buy an album from a struggling band that just has its tour cancelled. You’re not going out to eat, or to the movies, or visiting theme parks. Use that money to help the people that entertain you. If you’ve never been in this situation, you don’t realize how much every little bit helps.