The First-Ever PaperGirl Pledge Drive

posted in: Confessions, Pendennis 28
Just think: If this were Philip and I get donations, I could buy him a fancy house! Image: Wikipedia.


I’ve thought a lot about this.

I had a whole thing I was going to write. I was going to list all the reasons why a donation to PaperGirl would be helpful — I have loans to pay, I work at a startup, I’m setting up for my doggie to come some day, my health insurance nightmare, etc., etc. Then I was going to link to popular posts or posts I thought were sort of worthy of a second look, like, “See? It’s a good blog!”

I was going to relay a conversation I had with a friend where she assured me it would be okay to ask for donations and I said, “But what if they hate me!” and she said, “They won’t hate you,” and I said, “But!” and she said, “Mary? You should’ve done it a long time ago.”

You can see it all got complicated — and long — and no matter what I did, it sounded like I was nervous about asking for a donation. Which I am. Asking for things is hard. It’s maybe the hardest thing for me.

If you like this blog, I’d be grateful if you would donate a few dollars to it.* A few people did that the other day and when they did, I realized how much it helped. (I’ll be writing thank-you notes this week.)

There are just three quick things:

  1. I could make money selling ads on this blog. I get offers all the time. But I will never run ads. Ever. I hate them. I hate them for me, I hate them for you, I hate them because they are ugly. I won’t let “them” use our relationship to sell dumb things and steal our attention away. Not here. This blog really is free. Always has been. You’ll never see an ad. I will end the blog before you see an ad next to that monkey.
  2. I work hard on PaperGirl — and I’m not going anywhere.
  3. If you don’t want to donate money, I have a book wish list on Amazon. That would be really fun! Getting all the books I want. A book won’t pay the electric bill, but if I can’t read good books, who needs electricity?? Some of them are cheap, some aren’t — but it’s a wish list, not a shopping cart. I mean, that Gee’s Bend book? Sheesh.

Thank you, and I’ll keep writing even if you don’t give a cent.


*The donate button is PayPal. But if you want to use the mailbox, that address is here

28 Responses

  1. Sue
    | Reply

    I happily donated!!! What I could afford for now. I look forward to your blog everyday
    Youre like a daughter we are all so proud of!!! Hugs.

  2. Sonja Huffman
    | Reply

    Finances are horrible I’ve been wondering how to make some also! But to no avail! Take care of yourself miss you on Fons and Porter

  3. Jennifer Digiovanni
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your insights, experiences, and adventures. Thank you even more for being one of my best friend’s mentors-an inspiration to her who opened my eyes to another side of quilting and now an inquiring mind towards the history of quilting.

  4. Deb
    | Reply

    I borrowed the Gee’s Bend book from my county library. Free!

  5. Anita Brayton
    | Reply

    I really appreciate the “no ads” policy. Happy to donate to someone I believe is making my world more fun and interesting. ’bout time is right.

  6. liz
    | Reply

    I give gladly, your blog is like a magazine subscription only better : )

  7. Gina
    | Reply

    Mary, my unsolicited opinions on ads (hope the advertisers don’t read this.) On other pages I don’t even notice the ads……they might as well be background wallpaper. AND if you had ads related to quilting, they might divert my attention, but in a good way. So please do not totally discard the idea of ads……I don’t know how the system works, but if they could pull in more than donations, go for it!!

  8. Kim Ingber
    | Reply

    Done! Best of luck! We met at the Steve’s Sewing fundraising weekend and you inspired me in so many ways, artistically through your vast expertise, but also emotionally through your personal experiences. Thank you!

  9. Gayle Broome
    | Reply

    I love reading your blog and most likely will donate a ‘ little something’ to help you out. But, you are a business lady, and at one time I was a business lady. You can’t buy something, or go somewhere, if you do not know it exists!!! That’s what’s wonderful about advertising. It helped me as a small business owner, and it helps me now, as I look to find information, ideas, and value. Of course, you can be as discriminating as you want and get only one ad that could help you and your audience. I feel you are possibly ‘ cutting off your nose to spite your face’… I’m not sure that’s the right analogy, but that’s what popped into my head. Be more open minded about ads and think not just of how annoying they can be, but how helpful. You would not be less of a person, writer, or business woman if you took on an ad or two and used your great mind and taste in selecting them. If I’m traveling the roads of this country, or on the World Wide Web, I can say ads have helped me and taken me to great places and educated me as well. I appreciate ads but know they can be too numerous and annoying. But, you aren’t selling out or anything to take on an ad or two, in my opinion. What if Fons and Porter never advertised? They would still be only know in your town possibly.

    • Diana L Kiley
      | Reply

      well said

    • Brenda Rhinehart
      | Reply

      Excellent comments !!

    • Cindy
      | Reply

      Gayle says it very well!!!!

    • Jen
      | Reply

      I read all of Gayle’s reply (sorry -didnt before) and you’re totally right Gayle – who knows if it’s good for paper girl but in moderation an ad can be super helpful! It’s a nice relief to have a few places left without ads too though but youre also right in that Mary would make great choices 🙂 Maybe paper girl can be ad free but we put Mary in charge of everywhere else we see ads – that would be awesome! 😉

  10. Cindy
    | Reply

    Yes Mary, asking for things is HARD. I can’t do it either. Hopefully it’s a tad easier when you are among friends. You feel like a BFF to me, and I am sure others feel exactly the same. I so enjoy PG and all your other endeavors – I do not know how you get it all done. Congrats on school! You are amazing!!!!! You give so much to us so I am glad to give a little back. Life is good. Hugs!!!

  11. Jen
    | Reply

    No ads – please stick with your opinion on this (they are ugly and that is a real thing). I will donate gladly but/and I think it would be great to have the option of a subscription (vs a one time thing- I havent looked at the PayPal link maybe that already is an option?). Like the public radio membership – it’s volunteer but very important and makes you feel like you’re supporting something that matters (you work/vision/writing). Thoughts? & Congratulations on grad school – so much work and wow! you did it!

  12. Jen
    | Reply

    ps – What about a “good stuff” tab on your site that was a list of books and things you like that was linked to amazon and then you made a bit if we bought things you like through you? Not ads but a little passive income? Or not. 🙂

  13. Ann Kelly
    | Reply

    Donated – not nearly enough for the pleasure and enjoyment I get from reading your blog, but hopefully lots of other people pitch in, too, and help you defray some of your expenses.

  14. Brenda Rhinehart
    | Reply

    I too think that you should reconsider your “no-ad” policy. As long as you are in control, and being selective, I think it could be very helpful to your readers. You are passing up a revenue opportunity for yourself — and denying your readers the opportunity to find out about a product or service that they would otherwise not be aware of. You can decide which ads are appropriate — and we can decide whether we want to “click” on them. Please re-read Gayle Broome’s comments — they are much more eloquent than mine.

  15. Jess Irwin
    | Reply

    I can’t afford much right now but I strongly feel that the *least* I can do is buy you a cup of coffee. You taught me how to quilt on Quilty, and none of us ever had to pay a cent for that. You’re great. 🙂

  16. Robin Gabriel
    | Reply

    Happily left a puppy donation, on the condition, that we get to see pictures of that cute little face!

  17. Bonnie Bennett
    | Reply

    Mary, I’m sending you my copy of “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend,” ISBN:0-9653766-4-8, 2002 by Tinwood Books. I’m not sure if it is the one you want, but I am so thrilled to give it to you. We met at Flying Geese Quilters Guild in Irvine, CA. Congratulations on your graduation! I am loving your articles in Quiltfolk. You are a talented writer!

  18. Linda Duff
    | Reply

    Ads? A decision for sure, but as others have said, Gayle had some great thoughts. I pitched a few bucks in the pot, because as someone else said, your blog is like reading a magazine, but much more PERSONAL than a magazine. So I’ll consider this my magazine subscription.
    Darker print: FABULOUS!!!
    Post us some graduation pix!! WAY! TO! GO!
    Hope to see you when you’re back in W’set some time. . . . 🙂
    Linda D

  19. Sam Faeth
    | Reply

    You have my support and encouragement. I am also a writer with a serious chronic illness. I am proud of your gumption and your accomplishment. You cheer and inspire me. Keep up the good work!

  20. Kim Landry
    | Reply

    Done! Just a smidge of a donation but you can buy enough to buy al nod free snacks for writing! Thanks for the great blog!

  21. Frances
    | Reply

    Hi, Mary–I think giving people an opportunity to donate is a great idea. I FB messaged you about some books that aren’t on your list (Ohio and Kansas quilt doc project books–if you don’t already have them, I’d be glad to send them). I also have a xeroxed copy of Quilts: The Great American Art that you’re welcome to. Congrats on completing your thesis!

  22. Frances
    | Reply

    P.S. Just realized I have two copies of the NC Quilts book that’s on your Amazon list–happy to send you one, just shoot me an email with your address.

  23. LynAnne
    | Reply

    Check out Amanda Palmer book The Art of Asking, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.
    She also did a TED talk about how she learned to ask her fans to help her create her art and music and still be able to afford to live and such. It used to be that writer’s and artists would look for patrons so they wouldn’t starve while making art. Asking fans of your blog and writing for support is simply another way to get payment for writing that adds value to your reader’s lives. When I get paid, I will be all over the donate button for this blog. Love, LynAnne

  24. Veronica
    | Reply

    Hi Mary ,
    All done , & am grateful for the chance to give something back. I appreciate so much what you do , & the connection you make – & the wonderful goodwill & grace that you do it with. I love all things Quilty , and would love some day to learn to write , a little – I learn so much from what & how you write , & how much you share. Thank you for all you share with us , and the many kinds of work that you do . Our worlds are better places because you are in them. Take care of yourself ,
    xx Veronica ( Irl)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *