Yesterday I bought a 1-year membership to JibJab.
This is significant. Years ago, as you may recall, JibJab was free. You could pick out a funny little dance, stick in the faces of your friends or family, and make everyone laugh. I loved it.
Then they added a paid membership feature, but there were still a few free choices. Slim pickings, but still free.
Finally, they went to membership-only. And I got annoyed. My inner, entitled brat screamed, "The nerve! They've taken away my free fun!"
I turned my back. I'd find my fun other places.
Then, yesterday, I saw the cutest St. Patrick's Day step-dancing JibJab, and I was annoyed all over again. As in, I-would-so-do-this-if-only-it-were-free.
Suddenly, though, something inside me clicked into focus. It occurred to me, as it should have earlier, that these were creative videos made by creative people. Hours (and hours....and hours) of work go into each 45-second gem.
Sort of like the hours (and weeks and months) that go into writing a novel.
There I was, creative being that I am, scoffing at the idea of paying other creative beings for their work.
I was ashamed.
So I bought the yearly membership (a measly $18 -- what's there to complain about?) and made my first video. And it felt good.
How easy it is to forget, in this age of download-fun-things-for-free, that every person investing time in creative pursuits, whether literary or musical or theatrical or whatnot, deserves to be paid if they're putting their stuff out there for others to read/listen to/watch/enjoy.
(Note: If the content sucks, they don't deserve to be paid. But that's a different story.)
Basically, if I expect people to pay for my novel, then I should be willing to pay for someone's fill-in-the-faces video. It's creative content. It represents time and talent and energy. Why should I expect to use/enjoy it without paying?
And there you have it--my not-so-subtle reminder to HONOR THE CREATIVE OFFERINGS OF OTHERS. It's easy enough to do it with books, because that's what we're all about. We scream with rage when we hear stories about illegally downloaded novels. We froth and groan when we hear tales of plagiarism. But we've got to remember to honor the other creative folks in our universe as well.
And, hey. I'm not calling JibJab a higher art form. It's not. But it IS creative and well done and fun, and I'm happy to have paid my $18.
Also, my family is going to hate me. I think they already might.
Happy weekend, everyone! Go support someone creative. :)