Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Art of Asking


Blogger cheri said...

I saw this Ted Talk and it was quite inspiring. I also notice that you removed a post the other day. I am sorry that you felt the need to do that. If people were offended then I hope that they see this post and re evaluate their opinions. I dont post often but I always read your blog.

March 16, 2013 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Dee Anne said...

Thank you for asking, Jenna. That was beautiful.

March 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Dee Anne said...

Thank you for asking, Jenna. That was beautiful.

March 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

Wonderful video and many good points for everyone on our dulture.

March 16, 2013 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

That was beautiful, eloquent, and the most thought-provoking thing that this person (who abhors asking for anything) has heard in a long time. Thank you.

March 16, 2013 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm glad to see your contribute post back up. I hate when the complainers affect what's on YOUR blog. This isn't a public service, it's an extension of your business.

March 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger sheila said...

beautiful, thank you for sharing this

March 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Thank you for reminding me how to receive. Giving comes so easy, makes sense, to receive is to admit you need/want something more. But by refusing to ask, refusing to accept we take away opportunity for others to give, while depriving ourselves of what we need/want. Took me YEARS to learn how to allow people to complement me, even longer to accept anything from them. Now I am as gracious receiver, as giver; almost.
You are an inspiration to us, thank you for being true to yourself.

March 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Amanda F-ing Palmer is great! And I think she's especially right that, if done correctly and in a way that isn't trying to take advantage from people, everybody wins. That's how I read your asks, too.

March 16, 2013 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I love this. I'm a big believer in asking. I hate that people treat it like something dirty.

March 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

On another note, I'm waiting for a goats of CAF t-shirt in the farm store. :)

March 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

When I go, say, on an Etsy site I don't look at the crafted items and think, "Are you kidding me? They are charging for their work!" Your blog is free and while asking for support, is a new paradigm, it is appropriate and needed. I believe your readers want you to write. We want to live the homestead life for awhile each day as we read your daily struggles and joy (even if some of us never really want to live that life!) Carry on Miss Jenna. From a reader and supporter in the Big City who does not want to live on a farm but loves to read about your farm.

Oh, and BTW, while I will never ever be able to afford to go to a TED conference, their posted videos are fabulous, yes?

March 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger polly said...

bravo, jenna. thanks for sharing this.

March 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger polly said...

bravo, jenna. thanks for sharing this.

March 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I went to high school with Amanda and have watched her career with such interest. She's one of a kind.

March 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Thank you SO much for posting this Jenna! As Joanna says in her comment, I think a lot of us have a hard time not only asking, but receiving. There are likely many, many more of us that support your "asking" than who feel the opposite. So ask away!

March 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

While I have trouble with asking for help, I have never viewed your requests as crass or a pain. People have a choice to support CAF or not as they wish, as you have made graciously clear. Most of your blog community do not know what challenges/bills you are trying to meet, so when you post a 'fund drive' then we become aware of a need. We can choose to help financially or not. To me it is as simple as that. Either I am able/willing or I am unwilling/unable. Either way, it is a choice each person makes for themselves.

March 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Gosh...I just think it's wrong to ask for donations to support the way you've chosen to live. Maybe you should get a part-time job.

March 16, 2013 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Neil Gillespie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Thank you. I'd heard about her talk on TED but I hadn't gotten around to looking it up. Love it, and also how much it applies to CAF. Let people help, if they can, if they want to. If not, just wave that flower at them.

Aside from that, I met Amanda Palmer about 9 years ago when she was in the Dresden Dolls. A photographer friend borrowed my attic for a photo shoot with the band. It was at least 100 up there, and Amanda's makeup was running off in streaks, but she was great. Everyone else wilted.

March 16, 2013 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I feel a bit vulnerable putting this out here-but here goes.

I have been reading you for a little less than a year- yours is one of about a dozen blogs I read with some regularity. I have only commented here two or three times in all, but I would like to feel part of the community of people cheering you on and sharing your adventure.
I own two of your books for which I chose to pay the full price at my local bookstore rather than buy them through Amazon at greatly reduced prices.
I like to do what I can, (admittedly on a very small scale), to help support independent people and businesses.

I clicked on the contribute button a while back and gave a $25 donation to CAF along with a little note of encouragement from my heart. It wasn't a lot, but it was significant to me in terms of what else I could have done with it instead.
You could look at it as a toll for using the lane, akin to my public radio pledge, or a token of my appreciation for what you do and how you are doing it.
However you wanted to view it, I hoped it would help you buy a few bales of hay or a board for the horse shelter- something that when combined with maybe 5 or ten other donations might have made difference in your monthly ledger.

And then I have to admit I waited for some small bit of thank you which did not come.

I wrestled with myself - was I being petty or incapable of giving a gift for the sake of being selfless? or maybe it was narcissistic to expect my small contribution to be recognized in some very small form- like a receipt from PayPal that simply said "thank you"? I always decline the gift from my public radio station to help save them costs, but it was nice when they thanked me!
Honestly, the thing I finally settled on was that my contribution must have been too small to merit any thanks and maybe not really a significant contribution.

I know that I may get some replies from fellow readers that tell me that I am in fact a terrible person or that I should not have donated unless I was prepared to give selflessly. I understand.

I do not intend this to be advice or a scold.
But I wanted to maybe give you a little insight into what this contributor felt on the flip side of the ask.

I would still like to give, Jenna, and will again soon I hope, because I really admire what you are doing.

Diane from VA.

March 16, 2013 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger bookkm said...

So that was awesome. Jenna, your blog is a free source of "entertainment" and education. I'm glad there's a donation button on it. You are working for our help. Just saying.

March 16, 2013 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Maria, no need to feel vulnerable. I do thank you, I just can not keep up with my electronic communications. I get between 200-500 emails a day, outside of notes on paypal or such. These aren't all emails about CAF, some are freelance, or family, or what have you but the volume makes it near impossible to keep up with so many deserved and appreciated messages.

This is why I often say thanks to the readership as a whole. Which I try to do as often. Everyone is appreciated and your gift was in no way small. I thank you, Maria. You and all who do anything to share your support.

March 16, 2013 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Ginger, I do not depend on blog donations to run this farm. They are not how I make a living.

March 16, 2013 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thanks to all the kind posts on here! I need to start replying to all of you more, not just those bringing up questions or controversy.

So thank you Cheri, and Dee and EB, and BEth

thank you Alison and Shelia and Tara, Joanna, and Stacie and Stacey/ thank you polly and holly, jeno and karen and neil.

and thanks to anyone and everyone else reading!

March 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Can't say enough!! WTF she is awesome!!! Loved her song too "The Bed Song". Jenna, the value I get from CAF is immeasurable. I'll always give when I can, sign up for workshops, refer friends to become readers. Thank you thank you thank you for the ask video, I showed it to my kids.

March 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Thank you so much, Jenna. I truly appreciate your response.

March 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

That was an awesome TED talk and immediately after I realized I need to donate. I agree with others this is your blog and your life and if you want to ask for things from others, you should. You offer a great, inspiring service. If they take offense, then let them go. They aren't worth worrying about. I typically pay for my recreational enjoyment be it a movie or a book or music. So from time to time, shouldn't I pay for the enjoyment I get from you as well. You are doing a great job of living a true life. Keep it up! Ask away.

March 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Jenna, I'm totally broke right now and it makes me sad that I can't contribute to you being able to continue to inspire me. A few years back when you were looking to buy the farm I was able to send something your way and it made me happy because I was excited to see what you could do given the right environment. You live life full force, and I think that scares the hell out of certain people. I think some people feel like they don't want to take a chance unless it is guaranteed to be a success. I've seen you, time and again, risk all for your happiness. It didn't always pay off, but you handled your mistakes with grace instead of trying to perpetuate them for the sake of saving face. I admire you so much for the fact that you put what you want out of life first. I think that is so different from the way we've all been told to live our lives (work hard and save, and then if you have time before you kick it maybe you can be happy) that people start to question whether they are doing it wrong and perhaps get angry at you for pointing it out to them simply by a life lived differently. Please don't give up asking us to be a part of your journey. We always will, when we can.

March 16, 2013 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Jenna, I have never had a problem with you asking people to show their appreciation of your work with a donation to help you continue or bringing in sponsors. We don't expect our dentists, stock brokers, lawyers or taxi drivers to give us their efforts for free, why expect it of writers, musicians or artists whose work we enjoy? I think we've been spoiled by all the great free content on the web and when someone suggests paying for any of it we think they are being selfish and just asking us to support their labor of love. In reality, it is supporting their careers so they can continue creating work for the rest of us to enjoy. Rock on.

March 16, 2013 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger JD Lynn said...

I see what you did there. *grins*

Proud of you.

March 16, 2013 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Fernleaf said...

Jenna, I just saw that TED talk recently and was blown away at the truth of her words. It is SO hard to ask, and also so hard to receive. I love to give when and where I can, and I don't slight you at all for the asking. Some people have the gift of seeing where help is needed and are able to gracefully offer it without being prompted, but I think that the vast majority of us become so wrapped up in our own day-to-day that we NEED the prompt. I don't see any shame in that at all, you keep up an amazing page here, with such frequent, heart-felt posts and beautiful photography. All of that takes up your valuable time as anyone who has taken a stab at blogging should know. It doesn't write itself! I love to contribute when and where I can, whether that's through the donate button or through a session of sponsor-clicking. I only wish that I was able to contribute directly more often, or even better attend a workshop (alas nearly 3000 miles separate our farmsteads.)

Keep up the good work Jenna!

March 17, 2013 at 3:34 AM  
Blogger Nicrophorus said...

Good for you Jenna!
I felt bad that you took down the contribution page because you felt like you offended peopl. You take time out of every day to write and take pictures for others to enjoy. You should ask if you want to. You are not holding a gun to anyones head to read this, nor are you forcing people to pay.
Good for you!

March 17, 2013 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Thank you so much for sharing, I really love this and needed to hear that it is ok to ask for help. I made my humble contribution a couple of days ago, as another blogger commented the last time you 'asked' for help, it is like paying for a magazine subscription or new book. Your blog has been an endless source of information and inspiration. We have chosen a challenging career, and may need alittle help along the way.

March 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger E said...

Many good comments here. A $25 donation must be at least an hours wages. Consider that when you say you don't have time to answer.

I've donated before and will again.

PS how do manage donations tax-wise? Are they taxable income?

March 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I may be terribly old fashioned but I tend to agree with Ginger. Don't get me wrong. I am more than willing to help someone who is down on their luck, is doing all they possibly can to make it but needs help. I can't seem to wrap my head around the concept of leaving a perfectly good job with benefits to pursue a chosen lifestyle and then ask for financial assistance to make it work.

March 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

All donations are taxed as income, all paypal is.

March 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

and thank you, E. As I said, I try very hard to thank as many people as possible.

March 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...


Then do not donate. Easy solution.

March 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I think people who are bothered by this idea of contributing, see donations to this blog as allowing an adult to play at home instead of working a "real" job.

Folks, this is my job.

March 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I think folks that disagree with me accepting donations see them as accepting charity to for a lifestyle choice. They see it as an adult who is able to work a job she doesn't like for a paycheck and choosing to take money to play at home. That's what the bulk of negative comments and emails have seemed like, anyway. The idea of blog donations as payment for my work seems ridiculous because I am clearly loving this life. I ask you this? Does the idea of being paid to do something one loves at home seems too good to be true?

I disagree with that with all my heart.

I think everyone should do or work towards finding something they love in this world and then find a way to make a living doing it. It's one of the few things worth living for outside of love and family and faith. I think that's a useful form of bliss.

We all have different morals. Me, for instance: I have no problem accepting a twenty dollar donation and using it to buy feed for pigs I write about online. That's a trade, in my eyes. But I won't spend a night with a man I am not in love with, and I won't kiss a man I can't see myself committing myself to. It is prudish and personal, terribly old fashioned, but that's my moral code. You don't see me with a partner because I'm not in love. That simple. I do not date for sport. I am against it.

That doesn't mean I feel the need to tell a friend just home from a one-night stand they are a bad person or should re-think their life and choices. It's their life, their choice. If they are harming no one, and the act is consensual - let them eat cake.

Point is, It seems like lot of people see donating 20 bucks to a person who could work at a job she hates instead more offensive or immoral than taking home a stranger you've shared 4 drinks with. It's just different morals. We are all entitled to our own code.

So, it sure helps if the folks reading put something in the pot in exchange for the enjoyment they get out of it. If they can't or don't want to, that's fine. I'll still be here. I'll still write. I won't lecture you on one night stands, so please don't fuss with me about accepting contributions. In both cases, it's consensual.

March 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

I understand that this is your "real" job but it is my understanding that you left a job with a steady income to live out a dream of being self-sufficient on your farm. That was your decision and I assume you knew the risk you were taking. Maybe farm part-time and work full-time and you won't need donations.

March 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger KiwiGirl said...

OK, so you left your old job as you weren't keen on it (I think that's clear). How about getting a part-time job that does fit, to help with $$$? As you've pointed out many times (and more frequently of late), your place runs a on a tight budget so working part-time would help ease that a little, surely. Or what about making the blog subscription-based?

March 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I accept contributions because I would rather be paid a small part-time salary by a wiling public readership than leave this place I love, write less, and create less at someone else's business or farm. Every blog post is my part-time job!

I will never make the blog subscription based, as it limits readership to only those who can afford to read it. I have no problem offering the work for free.

So you think making this a pay-to-read site is a better option than accepting contributions from those who want to donate?

Is that because the fact that it is optional makes it feel like charity and not payment for services rendered?

March 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

this is fascinating

March 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Maybe if this concept is hard for people they should go back and watch the video again. Jenna is not making anyone donate here. She is allowing people the opportunity to help her out. Do you really want to be the one from Amanda's video, driving by in the car, yelling "Get a job!"? Even if you don't feel like putting down money, why do you want to be that guy? Remember, your reaction is more about who YOU are than who Jenna is. Not to mention the fact that Jenna already works the equivalent of multiple full time jobs. She'll always do what needs to be done. We're not reading about a lazy person here. If that's what you think, you're not paying attention.

(On another note--Stacey, were you in LHS class of '94 too? Amanda's always been larger than life.)

March 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

The bottom line to me is that she left a PAYING job for an NON-PAYING job and now is asking for donations to help finance HER CHOICE!! I am a recent widow, and not by choice,living on much less than I was when my husband was about donating to me!

March 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I would be happy, and honored, to donate to you Ginger. I would be happy to ask the entire readership to help you out. Just give me a paypal address, we can help and are happy to. Just ask!

March 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

My blog is a paying job. The payments come from ad sales, workshops, book sales, contributions, and some farm-based income. I love this job, and I love writing about the things I love. In a bit I'll write about things that scare me.

When you pass a farmer with a stand of produce on the side of the road with an honesty box, do you see him as begging for money?

March 17, 2013 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

And I'm sorry for you loss.

March 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

The farmer grows and sells his produce...what are you selling? Hope you don't say your blog. That's an outlet for your writing and perhaps to validate what you are doing. Was being sarcastic with comment about donating to me. Would NEVER EVER beg for money. I am a senior citizen with all the accompanying aches and pains but would find a job doing something to supplement my income before I took one cent from anyone.

March 17, 2013 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Jenna is a full time farmer and a full time writer. There is no time for pt employment , But even if there were time, the point being made is that Jenna wants this life. This farming life is at the base of who she is. She works harder than the majority of people I know. She willingly shares her knowledge, and experiences with us all. This blog is inspiring to many. It is a choice to support financially her efforts. I view it as the same as when I seek out a start up farmer to help by purchasing from them at a farmer's market. Or when I choose to contribute to a charity at a store. By helping Jenna out financially when I can, I feel that I am communicating my satisfaction with the information shared in the blog as well as my support of her farm. I also agree that expressed thanks are important and am glad to see how Jenna quickly responded to that remark.

March 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I am selling words, something I work every day to produce. I see this blog as a big literary produce stand with a big FREE sign over it with an honesty box in the corner. Anyone can take what they want from it at no charge, but if anyone feels like dropping something in the hat, they can. Writing is a product just like a piece of veg.

If you ever reconsider Miss Ginger, the offer stands. I would be very grateful for the opportunity to be generous.

March 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Ginger-I am sorry for your loss. My mom is in similar position to you where each dollar counts and there is less of it than , before she was widowed. It has been nearly 13 years since my Dad passed...and while it does get easier to cope, every day I miss him.
The product Jenna is selling to me is knowledge, inspiration, and hope. As a single mom soon to be "woman-ing" her own farm, I find Jenn's blog invaluable to me. That is why I will choose to contibute financially in addition to having all her books and being a season pass CAF member. I know that Jenna would contribute to my farm, if the need arose. And never having met Jenna in person, I wholeheartedly know she would support anyone with a need.

March 17, 2013 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger time4trees.mb said...

Ginger, writing is a part of Jenna's job, including this blog. It is sort of like a new chapter in a book everyday. I pay for my books and I contribute to this blog occasionally. I read this every day for entertainment and it helps keep alive my dream of a farm someday. Isn't that worth something? Also, successful blogs take considerable amounts of time and some money to operate. If you don't like what you are seeing when you follow along, don't is 100% your choice. Keep up the great work Jenna!

March 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger time4trees.mb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Neil Gillespie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

This is my last post on this subject. I'd be willing to bet that most of the replies were from folks a lot younger than I. I think that our differences of opinion are a generational thing. My generation feels differently about asking for financial help. In my world, a fulltime job supports a hobby because it's very hard to find a hobby that will support you.All of us dream of loving the job we have but few are lucky enough to make that dream a reality. I think it's wrong to leave a paying job to realize your dream and when the going gets tough, you ask for financial help from people you don't even know.
We all have the right to an opinion and I have just expressed mine for the last time. Thanks for listening.

March 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Ginger, not sure how old your are (I'm 52). I think it is very brave of Jenna to ask for help. I think it's harder to ask for help, I know, I'm one of those people, because it puts you in a vulnerable place. A place of people feeling they are justified in telling you to "get a job!" In my eyes, Jenna has a job, in fact, many jobs...writer, farmer, vet, storyteller, photographer, spirit lifter, comedian, and I for one am more than happy to help her along. She was kind enough to invite me and my family to the farm when I asked for information about raising chickens. We did a great barter system and I feel we got the best end of the deal because not only did she answer our questions, but she also became a friend. And through her, we have made many more friends.

Think of how much nicer the world would be if we all felt comfortable to ask for help when it is needed and we all helped when asked (whether for money, advice, company or physical labor). I say, "Rock on Jenna!" Keep on doing what you're doing.

March 17, 2013 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

I'm shocked that a few people here do not consider this blog to be a product just like a magazine article or a book. If these people see a newspaper on the stand do they assume it is free just because it is in the open? Do they pay only because of a price sticker? Why is a daily blog different from a daily newspaper? If Jenna put a price tag on her blog and you had to hit the "pay" button in order to read an entry would that work for them? Even if people don't donate, they should at least see that Jenna is a writer and she is using her writing to support her farm. Maybe she should not be so generous with her intellectual property, since people think she should entertain them for nothing. Apparently, Ginger and Doglady are happy to take this type of charity. My father used to say "nobody values free", perhaps he was right.

March 17, 2013 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Elizabeth, I was actually LHS '00, so I missed her by a couple of years to be completely honest. My sister was '96 though and I know what you mean about Amanda. Remind me of your connection to Lex?

March 17, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I hit that donate button from time to time. It's not because Jenna has asked or I feel I'm being charitable. I do it because this blog means so much to me and I want Jenna to be able to keep writing so that I can keep reading! She gives me more than I will ever give her!

March 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Having the donation button on the side bar is one thing, but when you create posts about donating and say donations are "really, really important. It helps keep me and this place going" it makes people think you rely on donations to pay your bills. People get bothered by that because you chose to leave a job with a steady, reliable income. And don't NPR or public television announce how much funding they receive through donations? Perhaps your readers and contributors would enjoy seeing how much they're helping out.

People have no qualms about buying books, paying for educational seminars (like your workshops), or paying for goods. Paying for a blog, on the other hand, is not quite the same. Blogging is something most people view as an online journal, not exactly something most people pay for. That's why people get aggravated at posts asking for donations.

March 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Weez said...

Stacey, Amanda and I were in the same graduating class. I grew up in Lexington and my parents still live there. My younger brother was class of '98, so we all kind of missed each other, sounds like. :)

March 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Oops, that last one went in as Weez instead of Elizabeth. It was Elizabeth that went to school with Amanda Palmer. Weez has a very different and much more interesting story!

March 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting comments here...

This blog is work. Work. Everyday work. The posts take significant time to write. They are no different than articles in a magazine or newspaper.

This author and farmer did not leave her corporate job to "play", she left it to work. To do real work, everyday. Cold Antler is not a lark, even if there is joy in it. This work has substance. There is craft, art, intent. All of it takes skill, time, muscle, talent, focus, dedication. It is no less real work just because it doesn't have somebody else's box around it (in the form of a company "job").

The work is shared openly and the ask is nothing more than "if you can share a little in return so I can continue the work, thank you". There is grace in that. And fairness.

I write and know how long 1000 well crafted words take. I work my sisters farm and I know the toil of working for hours and feeling like the list that needs doing is never shorter even when you think your arms have had it for the day. It's work. This blog is work, work that makes books possible because publishers consider such things. It's work.

Real work. Fairly given. Fairly asked.

March 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Just what is a Clair? said...

Interesting dialogue going on here. I am taking an English class where we were discussing marketing, and how the business world is changing. We are SO USED to free information, we never even consider that content should be paid for. We are so spoiled. I think the people talking about how you wouldn't assume the newspaper or book was free are on the right track. Jenna gives FREE, valuable information. MANY blogs are beginning to require paid subscriptions to view their content. The fact that CAF remains free is a huge blessing to those who follow it. In the next decade it will be more rare to be able to read things like this for free.

March 17, 2013 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

If the $20 went to pig feed, awesome. But what about those 8 kilts you own? Those cost a ton!

(Just poking a little fun, Jenna, as I am so jealous of your kilt collection!)

March 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 18, 2013 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Tams said...

I would say to those who do not like people to ask for help..thank you for opinion. Really that's what it is... an opinion. There is no need for Jenna or other reader's to defend. Jenna has done nothing wrong. Life can be really tough...and from my point of view at 51...we have lost community...we have lost so much of the asking and giving to each other. Having each others back.

If you don't believe in asking...don't ask for help. End of story. I hope you're feeling better in the morning Jenna.

March 18, 2013 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

2 things.

1) My grandpa and gradpa-in-law are around 80-90 these days. They shared their stories in a very subtle way, but it was very clear that they helped their neighbors, regardless of the era or depression. "Helped" was not giving handouts or being an enabler to laziness. Instead it was very much a "you help me, and I will help you", vice versa, relationship.

What they described was not different from the community that Jenna writes about and many homesteaders embrace. The game hasn't really changed, but the rules and outlets have evolved with the times and technology.

I refuse to believe that perspectives of charity and goodwill change with generations, only with class and privilege.

2) I will say that I don't agree with those who believe that blogging is a form of part- or full-time work. I hash out thousands of words at a time, and I've been doing it since I was in high school, and it is a huge chore. But similar to Jenna, my words are anecdotal, contemplative, explanations and sharing, not lectures or large bouts of information that is comparable to buying a How to Book. I would never expect to receive compensation for my time spent writing, because as someone said earlier, blogging is a form of reflection, recording and validation. I read blogs for those things, that and vicariously living through the writing (har har).

Oh, a 3rd thing:

#2 is not a reason for her to not to ask for donations. I think that this blog is a great way to advertise for her business - Cold Antler - both through anecdotes and information on upcoming events. I don't see how this is any different than businesses and projects advertises and fundraising... either you chose to donate or you don't.

March 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

I agree with others, what a facinating discussion! It looks like the vast majority of us understand your "donation post" and support it. There is nothing morally or ethically WRONG with asking for donations, especially as infrequently as you do. We don't have to pay. In fact, those offended can skip the "doantion" posts and go right on reading all the wonderful FREE content you write!

March 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Annie Nelson said...

Love this TEDtalk!

I think it is great you put the 'donate' post back up. You perform a service to all of us that read your blog. I can't imagine the time and effort you put into this everyday (for free) and we all benefit. I can't count the number of times I have read your blog and it inspired me or made me laugh or made me think "I know that feeling". It was not that long ago that we would have had to pay to read about your life either in a book, magazine or newspaper. The internet has spoiled us, we all feel entitled to free stuff at the click of a mouse.

I think your blog is wonderful. It is one of only two that I follow regularly.

March 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Annie Nelson said...

Love this TEDtalk!

I think it is great you put the 'donate' post back up. You perform a service to all of us that read your blog. I can't imagine the time and effort you put into this everyday (for free) and we all benefit. I can't count the number of times I have read your blog and it inspired me or made me laugh or made me think "I know that feeling". It was not that long ago that we would have had to pay to read about your life either in a book, magazine or newspaper. The internet has spoiled us, we all feel entitled to free stuff at the click of a mouse.

I think your blog is wonderful. It is one of only two that I follow regularly.

March 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Annie Nelson said...

Love this TEDtalk!

I think it is great you put the 'donate' post back up. You perform a service to all of us that read your blog. I can't imagine the time and effort you put into this everyday (for free) and we all benefit. I can't count the number of times I have read your blog and it inspired me or made me laugh or made me think "I know that feeling". It was not that long ago that we would have had to pay to read about your life either in a book, magazine or newspaper. The internet has spoiled us, we all feel entitled to free stuff at the click of a mouse.

I think your blog is wonderful. It is one of only two that I follow regularly.

March 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

All this discussion must have entered my subconcious yesterday. Last night I dreamed that I clicked on the blog and you had begun charging $5 in order to read it. lol!

March 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

greendria, that pumpkin on your profile made me just so happy. I miss October.

Thank you all for this discussion.

March 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger INFJ said...

I would like to point out that Jenna could very easily run her farm and live out her story without posting it her for our benefit.

It would certainly be easier for her.

But she chooses to write, so that some of us can offer advice, some of us and commiserate, some of us can use her learnings as a how to to launch their own dream and some of us can just live vicariously through her story.

Jenna chooses to write.
She does not make you pay for the privledge of reading. But the very fact that you are reading my words mean means that you do read the work she has done here.

You are not a theif if you choose not to donate, because Jenna has given you the option to take her story away for free.

But you are a theif if you fault her for asking for what you can spare as some compensation for the works she does for you. You have taken, but been unwilling to give in return and that is what a theif does.

That is my opinion.

March 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM  

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