Today marks the end of the fifth week of fundraising for my radio series Special Relativity, and the time has come for honesty. Things aren’t looking good. The project’s received only three donations in the last two weeks. It’s now so off track that I’ll need to raise over $140 a day for the next seven weeks to meet the campaign’s $8000 goal.
Yesterday I was thinking about the whole thing, and I realized how easy it might be to misunderstand why I’ve undertaken this uphill boulder roll. I can imagine someone looking at me and thinking, “This guy’s a writer who can’t get someone to pay for his work, so he figures he’ll take the easy road and just beg people for cash.” One could, very understandably, interpret what I’m doing with the same disdain one directs toward an obviously able-bodied guy panhandling on the subway.
So I want to clarify here that asking people for money — especially asking my friends for money — is not something I want to be doing. It’s not easy. I don’t enjoy it. It’s difficult and humiliating. Imagine turning to folks who you respect and care about and who are successful and saying to them, “I haven’t been successful lately. Can you give me a handout, just out of faith that I’ll do something good with it?” It hurts.