I love living in Glastonbury, it may only be a small Somerset town but it’s got a rich and long history, a vibrant and colourful community (with many oddballs and eccentrics) numerous myths and stories of magic, King Arthur, early Christianity, plus it gave its name to one of the best music festivals in the world. It hosts conferences on magic, UFO’s, goddess worship, fairies. We have yearly illuminated carnivals, Christian pilgrimage weekends, celebrations of the Celtic festivals, a zombie walk, a medieval fair, a frost fair and a fun run.
I believe Glastonbury has something worthwhile to offer. People find magic and mystery here and often feel a deep sense of connection – with others, the land, the history and the mythology of this very special place. It’s an endless source of inspiration for my writing and photography. With my blog and Normal For Glastonbury Facebook page I aim to inform, entertain and amuse people who love Glastonbury Town and welcome those who live far away into the Glastonbury community. I get a lot of pleasure from documenting the remarkable goings-on in this eccentric, small but significant bit of Somerset, and I hope you get as much pleasure from joining me. Everything I write for the blog is published free of charge, but writing, research, photography and formatting my work for online publication takes me considerable time. and I could really do with earning some cash out of it!
I could charge people to advertise on the blog – so every time you go to read a post someone tries to sell you double glazing or crystals. I could write posts about how great someone is at Reiki or how a cafe serves the best food in town, not because it’s true but because they are paying me. I could write posts about what designer wellies you should wear when walking on the Levels, what colour cloak is in this year, or what books you should read about Glastonbury, with links to Amazon pages where I get a cut if you buy. I don’t want to do any of that. I don’t want to actively promote anything on my page that I wouldn’t recommend to my friends. If I do wax lyrical about a book, an event, an album, a craftsperson, a shop, whatever, it’s because I’m genuinely enthusiastic and I want more people to know about them.
At the moment I earn a small living from freelance work promoting a few individual businesses in the town, through their own websites and blogs. If I could cover some of my (very modest!) living expenses from blogging I would be able to spend more time promoting Glastonbury as a whole.
There are lots of things going on in Glastonbury that I’d like to blog about, but I can’t afford to pay for all of them. I don’t want to ‘blag’ my way into gigs or events with the promise of writing about them, because it compromises my ability to be honest and blog about what inspires me. In my other life, as a festival organizer, I’ve worked with a lot of musicians and performers, I want to be able to support their creativity, by paying to go to their gigs, and besides, blagging makes me uncomfortable. (Although saying that, if you do want to give me a free meal or a ticket to your gig just because you like me feel free!)
I like to sit in Glastonbury cafes and watch the world go by, eavesdrop, and chat to locals and visitors to get more ideas for my posts, cafe owners like me to at least buy a coffee! Everyone wants to know where the best place in Glastonbury for a meal is – I’d like to be able to afford to eat out once in a while and give you an honest review. I want to stay independent, and not spend my time working out how to ‘monetize’ my writing in order to pay the bills.
Mainly, I want to be able to keep telling you stories about what happens in this town. It’s an important creative outlet for me and, judging by the response I’m getting from my readers, you like it too.
I’ve been pondering over how to cover my costs without compromising my writing, or the trust of my readers. I think I’ve come up with a rather ‘Normal for Glastonbury’ solution. I’m a big fan of the ‘Magic Hat’. It’s a way of funding gatherings where people put whatever monetary contribution they can afford into the hat and (hopefully) the running costs get covered. It’s about inclusivity and sharing – no one gets left out but those that can have the opportunity to be generous and supportive. I’m putting out my own Magic Hat, via Paypal to support my running and living costs and enable me to spend more time telling people around the world about Glastonbury.
To learn more about patronage watch Amanda Palmer’s excellent TED video:
How you can support the blog with a Monthly Subscription:
Subscriptions can be cancelled at any time from your Paypal dashboard.
How you can support the blog with a One Off payment:
Send me a £5 – or chose a different quantity at the checkout and you can send me however many fivers you like!
These paypal buttons also appear on my ‘Support NFG‘ page on the menu, so you can easily find them if you decide to support me later!
BTW I will, of course, be declaring payments received as income for tax purposes (because I’m like that!).
If you aren’t in a position to give financial support to the blog that’s absolutely fine, it will be free for you to read. You can still make a valuable contribution to my writing – let me know what you would like me to write about, ‘like’ my facebook page and contribute your own stories and comments, share my blog and facebook posts (this is really important – it’s how I reach more readers!), subscribe to the blog by email. Buy a Normal For Glastonbury Mug featuring my famous and funny town map. See my ’Hire Me’ page if you’d like to pay me to help you with your own projects.
Whatever you can do to help you are directly supporting my writing and helping me to bring more visitors and revenue to the town, to support all its creative people and businesses. Thank you, I really do appreciate it.