readers speak: ezines.

Ok. So I’ve been rolling around this issue in my over-packed brain for a week now, and I’ve just got to get it out before it erupts and overpowers my frontal lobe. Because I’m not sure what the frontal lobe does, but I think it’s probably essential in my spinning class.

I’ve heard from a number of you who are encouraging me to start charging a small fee for Inspiration. And I’m not going to. And it’s not that I don’t love you all for being so sweet and encouraging me to look at my hobby as a commodity, but I can’t. It doesn’t feel organic, and to be totally honest? I’m not ready.

Part of why I resigned from my full time position was to focus more on the eZine and turn it into a REAL! LIVE! PDF magazine. A good one, with lots of content and a variety of features, which is what I love about blogging so much. Think of it as Design for Mankind After Hours or something, I don’t know. But it’s what I want, and it’s what I’m going to make.

The new eZine will come chock full of more inspiration, and may even entail a new name. I don’t know yet, but what I do know is that I just can’t charge for it. My mission for this blog was to make design more accessible and to inspire— for FREE. I can’t fathom the idea of abandoning this thought process so soon, and although the idea of getting a few bucks for the 8,000 of you that downloaded the last issue is pretty yummy-sounding, it’s not right. Not yet. Maybe not ever. But not now.

What I will do is offer a sponsorship for those of you who would like to contribute to the eZine. If you’re a small business and/or freelancer, of if you’re a big business and feel like being philanthropic for the day, email me here for a rate card. I’d like to keep the costs low and still have a few issues to hash out, but for now, we’ll start with this.

I can’t thank you enough for your well wishes, and for those of you who mentioned that I should charge— I don’t mean to publicly reprimand you. You were only looking out for me, and for that— I’d give you each a double scoop of Phish Phood ice cream.

Love to you all.

  • I have mixed feelings about it, I FEEL YOU ARE RIGHT, but I also feel that you are working so hard so it would be ok to pay you, I think is something you ll have to think.

  • You really are too awesome for words; your time is so precious…and to have all of this inspiration for free is amazing!

  • mmm. phish food…. and holy crap 8,000 downloads!

    I really think it’s a great idea to keep it free and love your values behind that. The idea of a sponsorship is brilliant :)

    You really are amazing.

  • i admire you for going the free route. it’s mighty awesome of you.

    though if you did come up with hardcopied books for sale, i’d buy it as well :)

    i do hope your plans come into fruition girl!

  • Thanks, Yas! And I’d love to do hardcopied books for sale! Soooo expensive. :(

  • I hope sponsorship goes well for you. Hopefully with as many people downloading you’ll get a few takers.

  • I’m with Yas and would definitely purchase a book edition, and think you should give this some thought. What about a yearly edition, hard copy coffee table book? You could make up something awesome over at Blurb or elsewhere. Let us give you money, honey!!

  • your wish is my command! i’ll read it any way you slice it and dice it, because i don’t come across content like you do, and the e-zine helps enormously to “complete” my inspiration wheel (think jerry mcquire complete ;)).

    i agree with the other comments in that a book edition would be wonderful like the 3191 project!

  • wow, wow, wow. your e-zine is absolutely gorgeous. i feel behind-the-times a bit for just finding it now but WOW, what a treat. and i agree, a coffee table book like this would certainly be a lovely addition to my bookshelf. (nice to meet you. did i say, “wow”?!?)

  • Thanks so much, Erin! I love the e-zine, and out of respect for my husband and our budget it’s probably best that I’m not tempted to buy yet another design-y thing!

  • I really enjoy the e-zine, and am truly inspired by it each time I read it. It is wonderful it is free, but if you ever decided to have subscribers, I would more than gladly do so!

  • Your blog is truly a space for inspiration and community…Thanks for being the wonderful person behind it all…

  • Oh Erin…you are the bestest!! I can’t get over how nice and generous you are and I’m so glad I found your blog! No wonder you have so many readers…not just because of your extreme talent-but also from your extreme niceness! I’ll keep reading the ‘zine free or not free :)

  • i found inspirations through barbara and i love it. i love your philosophy on free, as well. i think the integrity and convictions that underpin your work is what makes it so great.

    thanks. inspiration is aptly named.

  • I admire you for sticking to your guns and for putting your passion and your mission before everything else! It’s so easy to get distracted and tempted by a litte extra $$$ :)

  • Just for the record, I would be willing to pay you, but at the end of the day, you have to follow your gut instinct. I do admire you though :)

  • well done you – I think what you’re doing is great and really admirable, not everything should be turned into a business and lose its soul. The book idea is a winner though methinks – go for it and I hope you’re rewarded in many other ways too!

  • Oh, this is a tricky one, isn’t it? Hmm. I like the idea of sponsorship, that was a good move. I think it’s right, oh so right, to keep moving in the direction that feels “right” to you! You have great intuition, as seen by your most recent job move (so to speak :)! We trust you!


  • 8000 downloads! Go Erin Go! :) Very happy to hear you are inspiring so many people.

  • erin, your work inspire many people, including me. thanks for it. I’ll never feel I’ve said so enough times :)

  • Erin, I have slowly been going through each issue of the zine and savoring it! In the future I would be willing to pay for it too and if it’s ever to become a paper copy, I would definately buy it. But thanks for now for your generosity!

  • Thank you so much, guys!!!! I’m so glad that many of you are ok with the sponsorship route— THANK YOU. :)

  • i think i need an automatic ‘great idea’ button for your blog because you’re just so chock full of them, that’s all i end up saying.

    So, great idea! you’re so sweet, thank you.

    – Jessie –

  • I love Blurb! I actually wrote a mini-memoir for a family christmas present and used blurb— great service! :) Thanks for the tip, Shauna!

  • congratulations on your huge success with these, you clearly are inspiring and touching people. good luck with sponsorships, you are just fabulous! ;)

  • hey erin.. its been a little bit but i have been around.. just busy and having fun.. not a bad combo!
    lets start here..
    The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. amazing right! so lets just say both you and your spinning class are lucky!
    i love to see such a passion to make what you do and love available for the masses.. i have long wanted to create equal opportunity with a resturant/cafe (cost + donation) or some sort of creative business venture.. haha. sorry!! boy do i get off track
    erin.. you are amazing at what you do and i really find it inspiring to watch someone grow and succeed like you are
    keep it up and good luck!!
    ps- wayy too long of rambles as usual.. je suis désolé
    pps- i tried to post this late last night but it didnt make it up!

  • you’re fantastic! I felt so honored to be a part of your work. if you ever need help with anything, you can call on me. xox

  • I think you should charge a minimal fee. Its a lot of work. I am sure you have plenty on your plate. We artists have to support each other, if you do not charge an arm and a leg, there is no reason for you to feel bad…don’t undervalue your work.

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