When all creative output is free, who can afford to be creative?

Hey, you creative video, arts, music, literary, graphic, plastic, sculptural and dramatically gifted twenty-somethings, wake up! It up to you! You who are so much more web-facile than me and the rest of the Pepsi generation. Start figuring out a revenue-model to protect your gifts (and your work. Think of it, it’s wonderful to download everything in the unvierse for free, who who gets paid to create it in the first place? Get mad, now, please?

If everything you do appears on the web for free, how will you be able to pay your rent, buy crayons, buy a beer or get the newest video software? It’s up to all of you to figure out the way to be creative, to have your work in the public sphere, and still be to afford peanut butter and vegan granola.

I am a freelance print journalist, and I am troubled, and sort of broke. And, although I am a marginal player in the big world of media and creative output, my story is a mini-microcosm of the rest. I love having my work on the web, especially after it has been printed in a “real” “mainstream” publication, which has paid me some token amount of money for my words (and maybe my expertise). I know that the real objective of my writing a newspaper or magazine story today is its eternal life on the web. The greater glory of the story! (And a little glory and gravitas to me)! Having my work out there, living on in perpetuity, on my own website and on the sites of the publications I write for, is a super charge for me, but with the editorial hole shrinking to the size of a grain of sand, will I be happy with my work only living for “free” (and without benefit of professional editors, layout people, art directors), on my website alone? Nope. I need to pay my cell phone bills somehow. And my end product will not be as good, or as attractive without the elegance supplied by other print professionals.

I love to write–as I am sure that every young film-maker, musician, artists, photographer loves to ply their craft. But if we all do it for free, there just aren’t enough bar-tending and wait-staff jobs to go around. So, it’s up to the smart thinkers of the web-generation to smell the coffee and figure out that as great as it is to have all content for free, somewhere, somehow, some one has to pay you so you can afford to take hot showers.

Work on it, please?