TheGoodMuse Explains: FAQ Question – Why I Do This?
Guest Blog by Raegan Payne, Creator of TheGoodMuse and Maryland Nonprofits’ 2014 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker
Hear Raegan Payne in-person on November 5th in Rockville, MD at our “Connecting for Impact!” 2014 Annual Conference!
“Why do you do TheGoodMuse?” “Why do this?” “What’s in it for you?” “What’s the ‘angle’?” “Who are you doing it for?”
I get asked the above a lot. Often, with a fair amount of cynicism in the tone. Sometimes people ask these questions, and then cross their arms and lean back, like I’m about to try and sell them magic beans. A few times – they’ve looked at me with pity.
I think it’s interesting that I have to explain this, in this way, but here goes…
I did TheGoodMuse because it’s the right thing to do. I did it because I believe that if you are in a position to do so it is your duty to lend a hand.
I did it because I needed help, so many times, so many many times, and it wasn’t available, and I didn’t want anyone else to feel that way ever. (P.S. Big props to those who did step up and helped me over the years).
I did it because I wanted to help and always said I would when I became a big artist, but then realized – woulda, shoulda, coulda – if I wasn’t willing to help now when would I?
I do this because so many people want to help society, but less than 1% can write checks or go buy a table to a fancy fundraising banquet, luncheon, or event. Everyone can give time.
I did not do it because I wanted to write a blog about what a good person I am. Totally debatable.
I did not do it because I naively thought I could solve all the world’s problems.
But I did do it to create a ripple in the pond. And because – “Be the change.” Seriously. Be the freakin’ change people.
“How am I going to “capitalize” on it?” “How can I afford to do it?” “Do I realize there is not a market for this?”
I get asked a version of these questions several times a week at least.
I’m a southern girl. We don’t talk about money. It’s not polite. But just so I don’t have to be subjected to these again…
I am not a trust fund baby. I am not a kept woman or a lady who lunches. I am a doer.
I don’t make money on this. I work other jobs. This is an artistic pursuit. An act of and study on humanity. A reason to get off the couch. My hobby. My passion. I’m a good writer – this is how I release my artistic expression.
I’ve been smirked at because I haven’t monetized TheGoodMuse. My question to the smirkers is: Why does everything have to be about money? You don’t get paid for breathing and still you do it. Same deal.
“Why don’t you film it?” or “Why don’t you have more pictures?”
I am actually doing the physical volunteer work, many times by myself. I only have two hands. Taking time away to film takes time away from the service project. I try to take some pictures. I hope that’s okay.
“How do you find the time?”
I’ve been denied jobs because of this one. HR finds the blog and then somehow think I can’t manage to have a hobby and work at the same time.
I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs or really socialize that much. Think how much time is saved when you never have to recover from a hangover. And then think about what good you could do with that extra time.
I also don’t have kids. I have a cat – Princess. She is very low maintenance.
“Are you sorry for spending time volunteering, and doing this instead of writing another play, TV show pilot etc.?”
I can’t work all the time. Again hobby, free time, release. I would not trade what I have learned doing this blog for a full paid 2 years Masters Degree from Oxford.
As artists, many of us wake up and wonder: “Did my art make an impact?” “Did I change the way people think?” In this project I know I’ve been 100 percent successful because I know I’ve impacted at least one person. I’ve heard from them. I can live the rest of my days happy knowing that.
“Are you naïve?”
Look – It’s the right thing to do.
I believe that the good guy should win. People / Non-Profits / Groups should be recognized for doing good and working hard. Which they do. With very little praise or notice.
I also believe: Fracking destroys drinking water. Fur is evil and the people who wear it should learn to read. Vegetables = yum. Reading is good. Princess is awesome. Comedy cures most ills. The sky is blue and water should be as well.
“What’s next?” And most importantly: “How are you going to finish 100?”
I’m going to finish 100 volunteer projects by the end of the year. I do have my list of charities I would like to work with someday, but I don’t know which exact ones will match my limited resources. I like finding new groups and look forward to the challenge.
There might be very little fan fare or celebration when I get this done. But it will get done. And then I’ll probably keep going, but at a slower pace.
“Would I recommend someone else to try the same thing?”
Absolutely, there is no better way to explore the world than by helping people.
Remember -If you’re not going to do something now. If you’re not willing to do something now. You’re never going to do it.
Join Maryland Nonprofits’ 2014 Annual Conference “Connecting for Impact!” November 5th at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, MD.
Connect with Maryland Nonprofits on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, tell us what you think and what kind of topics you would like to see more of on our blog.
Find the perfect nonprofit career this summer, follow @MDNonprofitJobs