I attended elementary school in the seventies. As a kid, I knew what hippies were and one of our teachers even explained communes to us too, or more specifically, her opinion on the breakdown of communes. The teacher told us that the ideology behind communes – everyone contributing and helping each other – was a unique concept but ultimately the system would always break down. According to her, problems always arose and the lifestyle built on humility and benevolence would fall apart. They didn’t all fall apart though. One of the more famous is Farm Community Commune in Tennessee. It’s sometimes referred to as the Mundo sister’s commune. It’s still active, but they had to make changes too.
Those old hippies were paying it forward, just like many of us do today. Fortunately, in our ever-interesting world of self-publishing we don’t have to live in a communal setting. Many of the authors who have excelled and managed to connect with thousands of readers have indeed paid it forward though, and they’ve passed along their time and knowledge to others. Their motivation varies. For some it’s because they were helped themselves and want to pay back, and for others their mandate is to help professionalize our industry and raise the quality of presentation and content higher and higher. Both are noble intentions and I like to think I do my little bit to help achieve both aims. As authors we’ll ultimately gain followers and perhaps readers by adhering to this philosophy. We’re not the only ones paying it forward though. Continue reading “The Real Question is – Who’s Going to Pay?”