Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Changing Course

You, dear reader, deserve an explanation for my recent absence. Lately, I find myself increasingly disillusioned about whether to continue this blog. The possibilities for posts are endless, that is not the problem. Whether I am simply “preaching to the choir” is one concern, but continuing to provide these posts for free is a much more pressing issue.

The response has been good, and I continue to get praise for which I am genuinely grateful. Honest, I truly appreciate that you appreciate what I do. However, my life has changed dramatically since I first began this blog. I got married, and with that blessing comes the added responsibility of providing at least a modicum of a financial contribution to the relationship. I do not have a traditional “job” of any kind, and those are becoming harder to come by anyway. My revenue stream is drying up as magazine markets for my writing continue to dwindle, either folding outright or ceasing to use freelancers. Almost nobody with an internet presence is willing to pay for content.

It becomes tiresome and guilt-generating to be begging for donations to this blog. I am not PBS or NPR. It is not my intent to coerce monetary remuneration from anyone who follows this blog. For all I know, most of you are in the same boat I am in, unable to spend much on anything but essentials and the odd splurge of a dinner out.

The other problem I face is purely personal. I am prone to mild depression and anxiety, and my writing suffers periodically because of that. I know that I have also grown weary of providing “virtual” experiences online and would much rather be getting together with my colleagues and “fans” in the field where we can look at actual, living organisms. There is no substitute for sharing in the real world.

I need your help to become the “go-to guy” for entomology at nature festivals, Master Naturalist workshops, ecotours, and other events. I need to be pointed toward hidden markets for my writing, too, from regional and local magazines to book publishers.

For the time being at least, posts here will be sporadic as I concentrate my efforts on finding projects and clients that have at least slight economic potential. You have my apologies, but I hope that I have your understanding. Thank you.


  1. Absolutely Eric! No one can blame you for trying to make a living, which is hard in an age where few people are willing to pay to support natural history. And I greatly appreciate your openness and honesty. I wish you all the best.

  2. I completely understand, but being really in the same boat and having some similar experiences, I also know that my blog is the one venue that has drawn in a number of clients. Festival presentations, eco tourists, collectors, science projects, photography clients. Way too many teachers who say up front that they cannot, will not pay ...but still
    Hope you feel better soon. This might just be a low phase. You have helped me through one of mine when my mother first got sick...I can tell you friends help and time heals

    1. Aw-w-w, thank you so much. Yes, I think you are correct about blogs being helpful in that way. I like the way you incorporate your artwork into yours.

  3. I'd be so sad to see your blog end, especially as I only discovered it recently while doing fact-checking work for a publisher. I know all too well the vagaries of this industry, alas! I hope things start looking up for you.

  4. Christina, it won't go away entirely, new posts just won't be as frequent. Thank you for the kind sentiments :-)

  5. As my home is a magnet for spiders, I've found the Spider Sunday articles to be especially useful. I really appreciate the information you've provided on them, Eric.

    Tom M.

  6. Dear Eric,

    I truly understand the conflict between personal, professional, and your 'calling' to write and teach, while trying to make a living. One possible 'marketing' place you might consider a presentation to would be one of the TedX events, to showcase your passion and knowledge. I also understand the ups and downs of depression and anxiety - sometimes it seems to go together with being a writer. Follow you needs balanced by your desires. Very best of luck.

  7. Eric, we readers know you are awesome. Thank you for all the info and insights to date. I hope the commercial world will soon recognize your awesomeness and get you some paying gigs.


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