About two years ago, Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts helped me to make an important decision. I had an offer in front of me, an offer to publish a book on DD, based on my blog, my years of experience in marriage, in DD, as a long time blogger and as a trained and certified professional psychotherapist. The offer was from a new publishing house that was beginning with online publishing and moving to print material in the future. It was not connected with spanking romance, and there were some serious authors already contracted. After some research I was convinced it was real. After communication with the publisher on what was publishable, what they wanted from me, what I wanted to write, we got down to contracts.
It was then that I emailed Bonnie to ask her what she thought. Had she heard of this publishing house? What were her thoughts on turning my blog into some sort of book…with old and new stuff included. I don’t know Bonnie except through her blog, but I respect her. I respect what she writes, the opinions I read, her leadership in our spanking community. She’s long been clear on her unwillingness to post ads, to take money at “Our Bottom Smarts” for any facet of what she offers there. She has a real job, a full life, and reached out and eventually helped lead this community because we needed it and for her own reasons, she saw the need and was willing to offer herself and her time.
I began my blog for similar reasons, and as it happens, with Bonnie’s encouragement through email. There was a gap at the time in DD blogs that were not overly sexual, not also intertwined with BDSM, or not written by someone with obvious emotional issues that would make me scared to take their advice. I had been living a 24/7 DD lifestyle about 2 years, been on forums, and was not getting the support I needed…and I felt I had some worthwhile things to share. I hoped to share what I had learned on my own blog and to find friends I could bond with and learn from. This blog has brought me all of that.
So, when I was asked to publish, I had some thinking to do. I was honored, surprised. My readership exceeds anything I ever imagined and your support continues to humble me. I am grateful and cherish this community. You have given me so much.
Would publishing be a way of giving back? Bonnie kept her email short. “Why would you charge for what is already available on your blog? Why would people want to pay for that? Why would you ask them to?” Good questions. I ended up not publishing because after consultations with lawyers, the publisher’s and my own, there was no way to keep my real identity out of the legal contracts. I still work, have children, a somewhat public life, and I don’t want my private life with my husband exposed.
And that left me not publishing at that time, but mulling Bonnie’s words, and still considering writing a book. I now know I hope to do that sometime, when I find the time. To my surprise, Grant has agreed to write some of it with me, some parts from his HOH perspective. I think I might do it just to be able to read that! It won’t be for a while because of work and family, we are just too busy!
What remained was the question, will I publish and charge? I have wrestled with this. After all, I have a lot to bring to the table. I have now been married almost 28 years and lived a 24/7 Dd lifestyle almost 8 of those. I still have that advanced psychotherapy degree. Geez, I had a private practice for years, before I switched over to business, and did adult individual and couples and some group therapy, and got paid top rates by insurance companies. I’m a real therapist and that helps me be a better DD counselor and advisor. Grant has his own credentials which I will not share. So, should we charge?
I am in this community because I want to be, because it gives to me, supports me, is a place I can be myself in a way I can’t be anywhere else in the world. I answer questions from readers because I want to help them as others have helped me along the way. I try to answer your emails too. I do this because it’s a good thing to do. And when I post, you give me feedback tht helps me as much as it helps you. We are on this journey together.
All the information anyone needs… to begin in DD, to continue with DD, in available for free on the web. There are free forums, free places to chat, and now a multitude of sane DD bloggers that would love to get to know you if you’re trying to find friends. I have meaningful email correspondence with some bloggers and readers, and have met quite a few in person as well. Some I now consider close real life friends. I have found everything I needed within this wonderful community and never paid a dime.
Decision made: I don’t intend to turn around and charge to help others find their way. I have made money as a therapist and make money as a business woman, but TTWD and DD is unique, special. It saved my mariage, and if I can help anyone to find their way, I will pass along with good will, whatever I have to share, without looking to profit from it.
I have finally figured out there’s a place to pay WordPress so that I “own” my site and the ads (that I never realized where there, btw) will go away. I plan to do that today. I hve less time to post and read now than I’d wish, but I’m sticking around. I have always refused to allow the many vendors that have asked to post links on my site for pay to do so, but now all ads will disappear. I am planning to write that book one day too, but I will not charge for it. It will be a collection of the better posts I have written, organized in a way that makes sense, and new ones that I never had the time to write. And it will have posts written by my husband Grant, as many as I can get him to write!
I am aware there has been recent controversy in our online community between several sites and numerous bloggers. Please accept my words: What I have written today is aimed at NO ONE in particular and meant to support NO ONE in particular. I hate blog wars, pettiness, silliness. I have never participated in any sort of paid site or forum so I have no personal basis to comment on the people who might be there. I have no basis to critisize or support anything but the general concept of paid vs. free for DD support. I read where I choose, and having my own blog allows me to say what I think! Paid sites and self-promoters have come and gone. Good blogs and forums have come and gone. I am talking about concepts and my ethics…my own personal views and beliefs.
As always, I also believe people should always follow their own hearts and be free do what they think is best for them!