Saturday, May 17, 2008
life lessons

To go back a year later and peep into all the work you've done, is a tad depressing when you realize that it has all trickled down the drain leading to nowheresville.

Somewhere around this time, last year, I started my design blog, where I though it would be a brilliant idea to use my so called talent and dole out free custom templates to those in need of them, through the goodness of my heart.

Lets cut to the chase though. I cannot believe how FREAKING DELUSIONAL I was!!

When something is free, tons of people come running. I know I shouldn't be saying this though, because I was once known for walking around the supermarket trying to find items with the words 'FREE (something')' plastered on them, and then I would proceed to buy the said item just to obtain whatever I was getting free with it, and then I'd walk around the entire day, filled with glee because I had just gotten something FREE!!!

Requests came pouring in, and I tried to please. Requests for changes came, I gave up my last few minutes of internet time making them. Fonts that were disliked, I changed them. Colours that were a shade off, I changed those too and in the end, the people you help, end up screwing you over and start making money off of you. People get so demanding, that, after awhile you feel so bogged down and the trouble that you go through to do something for someone else just doesn't seem worth it anymore. Bloggers are a fussy bunch, we all know that, so I can't say I was too surprised that this happened. I was kinda expecting it at some point anyway, but I didn't think I'd crack this soon. I've actually been away from that space for quite awhile now, it depresses me to go back, because I always end up clicking on the links to find that my work has disappeared, not that I expected it to sit there for long, but not seeing it where it was just a couple of months back, hurts a little.

Just to make thing clear, I am not bitter. On the contrary, I cannot even begin to explain the amount of satisfaction it gives me when I looked at a finished project. I usually get up off of my chair, take a step back and survey my work and most often than not, feel this spurt of happiness inside that I know nothing else can ever trigger. I have to say that it was a amazing experience though.

I'm not planning to shut the blog down, that would break my heart, but I am planning on starting a new one where I'll be charging for services. Charging minimally, seeing how far a dollar goes in this country. I actually feel like a capitalistic pig for even thinking about this, but lets see how it goes for a couple of months. I actually didn't want too blog about any of this. Lately I seem to be rethinking everything I want to write about and finally end up not writing about it, but I started typing out this post, and now i fell like I have to publish it. I feel pretty horrible doing so, but this is my blog and this is what I'm feeling right now, so I'm gonna hit that publish button and hope to God that I don't get a ton of hate mail for this.

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15 Comments:
Blogger Silvara had this to say:

Darling....perhaps you are making the right decision - you have a fantastic talent and should be getting something out of it for yourself. I love the design you did on my blog - it always amazes me what you can do and you have never been anything but appreciative of my requests. So kudos to you for getting this off your chest and you have a supporter in me :D

8:01 AM 

Anonymous Anoop had this to say:

Lemonade,

You've been my fav blogger of all times. I rem your template you had earlier which was damn impressive and even the current one rocks too. I couldn't get much of what you've written in this post - may be you've been cheated or sumthin, but just say that you are the best - Keep writing and God bless...

8:22 AM 

Blogger Sneezy Melon had this to say:

You know I was pretty surprised when I first saw your design blog. The designs were amazing and yet you were making free templates for nothing except a link in return. And I also remember how some "Nonchalant Cribbr" had conveniently replaced your template with another one. And one day I was discussing with Apoorv Khatreja how you should have charged for custom templates from the starting, which might have prevented the waste of your effort, time and energy. Now that you are, I believe its for the better. For all you know, I might be your first customer(:D)!

2:57 PM 

Blogger Keshi had this to say:

ur a designer by birth :) Go for it hun!

my email: kajole at hot male dot com ;-)

Keshi.

5:12 PM 

OpenID ishmeet had this to say:

I've reviewed your website, and I've seen your design blog and from all that, it's pretty obvious that you're a great designer. Your designs have style and subtlety at the same time which is brilliant. You blend graphics, colors and fonts in a way I've never seen before and I don't think I ever will. I would definitely use one of your templates if I were on blogger. And if you ever decide to make one for WordPress, I'll use it without even having to look at it because I completely trust your design sense. That template you designed for Shayeri's Jabberwocky is just out of this world.

And so, I think it's completely justified that you charge..because as they say, everything nice in life comes for a price. And I don't know who that fussy blogger was but well, I don't need who he is to curse him. So there, screw him. :/

5:16 PM 

Blogger rahul mathur had this to say:

oh yes u deserve everything for whateva u have done sis.But remember ( i m not trying to discourage ur decision but..) when u make ur template charge people maybe the popularity wouldnt be so high coz there are already so many Free blogger templates available , if u wud have made wordpress theme then it would have been ok but making blogger theme charge people maybe a risk !

Anyways its upto u !

U r a great designer . Keep the spirit high ;)

8:40 PM 

Blogger The Keeper of the Keys had this to say:

ok...lol...i was kinda hoping to see this all the time on your blog, you really OUGHT to be payed for your brilliant work. sheesh, that means if we get wayfarers done by you, we'll have to pay you...thought of a paying system yet? can we just send back those imaginary cup-cakes? lol.
and yeah, i keep going through your design blog, and when i come across a blog with your template which is now dead, i really feel like kicking the blogger on the ass.
you rock, girl.

5:55 PM 

Blogger gunj had this to say:

hey just in case u change ur url n all...do leave me ur link!!
n do what makes u happy:)
GBU!

5:38 AM 

Blogger ยป sahil had this to say:

Hey, you're a great designer. I think you know that. So obviously getting paid for your designs is an excellent idea. On the other hand, people don't much like paying for stuff so I doubt you'll get as many requests as before, which, in a way, is a good thing actually. (Btw, i don't think making your designs for free was a 'waste' of time and effort)

3:12 PM 

Blogger The Withering Willow had this to say:

I started visiting your blog sometime back...and I really appreciate your talent. As far as your decision of charging a few pennies for your services is concerned, I feel its fairly justified.

I can understand the amount of time devotion which goes in when you have to tweak the artwork or make some minuscule changes.

So, you definitely deserve some reward other than receiving credits!

Good luck....hope your business prospers!

3:28 PM 

Blogger Vanessa had this to say:

Lemonade,

I know how you feel. I really understood your frustrations over these matters. Because like you, I also design blogs. I also used to do it for free.

I am apologetic, because unfortunately, I am one of the people you are referring too. Though I know how hard you work for my template, I still changed it. I do not have any regrets changing it because I have replaced it with my own design. But I can't help feeling a tad guilty because the result of your hard work is no longer seen on my blog. And believe me when I say that it pains me to know that you are sad because of what I have done. Is there any room for forgiveness?

You are a very talented young lady. And I am thankful that you've dedicated some of your precious time designing my blog. But we all know that the only constant thing in this world is change. I know you must have expected that.

I hope this situation doesn't discourage you. Keep doing what you love. And keep developing your talent.


Sincerely yours,
Vanessa
http://msvessa.blogspot.com

10:12 AM 

Blogger *~Tey~* had this to say:

I think your feelings are totally reasonable. I'd feel exactly the same and you shouldn't feel bad about expressing it. I see nothing wrong with charging for design work. It's a great idea.

8:03 AM 

Blogger B. had this to say:

you'll see me soon enough..I'm back on the 24th

12:52 AM 

Blogger Coconut Chutney had this to say:

Hey, you oughta be congratulated just for making your design public. As a fellow design nut, I know how much effort goes into a template, right from its conception.

Which is why lazy bums like me stick with screwing up their own blog. lol.

We love you :)

9:26 AM 

Blogger Margaret (Ritty) had this to say:

i should say you got a really cool design for ur blog! quite.... fresh!
note to myself: read up on making templates!

8:24 AM 

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