I have lately begun to realize what an absolute failure I am with my writing on Gather. For the first two years after I joined, I did not know that the points that are earned could actually be redeemed for some form of payment.
When I joined Gather it was not my desire to make money by posting the written hiccups from my brain, which is a brain that I realize often acts as if it has been presoaked with formaldehyde to save my embalmer some work. And so the fact that my points total grew at the rate of a bank account paying one percent Interest did not concern me.
My expectation of readership was low, and I did a better than average job of meeting those expectations for the first couple of years. Forty views with five comments each on my one or two posts a week felt good. Well to be truthful, it felt great, and I sailed along for those first two years accumulating a pace setting four to eight points a week. The movement of the points counter can only be described as glacial, and I mean glacial before global warming changed the definition of that word from painfully slow to painfully fast.
During those two years I was fortunate enough to read and view a lot of posts from some pretty great writers, photographers and biographers of life. And I learned a lot, including being instructed in eight hundred and fifty three forms of poetry for which my submissions didn't even satisfy my least critical critic. Which, of course, is me right after I finish writing a piece and before I read it back to myself. After I read most of my poetry back to myself, I just become despondent and forget about being critical.
Now the purpose of this story, and you will find there really isn't one at the end, is that as the size of my friends list, and my groups list became larger, I received many more posting messages via e-mail each day. And I began to notice several messages a day that referred to something called "cashing out."
Instead of remaining blissfully ignorant, I made the mistake of looking up what they were talking about: Which in retrospect was sort of like Adam deciding to find out what an apple tastes like.
I discovered that right before the universe reaches its end of life, that I will most likely be eligible for a twenty five dollar gift certificate.
I saw one posting where a young woman said that she had cashed out for a twenty-five dollar gift certificate in the morning and had then accumulated fifty new points by noon. All of a sudden my ego felt like a rubber helium filled balloon three weeks after the birthday party, and the end of the universe seemed a little too long to wait for a shopping spree at Target.
But later that day I read a few nice comments on one of my posts, and I realized I love it here on Gather. Where else could I have some much fun earning almost three cents a day? And where else could I go to learn from the creativity of others that I get to experience here each day.
All of a sudden I feel overpaid.