I sought this out specifically because I was looking for tips and advice about crowdfunding and the art of asking. I first became aware of Amanda through Neil Gaiman, whom I have admired since I first read the wonderful ‘Sandman.’ I followed Neil on Twitter and read his blog, and it soon became clear that he was dating this curious dynamo of a woman called Amanda Palmer, who used Twitter to communicate and collaborate with her ever-growing legion of fans.
It was the essence of her creativity and open way of communicating with her fans that ultimately made Amanda interesting to me, rather than her music or association with Neil Gaiman. I even found myself occasionally dipping my toes into the debate that sprung up about her methods, especially after the controversy that arose after she raised a million bucks on Kickstarter for an album release then called out for volunteer musicians to accompany her onstage during the subsequent tour. The continued debate about the merits and perceptions of crowdfunding and independent creativity is something that is of particular interest to me as a creator attempting to find an audience through social media.
This book: The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help tells the story from Amanda’s humble “beginnings” as street entertainer (as “The Eight-foot Bride” living statue), and how her philosophy of openly giving and receiving has informed and enriched her life. She tells it candidly, eloquently, and while perhaps her gung-ho, seat-of-the-pants, soul-baring attitude perhaps is not for everyone, I found it refreshing and – yes – downright inspiring.
So hurrah for Amanda Palmer and hurrah for her life philosophy. Also: thank you, Amanda, for the inspiration and courage. I see you.