My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Can I Support Writing About Writing? (F.A.Q.)

Short answer: Pay the artist!

Long answer:

Well, there's the obvious. Flowers. Chocolates. Promises you don't intend to keep.... But maybe you meant a somewhat less.....hands-on way.

I get this question with caveats ranging everywhere from: "in ways that don't involve spending any money" to: "I have been hugely entertained by your blog for three hours, so I want to give you $8.75--the price of a movie in my town." So let me put this roughly in the order of how useful/helpful/supportive each method is.

1- An ongoing donation through Patreon. 
Simply put, nothing will contribute more to the ongoing survival of Writing About Writing, support the site more, or ensure future offerings of fiction and timely articles than will a few dollars that I can reliably count on month after month and use to budget. Nothing fuels an artists' or entertainers' sense of duty more than feeling like they have a patron's generosity to live up to. (There are days my patrons were the only reason I wrote a word.) Whether it is scaling back hours at my other two jobs or being able to give this blog the energy of a full-time job, none of it will happen if I need to make ends meet from other revenue streams. "Support your local artist," isn't just a slogan about pats on the back and encouraging emails. If you want any artist or entertainer to be able to go on creating, the very best way to do that is to make sure their rent stays paid and their electricity stays on, so that they aren't out selling toasters when they could be making more of what you enjoy.

The easiest way to do this is through my Patreon. As little as a dollar a month helps me and will get you in on backchannel chats and polls. More rewards for higher commitments. I love my large donors, of course, but if one of them experiences a life hiccup, I could be down 10% of my income; so a hearty "ecosystem" of one and five and maaaaaybe ten dollar donors is also beloved and incredibly valuable.

2- A one-time donation through Paypal. 
Not everyone can give a set amount month after month, but yeeting money at the artist will still be the most supportive thing a supporting supporter can do to support. I hate to sound like a materialist, but writing is so much easier to do when the power isn't turned off.

A one time donation is easy through Paypal. Just look over to the left side for the conspicuously placed tip jar. I also have Venmo. 

Rarer, but not unheard of, are folks who want to set up an ongoing donation, but have no interest in Patreon or the reward tier system (for whatever reason); you can just click a box that says "Make this an ongoing donation."

3- Subscribe. 
Success begets success. Big numbers attract attention and draw even more audience. More audience will widen the net for folks who might be able to afford to give a dollar or two. You can help me even if you don't have money to give yourself. If folks think their carefully written guest blog is going to reach 18 people, their attitude about contributing will be a little different than if they think it's going to reach 10,000.

Find all the ways to stalk me, and pick a few of your faves.

4- Share the articles you like on social media. 
The hardest part about blogging is getting the word out. If I share a post on social media, it's all my same friends seeing it again and again. They all secretly (and some not so secretly) hate me and want me to shut up. Not everyone likes my style. Not everyone cares about writing. Not everyone can maintain their composure when it's time to use their scroll wheel. Finding my niche and those folks who really appreciate the work I am doing is tougher than running down a cephalopoid on foot (#20yearoldpopculturereferenceFTW), so helping push that process along is incredibly helpful. You have friends I've never met. Some of them might love what I do. It is an absolutely free and easy way to really help W.A.W. –– simply share the articles you really like on various social media in order to help me to find the narrow niche of people who like both what I'm saying and how I'm saying it.

They're out there...but I could use your help to find them.

5- Click the little buttons. A lot.
In today's world of web content designers and search engine competition, there is a "Red Queen Race" between content providers trying to figure out how to trick a search engine into listing them higher and search engines trying to make sure that what is high on a search isn't filler crap. Google is constantly coming up with new tricks to make sure someone who's just dropping keywords into a fluff piece doesn't end up as the first result of a search. One of the most effective ways to help an article get more traffic (by being a higher result on a search engine) is to do things like give it "Likes," "+1s" and "Thumbs Up." If you want to help W.A.W., you might be just a little more generous with those endorsement buttons than for a normal site.

6- Comment or drop me a line. 
I am SO a real writer!
Am so. Am so. AM SO!!
It's a thankless job. I make barely enough to get by (if I give up my car, cell phone, and eating anything that isn't a PB&J or ramen) for fifty hours or so of work a week. There have been a deplorable lack of hawt groupie threesomes since ever. Most of the time, no one makes a comment unless they've got a problem with something I've written. And half the time, I get these anonymous nast-o-grams that are absolutely intended to make my cry like the Dawson's Creek meme. It's really nice to hear some of the good stuff from time to time whether it's just an article you particularly liked, or a general appreciation of my work.

It really does make a difference when I'm trying to get out of bed to write the next day.

1 comment:

  1. I realize this is five years old and you probably get way more comments now, but... I appreciate what you do and I will try to get over my anxiety more often to post that on things you write. :) (starting with the ironically empty comment section of this post.)