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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lifting a Glass to the Patron Muses

Apollo knew how to hook up a tensome???
Man those Greek gods had game!
I've written before about The Patron Muses and their extraordinary role in my writing. Though I hope for a little help from a lot of people in making Writing About Writing a better blog, taking the writing quality up a notch (through editing), and providing fiction (even longer works someday) free of charge, the way things actually tend to work out is that a small group of people absolutely blow me away with their amazing generosity.

Of course I want to reiterate that every donation and supportive word take my breath away. I have even been honored by someone who said they admired my work before they tore me a new one for one particular article. I've felt moved by a few dollars and an accompanying word that given twins on the way (twins!) that's all the person had to give. Many of you have caused my breath to catch in my throat with just a few dollars. (There's even a vague sense of guilt and unworthiness when I get donations on the days I write those damnable appeal posts asking for it. ("No, I'm sorry. I was too pushy. I don't deserve this!") If I'm ever wondering what the hell I'm doing, I just look at my Paypal history, and suddenly I remember.

MY FANS ARE THE BEST!!
(Our picture getter guy thinks because he's union,
I won't fire him for shit like this.
I used to think it was kind of goofy how every artist in the world thought their fans were the best.

Now I know exactly why that happens.

However, even among my complete adoration for the fans of Writing About Writing and my work, the patron muses have a special distinction. There's no dollar amount at which one becomes a patron muse or any specific action one takes. They simply go beyond my ability to express my appreciation in any other way. Alisha (who Cathamel considers her number two) showed up one day last year wearing W.A.W. t-shirts that HADN'T BEEN INVENTED YET and regularly donates amounts that make me write to make sure there hasn't been some sort of mistake, or that her husband isn't in the bedroom packing a bag to take the kids to his mothers over it.

The others have established their places in other ways. Some have set up a monthly donation at an amount that causes the air to get dusty every single time I get an e-mail about it. (THE AIR IS GODDAMNED DUSTY, OKAY!!!) Some have been with me since the beginning with a donation each month. Some have put an amount in my account in one go that must have felt like passing a kidney stone. Some have simply been a non-stop source of social media proliferation--liking and sharing and +1ing like crazy in a way that really helps W.A.W. find new readers.

One even assures me that if it weren't for the thousands of miles between us, I would at least have one groupie.

~sniff~ It's the little things.

The thing is, there is no exaggerating the impact of these displays of generosity on my writing life. If anything, I will never quite do them justice, and I can't underscore enough how much these folks have meant to me. There have, quite literally, been moments of dark desperation, when I made five cents the day before, and I didn't get any prewriting done, and I'm looking at eight hours to just get "one more article" up, and I've wondered why the hell I'm trying so hard on something.

And then I remember the people out there who had faith in me.

Sans sexual tension so far....mores the pity.
If you don't get the reference, go get it.
Seriously, it's like one of the funniest shows ever.
And it's like I can't NOT keep going. I have to do right by them. And an hour later when I'm typing away, and it's because of them, I know I can never really thank them enough. There are a lot of cheesy cliches I could fall on here, and the worst thing about it is that they're all true. "Beacons in the darkness" might make y'all throw up in your mouths a little, but it's also kind of accurate.

And on that note, I have a new inductee to their ranks: Tracesea. I realized a couple of days ago that for months on she's made donations, offered up awesome encouraging words, and helped me over on my Facebook Page by engaging on so so so so many posts--which without getting too much into the logistics of how Facebook sucks, is incredibly helpful in helping those posts be seen by more people.


Also, just to give everyone a heads up, pretty much all of the patron muses have specifically asked for more fiction. They are kind of...well patrons, so even though I'm not exactly surrendering creative control, they definitely have my ear on what they'd like to see.  So there may be some "Work in Progress" signs up in the coming weeks (where there should be articles) while I work on some stories.

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