Tomorrow I will be posting a list of all the donors for 2015 (as well as the last six weeks) to Writing About Writing, and then we'll finally be done with everything and ready to roll into 2016.
But each year I also update the information about where your donations go and what you can expect in return. Also, having had a couple of conversations with high level patrons, I have decided to be a bit more conservative about the hand written thank-you emails and save my creative time and energy for MOAR WRITING!!!
Writing About Writing will never be behind a paywall site (or have the "best" content only available to Patreon donors or anything like that), and we also will never again host random ads. We may one day post ads for products we truly believe in, but the random ones for butt hair eliminators and robot crawl editing are a thing of the past. I have also opted out of traditional publishing completely, so unless some day there is an unbelievable million-dollar book deal that contractually requires me to remove my online version, everything I ever write will be free online. There might be a small charge for a e-reader version or a cost-covering charge for a print on demand physical copy, but mostly everything will be free.
Which means I am 100% dependent on the generosity of donors.
And while we love all the other ways in which fans show their support–by liking and sharing articles, with engaging and robust comments, by becoming members of or following the blog, recommending us to friends, and a host of other ways–monetary support works a lot better than "likes" when it comes to paying rent or getting a professional web designer to look under W.A.W.'s hood (for example at the shitshow I call top level menus).
I can't ever fully thank the few who donate so that the rest might get more and better content or express just how much that few dollars means. Right now, my efforts average out to somewhere between one and two dollars an hour on a really good day, so even the smallest donations are like mana from heaven. However, as insufficient as any such gesture is, and however "gauche" a rewards tier might seem without keychains, tote bags, and weekends in Napa, I still want to try to let everyone know in some feeble way how much you mean to me.
What your donation supports:
Though your donation may be to Writing About Writing, what you're really supporting is an entire range of my creative efforts. Of course there's Writing About Writing, but there's also Social Justice Bard (which had a rocky launch because of surprise cancer but is getting back on its feet as of this writing). There are other blogs I write for less frequently like Ace of Geeks. I also maintain a Facebook Page for Writing About Writing filled with goofy memes and puns in addition to the daily posts and cross posts. And a lot of my proto-thoughts, social justice bard test balloons and daily shenanigans happen on my public Facebook Wall–strictly speaking I don't expect anyone to donate to me Facebooking but there is a measure of my creative energy that goes in that direction. I will also make sure that W.A.W. is a "home base" with links that go to any other public writing I do.
Also please don't forget that 10% of every donation goes to a local children's literacy charity. (We're doing Oakland Reads right now.)
Another ten percent also goes into blog improvements, which will mean editing and website construction when there's enough income to do so, but for now gives W.A.W. a very modest promotional budget to advertise some of our "greatest hits" on Facebook, gain followers, and expand our modest audience.
Unfortunately I've really had to ratchet up the thresholds for various rewards this year. This is no reflection on any sort of shifting awesomeness threshold, but simply one of my time and energy away from blogging and fiction. Especially being on the front line with supporting someone through cancer. We have a very large number of smaller donations, and while each of you is absolutely wonderful and awesome, if I stopped and wrote a thank you note to everyone, it wouldn't be long before that was all I really had time to do.
The Agape Love of Ongoing donations- Of course we love any donation we ever get from anyone...ever. It's always a treat that I don't feel like I deserve and a pleasure and an honor. That can't be underscored enough. One-time donations make up over a half of our entire revenue here.
However, ongoing donations help us in a very particular way. They help us budget for things since it is an income we know we can (at least tentatively) count on month after month. For example, ongoing donations were what helped us drop a teaching class each week (down to one), hire a housekeeper, and get a sitter to tag in for a few hours each morning, all of which have made more writing possible. The only reason I was able to keep anything going while we dealt with the cancer diagnosis is because of the help we paid for from ongoing donations. I'm going to need to crunch some numbers to see if I can afford to take off summer school this year (which if you've followed the blog, you know has been my nemesis for three years running), but if it is possible, it will be because of ongoing donations. It's less like a surprise or a gift and a tiny bit more like reliable income. It may seem counter-intuitive, but a smaller recurring amount will help us out more than a large periodic donation that we never knew was coming and don't know if will ever come again.
It's very easy to make an ongoing donation. Just click on the Paypal link the same as you would to make a one-time donation, but instead, click the ticky box to make it recurring.
|Right there in the middle....|
Rewards....kinda: I honestly wish I had some Writing About Writing coffee mugs and gym bags to make this part a little less ridiculous.
$1.99 or less - While I will never turn down any donation here (because I'm a starving, debased artist with no integrity or something), I will just let you know that Paypal will be taking 30 cents per transaction, so denominations this low lose 15%+ of their value. I will make significantly less if you donated a dollar a month than if you just saved up and donated ten dollars a year.
Up to $100.00- All donors at this level will be included in a post at the end of each year thanking each donor for their patronage and support*. I will use only your first name as it shows up on your Paypal receipt. If you would like your full name to appear, would prefer to be completely anonymous, or be referred to by a pseudonym please either mention so on your Paypal "note" or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know that you'd prefer anonymity/psudonymity/fullonymity.
Also, I will shoot you a quick note right away thanking you and letting you know I got your donation.
$100.01-$200.00- All of the above. In addition, I will send you a small personal message of thanks, including a few details about what's going on in my world and the projects I'm hoping to get started on next.
$200.01-$300.00- All of the above. In addition, I will pick your brain about any updates you might like to see coming up in the future, and I will try to expedite that article in my mental queue.(Obviously this is more of a preference favoring than actual creative control, and I can't make any guarantees about time tables.)
$300.01-$499.99- All of the above. In addition I will ask you about anything you generally would like to see more of and try to work that in more frequently. (Again, I can't make creative or time-table guarantees, but I am likely to at least give it a try for a while.)
$500.00+ All of the above. In addition if you approve (and only if you approve), I will give you a shout out on the blog right away. (This can be as large as your own praise-singing post or as small as a line of thanks slipped in before another article depending on what you are most comfortable with--the point is to thank you vocally, not embarrass the shit out of you.) As with the end of the year post, I will only use your first name unless you inform me you would prefer to be anonymous or have your whole name used. This is in no way intended to put you on the spot or cover you in embarrassing glory if you don't want it; it is simply the only way I have to really thank those who have been so incredibly supportive.
The Great Patron Muses- There are a few great patron muses (but always room for one more). They have given more to Writing About Writing than I can possibly thank. While blistering hot oral sex or being part of a groupie threesome would certainly qualify one for P.M. status, most of the Great Patron Muses have either donated over and over month after month and/or have donated huge amounts and/or have done something totally amazeballs like show up to a convention wearing homemade Writing About Writing t-shirts. In addition to everything above, I have promised the Patron Muses that should I write a zombie apocalypse story (and there's definitely one rolling around in my melon) characters with their names will be making it to the helipad.
*While I would honestly and sincerely love to get back to every single donor with a personal message, there are just so many small donors, that trying to keep up with them has taken entire days of my writing time and left me with much less time to write. Please know that I sincerely appreciate every one of you; however, I hope that you'll understand if my thanks in this case is continuing to devote almost all my spare time to bringing you more content.