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

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Current Dilemma and How YOU Can Help

Note: Word count accountability will be back next Monday, though the outrageous pace of this week and last may make them a bit unimpressive.

I'm getting close to one of those big artist moments, and you can help.

Let me give you the background first:

Currently my financial situation is cobbled together from a Kickstarter (funds drawn from the account as slowly as I possibly can while I write a book), a quid pro quo arrangement of watching The Contrarian, money I saved up before I moved out, teaching (though I took a semester off in spring) and money I make from writing. It's quite a little hodgepodge and future me is already glaring at now me at the headache 2017's taxes are going to be next year around this time, but I'm making ends meet.

In fact, things have been a little cup-runneth-over for me. I'm behind in my Kickstarter project but not because I've been sitting around blowing through that money and updating Facebook. The money is still sitting in the account, barely touched, because I keep working massive hours on day jobs. I'm poking at my novel, but have had very few of the real rocking sessions that get a manuscript drafted. At this point I'm getting a little nervous about how far behind my original projection I might be.

This is my pensive face.
I took this semester off of school and it has helped me to get more hours in front of that novel and writing in general, but the time is fast approaching where I'm going to have to commit (or not) to fall semester.

I love teaching. I love it so much that in the past I've taken on a class or two even though I didn't need the money. (Of course, that was before I moved out on my own and I needed that income to do things like not starve.) Unfortunately, as I've pushed myself to write more and more, I've begun to realize that my real world limitations are encroached upon by teaching. It's not just seat time, but prep time, commute time, the horror of put-on-pants time, and a several-hour committment plunked down into the middle of writing sessions.

"But wait?" you say (and rightly so!). "If you are working too much even without the teaching, and barely even need this Kickstarter money, why not keep doing that."

Right you are hypothetical you. Here's where things get weird.

Okay, not that weird.

Things are about to change.

Come Fall, The Contrarian won't need as much supervision. The quid pro quo arrangement that has kept me from needing to spend money on groceries will be down to a half quid pro quo. I don't know exactly how much I can count on (it may still be a bit too much), but if I take too big a hit in income, I will have given up on teaching but have nothing to replace it once the Kickstarter money runs out.

Now you start to see why Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are being high-speed circled by the camera while they stand up slowly.

Teaching is also...it's the last semblance of my "normal" life. It's my tether to the "real world." The last steady paycheck. The last definite per-hour compensation. The last fetter to the idea that if this writing thing doesn't work out, I could go back to school, get a teaching Masters, and make a decent living trying desperately to get freshmen to write a thesis statement.

Giving up teaching would be gambling away something I love for the chance that something I love even more won't explode spectacularly and end so badly that a Vorlon has to warn me about it.

"Well then," you say (and rightly so!) "Now seems like it's not really the time to be giving up on teaching."

Well you're right. Except for the fact that I really need to do right by my Kickstarter backers and get this fucking book written, and if I get more hours than I'm expecting with T.C., then everything swings back the other way. And I really am close, so very close, to being able to just baaaaarely afford to take this risk.


If you like what I do, and want to see me keep doing it (and also don't want to see me have to cut back on doing it), now would be a great time to become a Patron.
Check out my Patreon!
I'm not sure how many hours of entertainment Writing About Writing might provide you, but for as little as a dollar a month (less than the price of a movie each year), you can give back in a way that honestly helps an artist keep producing and entertaining. Plus, that same dollar will get you in on patron-only conversations, give you some weighed input into my future projects, and give you a vote in patron-only polls.

Of course I don't expect to be solvent after this post. As often as people write out those statuses "If every one of you gave me a dollar....," I roll my eyes at the thought that even 1% of their readers have the discretionary income and inclination to reach for their wallet. But just a few more patrons, even at the dollar level, signed on, I would reasonably portend that by Fall 2017, I could expect to have a handful more than that. And by the time I finished my novel (and the Kickstarter money's absence would be noticed) I would have even a few more than that. Basically, if I weren't quite so close to this dangerous precipice, the numbers being plugged into this calculated risk might look a little less terrifying.

So if you've enjoyed having WAW around, enjoy the constant content of my W.A.W.'s Facebook page, like my personal FB rants, want to see me devote more time to some of those deeper articles, and don't want to see my content take a dip come fall because I have to punch a clock, a dollar a month (or more if you wish) is a great way to do that.

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