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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Writing About Writing Needs Your Help

Image description text: We need your help.
I love my job.

And to be able to do my job, and maybe even do it more, I need your help.

I lost $86 dollars of income in January. And while I'm not going to break down my exact finances, that's getting into the neighborhood of about ten percent of the amount of money that I make from writing.

Before we go on, let me just say, I'll be okay. I'm very careful with my money, I don't spend anything until it's sitting safely in my bank account if I can possibly help it, and I don't budget with more than a fraction of what I'm making from writing for just this reason. I also have plenty of pet sitting jobs lined up in the next few months, and kiddo is still four and needs plenty of looking after. So no worries that I'm going to be evicted or anything.

But it does illustrate a point.
Image description text-
January 2018 summary: -$86 in pledges, +5 patrons

See how I gained five patrons but lost money?

I actually lost like 12 patrons and gained 17 or something. That's just the absolute gain.  That kind of shifting happens every month. People cancel, other people sign on. Someone is able to give a little more. Someone else has to cut back a bit. Usually it goes up. (It's kind of weird to have a job where every month you might get a $5 raise, a $50 raise, or take a 10% pay cut, but I guess it beats wearing a tie.)
  • That's why I was able to take time off to focus on writing more last spring.
  • That's why I was able to quit teaching and focus on writing last fall.
  • That's why I was able to stop doing tons of double-bookings on pet sitting and write more starting January.
  • That's why we're up to seven posts a week and have been able to bump up to a much higher ratio of "meaty" articles to "fluff" content.
So what happened with that $86? 

I lost a big patron. 

Just one. 

I would have actually gained $14 for January, but they had a life crisis and had to reevaluate their finances. And it sounds like, compared to what they're going through, I got off pretty light.

Another huge patron is holding the world together with two hands to keep their current amount. I get a text message every few weeks about what kind of freelance gigs might be keeping them going for another month or two. And every time I am simultaneously worried and profoundly honored that I am part of the budget that is so tenuous. 

And it is still true that over half my income comes from half a dozen people. They are basically ensuring that all of you get as much content as you do.

Now of course these high level donors and patrons are all breathtaking and wonderful and I love them, but what would really help me is to have a strong foundation of smaller donors so that losses like those are less devastating. Which is why even a dollar or two makes such a difference. A thriving "ecosystem" of smaller donors wouldn't make the bigger ones any less amazing, but would ensure that if they have something happen in their life that means they have to withdraw their support, I don't immediately take a 10% pay cut.

And I might even want to not live with three roommates in a two bedroom one day. Who knows?

Please join my patreon with a small monthly donation.

At even ONE dollar a month–less than the cost of one swanky theater's nighttime movie every YEAR–you'll get in on backchannel questions and polls, conversations, and updates about what is going on in my writing life.

At five dollars you get some selfies of me and pictures of the pets I'm sitting.

At ten you'll get early access to some of the "big" articles that I post each month.

And there are even more rewards at higher levels as well.

You don't have to be a big spender to make a huge difference to a working artist.

Again here's that link: https://www.patreon.com/chrisbrecheen

And if a monthly donation is not in the cards, you can always do a one time donation through My Paypal (which is also the "conspicuously placed tip jar" in the top right corner). 

Thank you all so much, and here's to more and better articles and fiction always free and hopefully always AD free.

[As always, these kinds of posts aren't exactly "barn burners" in their own right, so engaging it on social media (likes and shares) will help it to be seen by more of my fans and followers and would be greatly appreciated.]

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