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

Monday, July 2, 2018

Your Help is Needed. (That's right YOU....uh....YOUR)

Hi there wonderful readers.

It's true. I really do need your help. Even just a little tiny bit of it. (Even if all you can afford to do is like and maybe share this post so that other people can see it too.) But feel free to read on, and gain gritty insight about the inner workings of trying to be a working artist and/or working writer in today's internet culture.

Today marks the third week of of six where I'm doing  "pledge drive." It'll be on Monday this week since A) I didn't do one last week due to the schedule SNAFU and B) tomorrow I need to remind people to nominate and offer up seconds for our next poll. Wednesday is a holiday, and I do still take those off (at least from blogging--I never take days off from writing.) So it was pretty much this or Friday.

We are 84% of the way to our next major goal here at Writing About Writing. That goal is where I stop worrying that without a zillion side gigs, I won't be able to cover the rising cost of health insurance and taxes under an administration that doesn't want to subsidize the former or let me write off my my desk and laptop on the latter.
Image description: bar mostly full and
text that says 84% complete.

Though that's from zero to the total amount
(not from the last met goal) so I'm going to be happy if
we close the gap and elated if we hit it.

Normally our air/fuel mixture is a lot more towards the content side. I don't even put up a post like this one more than once a month. But since budgets for the coming 12 months or so need to be finalized by early August, and I am overwhelmed by summer school anyway, I thought I'd take a moment to try and hit a goal that isn't "making it" but is "enough progress that it seems plausible that someday I might."

This is a screenshot from MY PATREON.  It's a shot of one of the admin pages that only I can see.

Image description: Text- June 2018 summary -$44.84 in pledges, +6 patrons
How can I gain six patrons but lose $44 in income?

I'm so glad you asked!

One of my really big Patrons had to cut back pretty hard when life hit them in the tender bits. Maybe I'll get them back if life comes round with the megascrill again, or maybe I won't. The mercurial winds of fate tear at us all, and I know this is a particularly fraught time for anyone to be committing big chunks of money every month to a "local artist." This happens quite frequently actually. My income fluctuates pretty wildly and is known to go up or down by as much as 15% in a single month.

Never a dull moment, eh?

HOWEVER.....it helps me to illustrate a wonderful point. While I love my big donors beyond my ability to adequately express, I would be a lot less vulnerable to a single gust of those winds of fate if I actually had a lot of little donors too. $1 and $5 donors form a healthy "ecosystem" of patronage that is less threatened by the loss of large donors. In fact, the reason I'm not panicking now is because of so many of the small donors that are already here. Losing fifty bucks a month sucks, but it's no longer over ten percent of my income.

In fact, if a mere ten percent of my eight hundred thousand and change of my Facebook followers would sign up for JUST a dollar a month I would....


A guy can dream, okay?

Now I have good news on my side-gigs front. I'm doing.....okay.

I don't think I'm going to have to give up and go punch a clock any time soon as long as I keep being okay with having 3 roommates in a 2 bedroom place and eating a lot of PB&Js. One of these side gigs is going to be around for at least a few more years, and long before it goes away, another will flower into full bloom, and I should be able to phase out pet-sitting and focus more on writing.

Of course even my most writing-friendly side gigs (like pet sitting) still take time and energy away from writing. If I had my way it could be 100% writing all the time.

That also means that I can huff and puff and pass the hat with my big adorable eyes, but I probably don't really even have to threaten to put Google ads back up here. (Yes, it's technically a few more dollars, but I don't particularly like not having control of what ads show up, being a capitalist tool, or the limitations on what I can say if I am writing a for-profit blog.) Still, it would be nice if this pledge drive brought in some money I could count on.

Pictured: Big, adorable eyes.
I have like twelve levels of Patreon goals going all the way up to amounts that actually literally make me laugh. Then again, if that one asshole can make five grand a month for trashing feminism, maybe there's hope. (Seriously fuck that guy.)

Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh.  You are reckless. 

Wait...that's Yoda.

Retirement. Heh. A small studio apartment. Heh. You are feckless. 

Um....anyway, some of the smaller goals we have actually hit and passed have to do with continuing to write full time and keeping the lights on around here. And I can't thank you all enough for that. The question now is whether or not I can phase out these side gigs sooner or later and devote myself full time to writing.

Some of my down-the-road goals are because my current living situation won't last forever (nor would I want it to). Some because eventually this buttercup is going to have to do some up-sucking and start contributing to some kind of retirement plan that is a little more sophisticated than "Hope nothing ever goes wrong!" But right now....today....at least hitting this ONE goal before my "pledge drive" is over will be a step in the right direction enough to give me hope that the rest can be done given time.

Since this blog's inception, due to the breathtaking generosity of patrons and donations from readers like you, we have been able to:

  • Quit teaching during the regular year and write instead
  • Bring you more content
  • Remove the annoying ads
  • Up the number of high quality posts each week
  • (Not to put too fine a point on it, but we've been able to keep bringing you content through what would otherwise have been some completely devastating life transitions that would have put most bloggers on hiatus) 
  • Gone from five posts a week to six
  • And we've been able to take far fewer random days off

Here are some things I'd like to add if we continue to get more support:

  • Even more posts, and more high-quality posts (less jazz hands)
  • But also more and better quality jazz hands 
  • A seventh and even eight post each week (or more?)
  • A greater number of carefully (perhaps even professionally) edited and revised posts
  • More fiction
  • Always and ever free longer fiction (books)
  • An always, forever, ad free experience on Writing About Writing

The mere cost of twelve dollars a year–just ONE DOLLAR a month–gets you in on backchannel conversations with other patrons, polls, and conversations about future projects including sometimes me trying to get your input. For five dollars you get cute selfies of me and the pets I sit.  For ten you get an early access post as often as I can get them written. But perhaps, most importantly, you'll be supporting an artist to continue making art and entertainment that is open to everybody.

So if you like what I do and want to see me do more of it, don't want to see me have to do less of it, please consider a small pledge. We wouldn't have gotten this far without our patrons, and we can't do more without you.

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

Act now and you won't even be billed until August!

And of course if committing to a monthly amount isn't feasible, you can always make a one-time donation through my Paypal (at the top left of the screen). There are also ways to help that don't have a price tag, including just liking, commenting, or sharing THIS post on social media so that more folks see it.

[Note: In a revised form, perhaps with more bells and whistles, a version of this post will be going up for three more Wednesdays.]

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