Two recent events mean that we are no longer able to avoid a few big changes here at Writing About Writing, but let me tell you what's about to happen.
For the past four months, I've been "working for the weekend," so to speak. I've been knowingly overdoing it on nanny hours and letting my writing suffer a bit (though obviously not entirely). My clients were telling me that come January, the baby would be off to preschool, and there would simply not be as many hours. There would still be SOME, but it would be much closer to "the edge" of my budget. And this has been the plan for months now. I've been socking away money for that moment when the winds of fate shifted and brought the financially lean times, but a lot more opportunity for writing.
Then two things happened.
1) My October appeal went quite well. You may have noticed that I didn't do a round of direct-to-social-media, which is my usual wont on the alternative fortnight to a post like this. Things had gone SO well, and I was updating only three times a week––I felt like it was probably better to just skip it that one time. My writing income still wouldn't pay all the bills, but after October's appeal, I'd be a lot less nervous about being cut from 30 nanny hours down to 10 or 15.
2) I found out that The Smol didn't get into preschool for spring semester. Bringing the new estimate to August (as in ten months from now).
That means more income than for at least an additional nine months, but it also means almost more hours than I can handle and not enough writing time for those same nine months. I was okay to run my engines over factory specifications for a few months, but not for an entire year. That's falling right back into problems that I've spent too damned much in therapy to keep repeating.
So...I've set about making those scheduling changes happen anyway.
I'm giving up an hour a day to the morning Nanny, and I'm working out with my clients how to shave off some of the hours that end up happening on weekends and evenings, so that 20 hours/week on paper looks more like 20 hours/week in reality.
This is going to mean more writing starting December, but it's also going to mean that all of your help is more important than ever before. As with every other moment I've been able to drop the teaching of a night class or make a decision to stop a side gig to devote to writing, this is a decision and an opportunity that would not have been possible without my wonderful, generous, and generally ass-kicking patrons.
Once I'm down to the lower hours, I may need to dip into my savings to get through any greater-than-average expense months. And if that starts happening, I'm going to get nervous and pick up freelance work, side gigs, maybe even pet sitting jobs if it gets bad.
This is where all of you come in.
I would much prefer to do my appeals post when I am crunching out two or three heavy hitting posts a week, but I hope that you can see that we're still committed to a steady update schedule even though writing time is a bit hard to find right now, you can glance through the archive and see that over time, I serve up some pretty good writing about writing, and can trust me that it's going to get more robust again real soon.
Today is the first of two times a month (once a month directly to social media and once a month here on the blog) that I humbly ask you to help me keep the rent paid, the lights on, and the crisper full of vegetables instead of "backup Raman packs." Right now I can't quite make all the ends meet with just writing alone (I won't die, but things like dental plans, my cell phone, and food with cellulose take a little extra).
Remember, you don't just get Writing About Writing. There are some personal and political thoughts along with media reviews over at NOT Writing About Writing, and I often use my personal Facebook page for bite-sized thoughts and proto-versions of bigger posts that are still in the "thinking" stage. And there's "the show" on the Writing About Writing Facebook Page––where I share memes, humor, articles about everything writing, and puns all day. And anything else I write for other venues will end up here as well. Always free as well as ad free (as long as I can keep it so) but it takes 20+ hours a week to keep it all going and is a full time job if I really want to do it right.
At this time, I depend completely on donations and patrons for my writing income. As with most donation-based media, the tiniest handful of folks (less than .1%) are creating the experience the other 99.9% get to enjoy. I know it's a tough time right now. Anywhere one looks on social media, there is someone trying to crowdfund an unexpected expense.
However, if even 1% of everyone who stopped by gave a dollar, I would be able to write full time without a side gig for years to come.
If a couple dozen people pledged at the $3 level, I'd be heading into 2020 to give writing an even more robust full-time schedule without needing to worry about oncoming recessions, nanny hours, or dipping into my savings. I know that most people will ignore these appeals. But if you like my work and want it to keep seeing it (and more OF it), please take a moment and see if you can't spare a couple of dollars.
There are two ways to help.
I prefer if you become a Patron through Patreon. Even a small donation goes a long way, and with Patreon, I can budget and plan for the future. Plus, it doesn't take much to get in on some of the most active and robust reward tiers. Our monthly newsletter of behind-the-scenes updates and previews of upcoming attractions is the $3 tier because a foundation of many, smaller donors is so important.
Or if an ongoing donation is not in your cards, of course you can always make the one-time kind through Paypal. Or Venmo (at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastly, these posts will never do particularly well organically, and it is the nature of social media that I cannot reach everyone who wants to see my content. If you don't have the financial means to support us financially, but still want to help (or would like to help doubly), please engage with this post. (Shares and GIF comments are particularly good for the algorithm.)
Thank you all so much,