I wish things were going better than they are.
I would love to just wait until the pandemic was over and the economy was recovering before mentioning that I am a crowdfunded artist with rent and electric bills, but we're still looking at several months for a full vaccine roll out. And I waited as long as I could so that I wouldn't be passing the hat during a time of low productivity (or when most of my posts were a 2021 update/revision of the admin tabs at the top of the blog). But these last two weeks, I've punched out a lot of content, including even writing on Wednesdays, my usual day off, just to kind of show you what things will look like when the good times roll.
In the last two months, I've lost nearly a dozen financial backers. And several more have had to lower their monthly contributions to something they could handle more easily.
There's no question what's going on here. I'm not being "punished" for my politics or lack of productivity or anything silly. The global recession has begun to hit my patrons, and crowdfunding is one of the first things folks cut when a budget gets tight. A lot of folks are canceling or reducing their contributions, the holidays tend to hit wallets particularly hard, and I've lost a LOT of money in the last three months. There have been ups and downs, but overall things have been slipping.
So despite my intentions to wait until the pandemic wasn't hitting your wallets and MY productivity quite as hard, it doesn't seem like, in my neck of the woods, either the pandemic or the economic collapse is going to let up any time soon.
I absolutely adore my big donors, and it is not hyperbole to say that I literally couldn't pay my rent without them. But it's also true that I couldn't pay my rent without HUNDREDS of smaller donors. They form the foundation upon which my ability to have any financial security at all rests, and their steady and small contributions are the reason a big donor can have a life event and need to cancel their contribution and I don't immediately have a panic attack and wonder how I'm going to get by.
One of the reasons I offer one of my best rewards to folks who sign up for my second-smallest tier––$3 a month––is because I value my small donors so much. I know it's a hard time for someone to find a significant chunk of their budget for crowdfunding, so I'm hoping to find a lot of folks who have $1, $3, or $5 to give.
I'm gonna keep doing what I'm doing one way or another. But my ability to keep these solid weeks coming depends on being able to say no to pet sitting, freelance writing work, extra nanny hours, and all the other ways I spackle together a big enough paycheck to live where I do. If you want to help me keep the rent paid and the lights on, right now I sure could use a lot of small donors to make up for some of these recent hits.
I'm getting tapped to do a lot of nannying hours during this pandemic (as I'm the only nanny that can form an isolated pod with my immunocompromised client), and that is keeping me from freaking out too hard about my lost writing income, but I need something from writing to still be there when this pandemic ends, and I go back to ten hours a week.
If you like what I do, and want me to keep doing it (and doing it more), I could use your help.
Please visit my Patreon if you can help. Even a dollar or three a month makes a big difference when a lot of folks take that step. And the ongoing support allows me to plan and budget for the future.
If an ongoing donation, for whatever reason, isn't good for you, I'm also elated, of course, to get one-time donations as well. I can take donations through Paypal, Venmo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or arrange for some other form if electronic transfers don't work. Some people even literally send me checks in the mail.
Of course, the Patreon rewards aren't "worth" the amount of the tiers, but they are my small way of saying thank you for helping me stay afloat, and they go from getting in on backchannel status updates and a monthly newsletter all the way up to early access, a quarterly major newsletter, autographs, and even tutoring if you want it.
1-Thank you all so, so much. Even if you can't help. If you'd asked me ten years ago if I wanted a writing career to involve daily contact with readers, I would have reacted like some people do when you say the word "moist." Now I can't imagine my life without you all. I appreciate you all so much.
2-The algorithm for social media rewards engagement, so if you can't help financially but want to do something (or you want to help out doubly so), please consider reacting to this post and/or commenting. I'm told GIFs work the best, so feel free to have a gif party in the comments.