I wish things were going better.
During the pandemic—or more accurately, during the global recession that happened because of the pandemic—I lost a lot of patrons. It was a tough time, and crowdfunding artists is often one of the first things to go when people look for a buck or three they can save in their budget. In the last 18 months, I've lost dozens of financial backers. And several more have had to lower their monthly contributions to something they could handle more easily. I leaned on a side gig watching kids to shore up my writing income, and since those hours were almost more than I could handle, the bills got paid and then some and it was no big deal that folks were doing what they needed to do to survive the age of covid.
However, because I live with children too young to get vaccinated who are going back to school, all my nanny hours were cut off SUDDENLY. (It was a tough decision, but there's an immunocompromised person in the house and an abundance of caution against breakthrough infections is wise.) Now, I am down to JUST writing income.
I wanted to wait until the vaccines started to get life back to a semblance of normal before I passed the hat again, but the delta variant seems to be poised to tack on another several months to any kind of fully "back to normal," especially for people with kids. And there IS an economic recovery happening even if it looks a little strange and is kind of scattershot across certain industries but not others.
I used to run an appeals post at least every month, and I've been trying to take it easy when I know times were tough for everyone. But the change in circumstances means I really need to start covering ALL my bills with writing.
Please don't think you need "a lot" to help.
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 that several times over the years, a big donor has a major life event, needs to cancel their contribution, but I don't immediately have a panic attack, fold, and start selling my organs on the black market.
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 instead of one $100 donor, 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 as often as I can. But I'd love to keep my blog ad free and not have exclusive paid content (beyond the newsletters). To say nothing of my ability to keep writing instead of taking side gigs pet sitting, freelance writing, or 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.
If you like what I do, and want me to keep doing it (and doing it more), I could use your help. But if I can't make enough through writing, there may have to be some changes. If you've ever thought that my work (here, on Facebook, or the combination) was worth a dollar or three a month, there would never be a better time to become a patron.
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.
Note: The algorithm for social media rewards engagement, so if you can't help financially but want to do something (or you CAN help, but 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.