Douglas W. Milliken is creating stories from the margins.
7

patrons

My name is Douglas William Milliken. I write short stories and sometimes novels. As improbable as it sounds, this is my full-time job. At last count, I've published nearly 100 pieces in journals, magazines, and the occasional podcast, seen five book projects (a novel and four chapbooks) make it into print, and been honored by a handful of really flattering awards. Most of that's happened in the past five years. A lot of years' work have been packed into those five.

So what's the problem.

The problem is that writing fiction does not pay very well, or consistently, or often on time. Writers as a whole haven't gotten a pay raise in over fifty years (then and now, the going "professional" rate is about ten cents per word, and that's the ceiling). That said, there have been years when I've been able to pay the majority of my bills with prize money and profits from stories. Other years, I've had to rely on the savings I built up during my twenties, wrecking my body building houses and planting trees (work that I now and then still do). Because you can't always bank on that first place ribbon. And honestly, sometimes publishers flake on their debts.

Anyone familiar with the acute pinch of poverty knows the resultant burden of anxiety. And anyone who's ever suffered the shakes beneath the crushing thumb of doubt understands how stress makes you useless within any context. Add to that cocktail a matching set of diagnosed mood disorders (chronic anxiety and dysthymia), and you've created one nasty sucking whirlpool of self-flagellation and no work getting done.

The fact is, if I'm worrying about money, I'm not writing the way I should. And in order to keep up this creative pace, I can't pursue another auxiliary job.

And that's where you come in.

If you can help calm my willy-wags by securing my basic needs (a roof, a sandwich, and two vials of medication), I can chill about money and focus my full attention on writing my next 100 stories, publishing my next five books, earning my next handful of flattering awards. Which isn't just rhetoric. I've already finished and am seeking a publisher for a new novel, Our Shadows' Voice, about the decades'-long repercussions of a young boy's sudden death. There is also a second novel, The Ordnance of Heaven--about fidelity and sacrifice in the Bad Lands of South Dakota--that is nearly complete. And then there are the short stories. An interconnected sequence about a homeless man named Coleman. An interconnected sequence about a boy named Re. A disquieting assortment of characters causing trouble for themselves in Florida. And so many other miscreants and outsiders trying to reconcile their personhood against the overwhelming ambivalence of the universe.

So obviously, I need your help.

In conclusion, I invite you to put your money on this timid talking horse. In return, I'll give you a glimpse into a portion of my process. I'll take measures to deliver cryptic missives in your mail. I'll make a little booklet just for you. I'll do my best to make it worth your while.

[ALSO: If you're unable to commit to a monthly subscription, or would like to safely test the waters without obligation, you can make a one-time "tip" through Paypal. Whatever level you donate at will be greeted with a matching Patreon reward, such at postcards, booklets, and downloads.]

Rewards
Process
$5 or more per month
In addition to an inordinate amount of gratitude--which although intangible is also invaluable--you'll also gain digital access to scanned pages from my working notebooks and manuscript pages that may or may not be partway "edited" by the In-House Critic.
Correspondence
$10 or more per month
In addition to digital access, you will receive a handmade postcard each month with a handwritten excerpt from my current book-length project (alternately titled Champion or A Means of Forgetting, depending on my mood.)
Lite Reading
$20 or more per month
In addition to digital access, you will receive a perfect-bound booklet. Over the course of 2018, the entirety of Coleman’s narrative—including a serialized, never-before-published novella—will arrive in your mailbox. (Previously only available at the $30 level)

Correspondence + Lite Reading
$30 or more per month
All the above (Previously only available at the $40 level) 
Correspondence + Comprehensive Reading
$50 or more per month
All the above, plus a copy of every print publication that comes out during your subscription, be it a journal, an anthology, or a new book. (Previously only available at the $80 level)
A living, breathing writer
$100 or more per month
All the above, plus once a year, I will give a reading/talk/Q&A at a location of your choosing (library/classroom/living room)  within 300 miles of Portland, ME. More remote patrons will have the option of a Skype version of the same deal. You will also be thanked by name in the acknowledgements of my next published book.
Goals
16% complete
Halfway to an anxiety-free month of writing full-time. Most basic needs met, with the additional funds necessary to enter more contests, submit to bigger publishers, and travel farther afield for reading events.
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My name is Douglas William Milliken. I write short stories and sometimes novels. As improbable as it sounds, this is my full-time job. At last count, I've published nearly 100 pieces in journals, magazines, and the occasional podcast, seen five book projects (a novel and four chapbooks) make it into print, and been honored by a handful of really flattering awards. Most of that's happened in the past five years. A lot of years' work have been packed into those five.

So what's the problem.

The problem is that writing fiction does not pay very well, or consistently, or often on time. Writers as a whole haven't gotten a pay raise in over fifty years (then and now, the going "professional" rate is about ten cents per word, and that's the ceiling). That said, there have been years when I've been able to pay the majority of my bills with prize money and profits from stories. Other years, I've had to rely on the savings I built up during my twenties, wrecking my body building houses and planting trees (work that I now and then still do). Because you can't always bank on that first place ribbon. And honestly, sometimes publishers flake on their debts.

Anyone familiar with the acute pinch of poverty knows the resultant burden of anxiety. And anyone who's ever suffered the shakes beneath the crushing thumb of doubt understands how stress makes you useless within any context. Add to that cocktail a matching set of diagnosed mood disorders (chronic anxiety and dysthymia), and you've created one nasty sucking whirlpool of self-flagellation and no work getting done.

The fact is, if I'm worrying about money, I'm not writing the way I should. And in order to keep up this creative pace, I can't pursue another auxiliary job.

And that's where you come in.

If you can help calm my willy-wags by securing my basic needs (a roof, a sandwich, and two vials of medication), I can chill about money and focus my full attention on writing my next 100 stories, publishing my next five books, earning my next handful of flattering awards. Which isn't just rhetoric. I've already finished and am seeking a publisher for a new novel, Our Shadows' Voice, about the decades'-long repercussions of a young boy's sudden death. There is also a second novel, The Ordnance of Heaven--about fidelity and sacrifice in the Bad Lands of South Dakota--that is nearly complete. And then there are the short stories. An interconnected sequence about a homeless man named Coleman. An interconnected sequence about a boy named Re. A disquieting assortment of characters causing trouble for themselves in Florida. And so many other miscreants and outsiders trying to reconcile their personhood against the overwhelming ambivalence of the universe.

So obviously, I need your help.

In conclusion, I invite you to put your money on this timid talking horse. In return, I'll give you a glimpse into a portion of my process. I'll take measures to deliver cryptic missives in your mail. I'll make a little booklet just for you. I'll do my best to make it worth your while.

[ALSO: If you're unable to commit to a monthly subscription, or would like to safely test the waters without obligation, you can make a one-time "tip" through Paypal. Whatever level you donate at will be greeted with a matching Patreon reward, such at postcards, booklets, and downloads.]

Recent posts by Douglas W. Milliken

Rewards
Process
$5 or more per month
In addition to an inordinate amount of gratitude--which although intangible is also invaluable--you'll also gain digital access to scanned pages from my working notebooks and manuscript pages that may or may not be partway "edited" by the In-House Critic.
Correspondence
$10 or more per month
In addition to digital access, you will receive a handmade postcard each month with a handwritten excerpt from my current book-length project (alternately titled Champion or A Means of Forgetting, depending on my mood.)
Lite Reading
$20 or more per month
In addition to digital access, you will receive a perfect-bound booklet. Over the course of 2018, the entirety of Coleman’s narrative—including a serialized, never-before-published novella—will arrive in your mailbox. (Previously only available at the $30 level)

Correspondence + Lite Reading
$30 or more per month
All the above (Previously only available at the $40 level) 
Correspondence + Comprehensive Reading
$50 or more per month
All the above, plus a copy of every print publication that comes out during your subscription, be it a journal, an anthology, or a new book. (Previously only available at the $80 level)
A living, breathing writer
$100 or more per month
All the above, plus once a year, I will give a reading/talk/Q&A at a location of your choosing (library/classroom/living room)  within 300 miles of Portland, ME. More remote patrons will have the option of a Skype version of the same deal. You will also be thanked by name in the acknowledgements of my next published book.