Eero Tuovinen

is creating correspondence with the void

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per essay
[1–4 € /month]

I appreciate that you are out there, and interested in my correspondence. Please enjoy what hospitality the metaphorical void has to offer.

Early access: I put my essays in private circulation in advance of publication. It is a good time to catch any major issues, and I welcome early feedback.

Essay suffrage: I seek artistic direction, and you can help guide me. I invite my correspondents to poll regularly on the direction of the journey. It will take time, but we might end up creating something cool, like a novel or a game or a big pile of obscure rpg theory.

Follow the journey: I'll keep you posted on the behind-the-scenes. Get on some Discord servers or whatever if you'd like, and you'll be the first to know when the burnout comes and I pull the plug on this stuff for another decade.


per essay
[5–20 € /month]

I appreciate the seriousness of the investment; to me it signals that you've seen something worthwhile in what I do. I hope to learn what it is, and be inspired in turn.

I am happy to correspond with a real human, as per the lower tier, and respond to your serious commitment likewise:

Essay elector: I cannot promise my full attention to your favoured topic, but it will get into the polls, and if the correspondents respond favourably, we will be working on it regularly. Things will get done.

Patron pricing: This is a hypothetical scenario, strictly without present-time value, but if this artistic process turns towards producing something for the culture industry, like a book or digital game or whatnot, I'll make sure you get yours — an at-cost deal or something similarly mutually feasible. Or maybe we share the salt and ashes. It depends.




per essay

About Eero Tuovinen

I am a designer, writer and roleplayer. It's a vocation, which is to say that I cannot help it. Only the art in this bitter world brings with it some measure of ephemeral joy. I am well-read, and an ambitious gamer. I particularly take pride in my tabletop roleplaying, which life-long practice has made most potent, but I'm not bad with other stuff either.

Midway in the journey of life, I found myself in a forest dark, for I had lost the path that does not stray. That is to say, around a decade ago, frustrated and disappointed with an art grant project I was working on, I set it aside... and stopped. What was supposed to become this neat beginner-friendly fairy tale roleplaying game with ambitious Finnish folklore backstory had descended into a thorough development hell (ha ha, thence the Dante ref), grand ambition twisted around to gnaw on itself, leading to an endless cycle of revision and confusion. It was something very similar to the second novel syndrome writers are known to suffer, coming in the wake of some earlier success.

I can't in good conscience say that I would have entirely wasted the last decade, artistically speaking, but it is true that I have shied away from anything serious, doing extensive background work, consulting, anything but production work. A big part of it has been about sheer stubbornness: I've been hoping to one day finish Eleanor's Dream (the working title of this awful thing on my back) and sort of get back on track, being happy, productive and free of obligations. Pretty obvious by now that eternal melancholy is more my style. That's OK, you work with what you've got.

Working with what I've got

I've been puttering around recently, trying to get my groove back. What I'm going to do with my life, artistically speaking, is a pretty open question as of yet, but I do have a little bit of a plan: I started writing a weekly newsletter in January as a sort of mindfulness exercise, and I've been working on my writing routine by publishing essays on a variety of topics.

Here's the blog, Correspondence is about Diligence; that's where all the action happens. The gloomy name is a reminder to myself to keep writing. As you might know, you're only a writer if you actually write. Go ahead and check out where I'm at right now if you'd like; odds are it's something pretty strange, as I shift through thoughts and ideas, and slowly advance various projects.

I've found out that this blogging format seems to be working pretty well for me: I might not have managed to create anything quite amazing yet, but the process grinds on its merry way reasonably regularly. I get some feedback from the void on occasion, and there's some sense of progress with the various little tricks I'm using like the newsletter and a project board and such.

The overall production format for the foreseeable future is simple yet firm:
  • I'm writing the weekly newsletter until at least the end of the year. It's a variety report on my progress as artist (and human), raw and relatively real-time as these things go, dropping every Sunday.
  • I'm publishing more extensive and slightly ambitious single-topic essays 1–3 times per month, as life allows. The topics are chosen by introducing them in the newsletter and then polling the readers on what they wish to read most. That, plus a modicum of common sense, seems to make for a pretty neat little writing sweatshop. They've mostly liked me to write about rpg theory and cyberpunk roleplaying so far.
My operating assumption here is that following the routine will over time make me ever more powerful (diligent, that is; I have the vision and craft, but I'm also lazy as fuck) as a writer, and writing being the cornerstone of everything else, it will sooner or later end up with my having created something joyful.

The Patreon Proposition

So, the situation here is that I don't really need the money; I'm not a starving artist, even if — childish as it is — sometimes it feels like it'd be easier to maintain focus in living an apt life if the stakes were higher. I want to establish it very clearly that I definitely, most certainly don't want your money if you're feeling at all pinched yourself; this is entirely a funny money type situation, I'm only after middle-class dough here, don't even think about it if you're not making, I don't know, a steady 20k € a year. Throw me some constructive critique at the blog instead, that's basically about as good as the money for my purposes.

(I hope that didn't come off as horribly patronizing, I'm sure you're an adult and know what to do with your own money. However, this was what I was mostly thinking about when trying to decide if I want to open a Patreon account at all — about some friend or acquaintance feeling obligated to support. I am very well aware of how financially precarious many people are both near and far.)

The real reason I'm after your money is that I'm interested in the signalling it represents. I guess I've been struggling with some feelings of inadequacy, as the idea of being validated by somebody paying me for my stuff actually feels damn nice, speaking in the abstract. I might have grown a bit bored with the feeling at some point in the '00s, but I'm up for some more of that now, 'k thanks. Giving me a few pennies (you know, after Patreon takes theirs) seems like an excellent way to show you care, and that matters. Sometimes it feels a bit like I'm corresponding with the Void. I imagine that just a couple of provably-solvent correspondents would motivate me a lot. (I don't know yet if this is the case, but let's assume that for now.)

Keeping this tangle of human emotions in mind, what I'm offering here is the opportunity to pay me a few rupees per essay as I continue producing quality content and publishing it at my blog as I've been doing. To be clear, I'm not talking about my hilarious weekly newsletter; while indeed hilarious, that's free of charge. The essays are reasonably thought-out single-topic articles, historically around 5k–10k words long. I will publish at most once a week, but about ~2 essays a month seems a more likely average; it'll vary depending on the topics and moon phase. By becoming a correspondent (as I'm cutely calling ye basic patron tier) you'll get some increased say in what we'll be working on over time, as well as a generally improved opportunity to ogle at the blood opera that is my creative life.

If all goes well, though, this could become pretty interesting. We just need to figure out what I should really be working on, and start essaying on that at a steady pace. The essay format is pretty good for raw drafting of all sorts of things, so we're not just talking one-off essays here; this could be a functional platform for nicer things.
$21.36 of $56.51 per essay
"We'll create a (slightly) less depressing front page pitch. Maybe get one of you to write it."
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 8 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 8 exclusive posts

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