I write game stuff. Most notably, I write a blog called Papers & Pencils where I've been publishing fucked up fantasy since 2011. On P&P you'll find d100 tables, essays describing my own refereeing techniques, as well as my game design philosophies. There are whole new modular subsystems ready to be dropped into your game, classes, monsters, magic items, and just a whole lot of good stuff in general. I even share weekly play reports for every session of my post-apocolyptic mars campaign as supplemental material.
TL;DR: I write a lot of stuff. Maybe it's stuff that you like?
I would like some of your money to become my money.
I want to use it to hire a sculptor who will create life-sized gold statues for each of the creatures in my upcoming post, "d100 Dickbeasts."
Did that make you laugh? Patreon told me you're more likely to give me money if my pitch is entertaining.
The truth is much less fun. I want your money for the same reasons you want your money: to pay the bills. To buy food. To put windows into all the window-holes in my car. Right now, I pay for these things doing jobs that involve a lot of exhausting physical labor, which prevents me from writing as much as I want to. But if my writing can bring in some money, I can spend less time working those odd jobs. That's time I can use for more writing, which hopefully will result in more money. My long term goal is to create an infinite loop of More Writing>More Money>Less Job>, eventually becoming an Internet billionaire.
In the short term, I'll settle for being able to pay artists and editors and layout people. If I can offload some of that work, then I can spend less time doing things I'm bad at, and more time writing.
OH, and I'd like to make my minimum student loan payment each month. That would be awesome!
"Why do you think you deserve my money?"
You don't owe me anything for reading my work. I put it out there for free, and you will always have my sincere gratitude just for reading it. I didn't become a writer to extract money from people; I became a writer to connect with people. If you read what I write, and it has some kind of impact on you, then I'm already getting what I want out of our relationship. I will keep doing that no matter what. I just want to do more of it.
If that's something you want as well--for me to write more--then you can help make it happen with money. Because right now, the only thing preventing me from writing more is a lack of time, caused by a lack of money. This Patreon doesn't exist because I deserve anything more from you. It exists to provide you with an option: if you like what you see, insert coin here to see more.
Obviously, though, I'm hoping a good chunk of you will take me up on that option.
"How do I know you won't waste my money?"
As I write this, I'm unemployed after reaching the end of a seasonal job. Five days a week I am out of bed before 7 in the morning, working by 8, and I keep working until 10, or even 12 at night. When I'm done, I crash onto my bed so I can wake up the next day and do it again. It's exhausting, and it can be kinda miserable at times, but I love it. I love it so much that sometimes it creeps into my weekends, which I keep telling my ladyfriend that I'm going to spend with her, but then there's that one little thing I didn't have time for earlier in the week.
I can't say that I'm the best writer, or even the most efficient one. I know guys who can turn words around in half the time I can. But I am getting better. I would like the opportunity to focus on getting better still.
"Why are pledges by month, instead of by post?"
- Because I can guarantee my monthly output.
- Because I'm not qualified to decide what you want to spend money on.
- Because rewards shouldn't cost you money.
First, I can guarantee my monthly output because I'm currently working several months ahead. If I died tomorrow, Papers & Pencils would continue to update for 6 months. So when I say that I'm going to make one blog post each week, that isn't a vague promise waiting to be disrupted by my next hangover or headcold. It's guaranteed. And if I'm ever NOT working several months in advance, I will suspend my Patreon until I get back on top of things.
Second, when a Patreon campaign is paid per creation the creator is responsible for deciding whether each post they make will be billed their patrons, or not. My brain just isn't shaped right to handle that sort of responsibility. I would tear myself to pieces wondering if it's okay to charge you for the random supplemental I tossed into the middle of the week. Or what if I post something short, or personal, or outside my wheelhouse? I take pride in everything I write, but I'm not always confident other people will see it that way.
By going the pledge-by-month route, I can rest easier knowing that nobody is stuck paying for something they didn't enjoy reading. And my patrons can rest easier, because they know exactly how much their patronage will cost each month. No nasty surprises if I'm more active than usual, just the pleasant surprise of getting a bit of extra game content you weren't expecting.
Which leads in to my final point: rewards should not cost you money. If you'll look over at my goals, you'll notice that the more money I get, the more often I'm going to post. If you were pledging by post, then reaching those goals would cause your Patreon bill to go up, since more posts means more money. I want to increase my posting frequency as a thank-you to people who support me, not as a way of milking them for more cash.
"If you're working so far ahead, why don't you just post more frequently already?"
Part of the reason I maintain such a huge buffer is because I want Papers & Pencils to be stable and reliable, which my life isn't. For example, I was intensely busy from June-November 2016. During that whole 5 month period, I wrote maybe 4-6 posts, but P&P kept on chugging along as normal week after week. If I hadn't built up that huge buffer, the blog would have been dead for several months. Just thinking about that makes me feel sad.
The bigger reason, though, is that I need to start making money from writing. A man has gotta eat. And since blogging doesn't make money, I need to focus on projects which might make money. The buffer gives me the opportunity to work on those larger projects, without worrying that the blog will fall silent in the meantime.
If, through this Patreon campaign, the blog does start to make money, then I can justify shifting some of my focus away from those larger projects. Which doesn't mean I'll ever abandon them, books are better than blog posts. But with the support of patrons, I could divide my attention more evenly between the blog, and the books.
"What's the deal with the goals?"
I want to be realistic about what I can offer as incentives. We've all participated in crowdfunding campaigns that promised the moon, then fell short. Since I already spend every ounce of my creative energy on writing, I'm not in a position where I can do more just by working harder. But there are some things I can do to thank those who support me.
The early goals, up to $300, are all things which can be accomplished with a minimal amount of adjustment to how I prioritize my time. After that, the next three goals are big, one-time projects. They'll each take a few months to complete, but won't represent a permanent change to my writing schedule.
After that, the rest of the goals all represent a significant shift in how I'll plan out my days. This is appropriate since, by this point, Patreon would be my primary source of income. That being said, most of the latter goals will require some sacrifice from me, which I will be happy to make if we actually get there.
The most important thing about all of the goals is that they are things I really want to do. For pretty much every incentive on the goal list, I've seriously considered doing it for free at one point in the last couple years. Each time, I rejected the idea because it would not be responsible of me to do extra work for free at this point. Not when the same time could be spent on something that makes money. But, if you give me money, I'll finally have an excuse to do all those irresponsible things I've always wanted.
Not just to those of you who give me your money--though you are my favorite. Thank you to everyone who wants to give me money but can't afford it, or who thought about giving me money but decided some other cause was more deserving. I appreciate your generosity with your time and your attention.
Just not as much as I appreciate your generosity with your wallet. ;)