I didn't write much for the first few months of the year; I think I was feeling a bit depressed about the state of the world and the publishing industry itself. I started Patreon a few months ago as a way to supplement my literary magazine submissions and jump start my writing. But I think I wasn't in the right mental state to put much effort into it then; it started to feel like a lot of pressure for hardly any audience.
Then I started getting into "stinking thinking." If I only have one or two Patrons for several months, I only am making $36 per year. All that labor, for $36 per year? That's creative work, though, and it's depressing, when you think too much about the business side of it. And I often simply just run out of ideas for stories. But, I think that was just my mindset talking, and I gave into imposter syndrome, self doubt and resignation, and I said it wasn't worth the slog.
However, I have since changed my mind about Patreon. I also started a Buy Me A Coffee and I was doing that for awhile, but it started to feel like my blog. So I decided to move my blog posts over to my Wordpress site, focus more on blogging, and simply have a button on my blog posts to my Buy Me A Coffee platform. That platform is better for one-time donations. That site is here.
I started to think, maybe the paywall is onto something. Paywall is commitment, dedication, support. It's really hard to switch over your content when you have been offering it for free and it still gets largely ignored, to offering it behind a paywall, especially when you do not have a big audience. Then I started to realize, it's not about the money. I'm not doing any of this for the money. Even lit mags usually pay you $10 per story for the semi-pro markets. That's not viable income, especially with all the rejections. You don't do it for the money, even though you can make some if you're prolific.
But I do not need the income; that's why I have a day job that supports my creative habits. I thought, if I happen to get Patrons here and there, that's just validation and encouragement that my stories and my art matter to people. This may be a hobby of mine, but I try to approach it in a professional way, and I do it because I want readers, and I want to entertain people or make a difference in their lives with my art.
So I started thinking, if it's not about the money, what will I use Patreon for? I decided I will use it to connect on a deeper level with people who really enjoy my work, a level that you cannot get on Twitter in a public forum. I also think having a deadline to complete stories, even if it is for a small audience, will help me get out of my writing slump. And I plan to write edgy, weird and different stories, stories that are too weird for traditional publication. I hope to get in the groove of writing stories in a low pressure environment, where I don't have to be crushed by demoralizing rejections from editors.
The only thing I have to fear is being ignored. But I am used to that already.
So I bring to you my Patreon, again. If I need a break from producing regular content I will just pause payments for a month or two and make sure to announce that. Welcome to my fiction and photography! My first story is available exclusively to $3/month subscribers, Alone and Stars, a sci fi romance. Spoiler alert: When I write romance, it never has a happy ending...