If you read my previous update, you know that I suffered from serious burn-out since 2016 and it all came crashing down on Tuesday afternoon. I had to take a quick breather and have a good, hard look at my life and where I earn income, where I put energy.
Some of the short-term issues came from the Patreon campaign I had last April. While it was massively successful, and I'm humbled by the support, I overlooked a ton of areas where I put work into the comic. When I made my goals (2 updates per week was at $750, 3 updates at $1500, etc), I was only considering page rates for the extra pages I was making. I wasn't considering the pages I was already making, the time it took to write and edit, social media managing, site managing, uploading on mirrors, convention prep, research, and a ton of other stuff that adds hours onto the time I make just illustrating pages. All the work I was putting into Suihira was keeping me from working on more lucrative freelance, thus, making me lose money while working harder.
I seriously didn't realize how much time the comic took to make until I met the $750 goal and had to make 2 pages per week. I found myself working on pages Monday and Tuesday to get them ready for Wednesday, and repeated the process on Wednesday and Thursday, usually passed out from work on Friday, and had to concern myself with freelance on the weekend. What was sort of toxic was that I kept telling myself that people make 2 pages per week all the time on top of regular jobs, with no Patreon nonetheless, I could do it too. "Quit being so lazy/undisciplined." I told myself. I wasn't being honest with myself.
I'm not other people. I don't work like other people, they don't have my needs, and I don't have their needs. I'm exhausted.
As much as it really breaks my heart, I cannot work the way I have been the past couple of years. The fact is, it's just not sustainable for my living/financial situation. I miss afternoons off, I miss weekends. I'm tired of overworking to only just barely make ends meet.
Here is the important thing: No, I am not canceling nor putting the comic on an indefinite hiatus, so don't worry.
I had to take a good, hard look at the comic and figure out how much work I have to put in to make it worth my time. Considering all the work I put into Suihira, I gave myself a legitimately realistic number that I can actually work with, which is $250 per page.
Here's my current model for the Patreon Goals:
$500 - You all will see updates when available. This means that I'll still make the comic, but I'll make the comic when I can. Making ends meet via freelance takes top priority. Since the current goal is $739/mo, this is where we are currently at.
$1000 - The comic will have regular weekly updates on Wednesdays.
$2000 - The comic will have weekly updates on Wednesdays and Fridays.
$3000 - The comic will have weekly updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
I know it's a ton of money (I live in Los Angeles so it's actually not that much lol). But I need a ton for all this to be sustainable both financially and mentally. I'm very sad about these changes--having the comic update twice a week for the majority of the summer was really great. However, it wasn't great for myself and my home-life. When I started the comic, I told myself that I'll do it even if I didn't make any money. Unfortunately, I have to be honest with myself and admit that I'm in a place in my life where that much work for no or not enough money isn't feasible anymore.
What about rewards such as early access pages? They still apply. However, they will update as according to the goals stated above. Adventurers get to see everything I make. I'm hoping with the schedule lightening up, I'll have time to make short stories again and other goodies like wallpapers. But as it stands, it's still at a "when available" basis.
I'm in awe and immensely grateful for you all and your readership and support. The fact that anyone out there wants to pledge $1 to show their support on my work is incredible.
I hope one day in the future I may return to more frequent updates that aren't dependent on finances, but I have to face the reality of what I want out of my life and my future.
The comic will still update on Wednesday, October 17th for the public, but after that it's a "it's updated when it's made" basis. I'll do my best to save them for Wednesdays so the updates resemble something that's regular, but it won't be my priority.
You all are super amazing, and as it stands, the comic literally wouldn't be here without all of you. I'll keep you all updated, as always! Peace.
TL;DR: I gotta basically cut my workload of Suihira by 1/3 in order make it worth my time and for me to be sane again.