Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my computer?Hi, I'm Dan Abbott. I've been telling stories and making music for as long as I can remember, with such projects as Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits and Thee Hobo Gobbelins. For the last 20 years I've been writing, recording and touring as a songwriter and musician, but recently I've felt drawn back to my first love: writing. I will be exploring where that takes me over the next few months, and I hope you'll join me.
I've always been interested in playing with different media; playing in bands gave me opportunities to experiment with music videos, stage plays, books and more, and I love that variety of experience. So while mostly I'll be focusing here on the written word, I hope to be able to share the breadth of stuff I do: my advice column ("Ask Abbott"), songs, videos, podcasts, games, recipes and more! I'm trying out Patreon as a way to keep a running conversation with my audience.
Over the years, I've gone through creative cycles of hyper-prolific periods and then dry spells. This is probably true of most artists. During those dry spells, at least in the early years, I often wondered if it would ever happen to me again. At a certain point I realized that creativity was not something that happened to me, it was something I was doing.
Why Patreon?I've worked intermittently as a journalist, and deadlines are a good motivator for me. That, and the knowledge that people are out there waiting to read/hear the next thing I do, help keep me up and at 'em even when I'm being a moody artist.
I'm also learning to engage with audiences. This part is a little trickier than simply being creative. I love performing, but I can be prickly and solitary at times, and I'm an old-school pen and paper nerd who never really embraced technology the way I ought to. I want to get better at connecting with people, using all these wonderful tools at my disposal. This process will help me get into the habit of reaching out to people and maintaining connections.
What do you need my money for?
Some of the more ambitious writing projects I want to do will require intensive research; interviews, travel and other time-consuming activities. I'll need better audio and video equipment (and occasionally professional help) so that I can do higher-quality material. Certain projects will be more involved and require hiring visual artists or studio engineers. Some projects will have production costs (printing a written publication or a board game, et al).
I'm also working on making my art self-sustaining, with the long-term goal of making it my full-time job. I think what I do is worthwhile. If enough people agree I can gradually make it my livelihood. I've got lots of ideas burning holes in my notebooks, and lately I'm thinking about short films, podcasts, and more.
This is new territory I'm entering. It's scary and exhilarating and I hope you'll join me!