Okay, so what is this?Hi. My name is Brandon O'Brien. I am a spoken word poet, writer, and writing facilitator from Trinidad and Tobago. I really love writing, and I've been wanting to share some of that work exclusively online in a serial format and hopefully give people stories which keep them engaged and entertained throughout their run.
I've wanted to write a long serial story on my blog for quite some time, but eventually it becomes hard to keep it up while also not making a steady income. I would also want this project to be sustainable in its own and be able to pay for itself; when my other work allows me to eat a little while the other is not even being noticed, it gets hard to motivate yourself to continue.
In the old days, poets and playwrights had wealthy benefactors who would finance their artistic work so they could say that they were the ones whose finances empowered the greats to make legendary work, some of which stands the test of time to this day. Nowadays, it's easier for the man on the street to make that same investment in artists they have faith in - to say that they support art that they think can change the world.
I want to make the kind of work you can have such faith in.
Which is what I plan on doing, starting soon. (Other obligations, and difficulties setting up my Patreon which I still haven't fully solved, have made me push this back more times than I would like, but I don't plan on taking much longer than Q1 2017, at which point the entire content of at least two serials will already be complete.)
I want to make something that is not only good and keeps people's attention, or proves that serial short stories on the internet are things that people can enjoy, but tries really hard to put more diverse characters that readers can enjoy and be proud of online for people to find and share. I want to make characters that other people say are inspiring/cool/funny/badass and pass around to their friends as examples of diverse characters done right in stories. (I want to at least have a fan base that has no problem calling me out if I ever do that wrong.) I want to tell stories that are fun and engaging while also being critical, inspiring, and powerful. I want to make something meaningful and fun, and show that all that can happen with words in the digital space.
And that will be this.
It's The Panoptic Channel.
If you want a sample of my first serial, The Swan and The Snake, you can read Season One's prologue and the first chapter here.
If you want to support me in that attempt, please be willing to give a little to keep the project alive and even help it grow into something bigger as time goes by. But also be willing to share your attention most of all - what the project will want more than anything is for you all to read it, comment, like, and share, so more people can see what it's all about.
The transmission will be open on this panoptic channel soon. I hope to see you all then.
Alright... but what about you? Why give you my money?My only answer is because this is what I do.
I don't want to compel you with any sob story, although truth be told writing is what I am doing to sustain myself right now. Mostly because it is what I want to do with the rest of my life, and I want to be able to provide some of the myriad things I have in mind for people to see whenever they want. Plus, I want that to be the source of income that fuels me while also attempting to get a novel and a collection of poetry published through the usual mainstream channels; and if I'm being honest, I want to get out of a less-than-ideal living situation as well.
But I want to do what I love as recompense. I want to give people something, and be busy doing so all the time.
I imagine a few people may think that's not worth it. If they want free work, they could read fanfic (and you totally should). And if I wanted to eat and write at the same time, I should 'get a day job, hippie/millennial/whatever-other-euphemism-people-use-these-days!'.
But when I first decided to try moving to Patreon, I just wanted to be empowered to give people some neat stories in a format I really enjoy. To work hard at building a series of worlds people would like coming back to.
I don't want to make oodles of money - in fact, I'd also want some of this money to be used paying other creators on collaborative projects. Most of my money will probably be invested into trying to upgrade my living situation, and even then I'd want it to be reasonable and transparent, and I'd want to be sure about making that leap in the first place.
I just want to give you guys the gift of these stories, and to be able to keep giving it as long as I can.
If you would like to receive that gift, I'd appreciate it.