Being a working artist is tough. I know what it’s like to go hungry. I know what it’s like to be afraid to keep a roof over your head or not know where the next roof over your head will be. It is only through the support of friends, fans and community that I have managed to keep going to make and support the work I love. I cannot promise anyone who seeks to make it as a writer that the streets will be paved with gold and you will be met with respect and empathy from the people around you. When it happens, it’s good. When it doesn’t, it’s awful.
I keep my rates low because I’m building this and because of the memory of growling stomach and fear of a cold house and maybe someday a cold alley. I know it sucks in the early early phases of your career when everybody around you acts like you’ve lost your fucking marbles and might as well be shooting up behind the White Castle. My rates are for the people like that or maybe they’re what they are because I can’t feel how high the ground I stand on is. Whatever. What’s important is that I try to be available for people who need my work.
Seeking clients takes time and energy that I could be devoted to doing the work. I mostly want to just do the work, whether it be writing my work or editing yours. So, this morning, I decided to try something new. Patreon is a method of supporting artists and showing you believe in what they do. They, in turn reward you with exclusive opportunities. Patreon might seem on the surface like an admission of defeat, a community throwing its hands up and saying “This is impossible!” But it’s not. This is a way of connecting to fans and giving them an opportunity to vote you up with their dollar, an opportunity to get some freedom. Artists should not be intrinsically poor. We shouldn’t have to be living hand to mouth, supplementing the thing we do best with hauling crates in warehouses or grinning and bearing it as we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous bullshit.
Throw down on this Patreon and you can get some special opportunities, a chance to contribute a component to a crowdsourced novella, a chance to read stuff before it hits the street or a personal consultation on your book pitch. When this thing hits 120 dollars a month, I write and share a story a week. When it hits 200, I write a crowdsourced novella. At 600, I go to Texas, the land of my estranged father’s origin and keep a record of my journey, which might well have some special literary guest stars. Thanks for your time and maybe, for your patronage.