A few months ago, some friends encouraged me to start using Patreon – a system where people can donate small amounts to support my writing.
I felt uncomfortable with the idea. I don’t like asking people for things – I’ve talked before about how being ill has robbed me of a lot of my independence, and how much of a struggle it’s been for me to be accepting of that.
I also struggled with the idea of monetising creativity. This probably goes back to my own sense of inadequacy. I have no qualms at all about paying other people for their art. I just worry that mine isn’t really worth it.
Having said all that, obviously I did set it up, and it’s been really, really great. I’m so amazed at the support I get. I never thought it would go anywhere – again, my own inadequacy talking.
What it means is, well, three things.
1. It gives me a sense of self-worth. It makes me feel like my writing means something and is worth something and a lot of my identity is mixed up in that. I know that getting paid for something doesn’t automatically make it worthwhile or worthy, but this makes my writing feel like a job. A dream job, actually.
2. It makes my financial reality easier.
3. It’s helping me towards getting off the benefit. Writing is something I can do while I’m unwell, so the more paid writing I can do, the closer I am to supporting myself again. That’s pretty much my main goal.
So with these things in mind, I’ve set up a “goal” on Patreon, and decided to – well, “reward” seems like the wrong word, even though that’s what they use – more like acknowledge people who pledge.
The goal is to get a few more patrons, and bump up what I make for each blog article, just a little. Like I said, this is helping me towards independence. I can’t write as much as I would like at the moment, so I try to make every piece I do as high a quality as possible.
Ugh, this is making me feel super awkward, so I’m just going to leave it at that. If you would like to support me, this is one way to do so.
Oh – and the reward/acknowledgement thing – I’m going to get some of my poems printed and signed. People who pledge can choose any poem they want and I’ll mail it to them. So, um, yeah. Oh, and if you’re already a patron and you want one, let me know, because I can totally do that!