Well, we’ve all made it! This is the last day I’ll be blogging about my Patreon page in this way. :) While I didn’t come close to my original goal of 25 Patrons in the first day (HA!), or my secondary goal of 10 Patrons in the first week, I have managed to average 1 new Patron a day! 5 days, 5 Patrons. That’s not bad at all! At this rate, I’ll have 34 by the end of February, 65 by the end of March….healthy, steady growth. As I hope this will be a long-term endeavor, I don’t mind at all if growth is slow and steady. We all know what wins the race, after all. :)
If you’d like to catch up, here are the previous 4 Reasons to Be a Patron:
5 REASONS TO BE A PATRON #1: YOU WANT MY WORK TO CONTINUE
5 REASONS TO BE A PATRON #2: AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS YOU LIKE
5 REASONS TO BE A PATRON #3: MONTHLY LIMITS
5 REASONS TO BE A PATRON #4: COMMUNITY
And the fifth reason? Because Cinderellas can’t become Cinderellas without the help of their animal friends.
The other day, I got a tiny bit of “backlash” after promoting my Patreon page on a Facebook writing group of which I’m a member. It went a little something like this:
Backlash person: “If you don’t mind my asking, what “resources” do you require in order to keep writing scripts? I’ve been writing for ages and I’ve never needed additional financial support to do so. I just write when I’m not at work.”
Me: “That’s great! :) I was doing that for a long time, myself. However, I found that, when I had a full-time office “day job” I very often didn’t have the energy to go from 8 hours in front of a computer all day to switch gears and spend several more hours at home writing something that I then didn’t have time to adequately shop around and get paid for, because I was busy 9-5 when anyone I’d want to meet to potentially pay me for my writing would be available.
To answer your question specifically, the resources I require are money and time.
Point being, I want to be paid for my writing. (and I write other things in addition to scripts) I don’t want to write for free while doing something else. When I say I need financial support, what I mean is: I write, readers read and enjoy, readers pay me for my work, and the process starts all over again. I’m not simply talking about the physical act of writing. I’m talking about making it my living, and having the audacity to expect to be paid for it rather than continually doing it for free while killing myself working other jobs to support myself. I’ve done the day job/write on the side thing. I’m over it. I expect readers to pay writers for their work. It’s as simple as that.”
This person’s issue seemed to be that if they could be happy writing on the side while doing another job, then everyone should. Here’s why that doesn’t work for me: I don’t believe there’s any good reason why I should have to wait for a gatekeeper to put a stamp of approval on my work before it finds its way into the hands of people who’d like it. This doesn’t mean that I would never work for someone else, or go through a traditional gatekeeper. I’d LOVE to be staffed on a TV show, or have prose fiction published by a traditional publisher. I’m working towards those ends, too – did this person in the FB group believe that I was putting all my eggs entirely into this basket? I assure you all, I’m not! :)
This is not an anti-traditional anything screed. This is a statement against inaction while waiting around for some Fairy Godmother to make it all happen for you.
When Cinderella* wanted to go to the ball, she was told that she couldn’t go without a dress, and her stepmother wasn’t about to buy her one. SO SHE MADE ONE. Or rather, she started to. But then her wicked stepfamily (aka, her Day Job) continually kept her from it. So she got help from her friends. And even after that, her family tore the finished dress to shreds, but Cinderella’s effort got the attention of her Fairy Godmother, who saw that Cinderella was willing to put the work in, but needed a little push resources-wise to get where she needed to be.
Her goal was the ball. Mine is to be able to earn a livable income from what I write.
If I can make money by producing my own work in another way, why shouldn’t I? If there are people who already enjoy what I do, why shouldn’t I reach out to them directly? Why shouldn’t I, if possible, exchange my work for money without a hoard of intermediaries, each expecting a cut?
There are plenty of people who write, or create other art, “on the side,” or as a hobby, or “for themselves,” and that’s amazing! Art should be a part of everyone’s life in some way. But it makes no sense for someone who wants to be a professional artist to wait around for someone else to package, market, and sell them.
While you’re waiting for Simon and Schuster to take notice of your novel, compile those short stories you’ve got lying around into a self-published tome and sell them online, or at local flea markets, or at local open mics where you can do a reading. While you’re waiting for a big network or new media outlet to take a chance on your brilliant pilot, or a studio to take notice of your killer screenplay, create a digital series, or a podcast, or a short film to tell that story you want to tell, and figure out how to monetize it.
Nothing gets the attention of a Fairy Godmother (or an agent, or a publisher, or a network) quite like someone who’s already working to making it happen on their own. And the Fairy Godmothers always get the credit for magically transforming the Diamond in the Rough. But chances are, even if Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother never showed up, she would’ve stopped crying, and figured out another angle for the next ball.
Because anyone who knows their own worth, is kind to their friends (even if she can’t make them all little hats and shirts), and is willing to continue making things and working on their craft in the face of adversity won’t be kept down forever.
And that’s what Patreon is. It’s a home for Cinderellas making their own dresses for the ball. :) And as we know from the Disney film, Cinderella wouldn’t have been able to do it without her only friends – the mice, the dog, and other woodland creatures.
Be my little Gus-Gus. ;) Check out my Patreon page HERE.
* That’s the Disney version. In the original Brother’s Grimm version, she did even MORE work to get to the ball, and got help from the animals and a magical tree. Oh, and haters get their eyes plucked out by pigeons.