So I had a different P planned for today (and I may return to that P word on another post), but I was encouraged to write about this today instead.
P is for Patreon.
If you’ve not gathered, I like to write. I have a tendency to write in abundance and have for a number of years. I’ve been actively blogging under various names, on various sites, since 2004. That’s a looong time.
Also, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a perfectionist with confidence issues. Those two things together can be a bit difficult at times. I love to write, but battle feeling what I write isn’t good enough. While many of those feelings aren’t as intense as they used to be, I still struggle with them. So I constantly weigh my desire to be published against my fear of rejection/criticism/invisibility.
I’ve made a number of attempts into self-publishing earlier on with that didn’t get the best results. I’m not the best at self-promotion and, while I thought I was meticulous with my editing and storytelling, others didn’t agree. Poor, Thin-Skinned Cara Thereon. I folded up a bit and retreated into my belief that this is a hobby. It’s been a number of years now (5 or 6) since that attempt.
Michael, Daddy, has been extremely encouraging when it comes to my writing. Pushing me to submit my writing to things and continuing to try. Its helped my confidence.
My biggest issue with making those attempts is the part where I ask people to pay me to consume my art. This blog contains reams of free stories and I had that thought where I wondered why anyone would pay for what they can get for free?
The larger issue is people don’t seem to want to pay creatives what they’re worth, but gladly consume their works for free. It makes feeling valuable difficult.
I want people to enjoy my art, but it is still work I’ve put it. Getting myself to this point of saying “I’ve created something I’d love for you to consume, but at a price.” Has taken time. The arts are just as important as the sciences and yet it feels like begging to say I have a Patreon, will you give a dollar a month for my art?
I started the Patreon as another attempt to put my art out there to be consumed. Hitting publish on that page, opening up my subdomain, and tweeting about it has raised many of those feelings I’ve always struggled with as a writer. Questioning who would want to read, comparing myself to others, feeling unsure about if what I’ve done is good enough.
It’s also been good because it makes me think about those things and embrace the fact that people read and WANT to read my work. It means I can write and people who value what I’m doing will want to pay. Creatives have value.
I’ve read the article on The Smutlancer about Making Patreon Work for You a few times and it’s comforted me. This is work, valuable work. Valuable work is worth advertising and getting the return it deserves.
Here are a few other creatives who would love your support, if their brand of creativity is to your liking.
So In summary: Tip your waiters and waitresses and hair dressers, treat your nurses with respect, and pay your creatives!