So last Thursday, I launched my first Patreon.
I feel I have to justify the why. But I'm terrible at selling things (the shortest job I ever had involved B2B sales and I lasted all of a week.
But I'm going to tell you what N.K. Jemisin wrote on her own Patreon:
Writing income is inherently unstable. It arrives in dribbles and dollops, at unpredictable times. Will I make the same money this year as last year? No way to know in advance. Will I make enough to afford health insurance? Possibly. Will the next check show up in time for me to pay monthly rent? Probably not.
So that's a woman who has been nominated for the Sci-Fi Pulitzer, the Hugo, several times. So I figure it's okay for a poet and writer like myself to start my own as well.
Naturally, I'm not going to be making the $1,000-$3,000 a month that they make. And that's okay. I haven't earned my stripes for that. But I do want to make some money writing. I have a day job, yeah, but I'd like to supplement that income through my passion and hobby. Yeah, I'm still going to be writing for Flagrantly Foul but until ESPN buys us out I don't expect to see a cent from that.
BUT ISN'T THIS LIKE SELF-PUBLISHING THO
I don't think so. The poems I send out will still be valid for other publications. The short stories I compose will not, but I figure the more I write the better I get. Plus, I've never been a big fan of self-publishing and I'll rant about it in another post. I know it works for some people, but not for me. I'm going to do things a la antiguita, the old-fashioned way. I was listening to a podcast the other day where one of the guests said something along the lines of "I mean, I'm just resisting traditional publishers and their ivory towers...and I started doing this because I tried shopping my story around for two years and no one would take it."
Two things: 1) if you're unironically using ivory towers to refer to traditional publishing, you're a bit of a douche 2) if no one's touching your story for two years, then maybe the problem isn't the agents, but your story.
I wrote The Ritual a year ago. It wasn't good. I sent it to one publication, they said no. I decided to fix it and edit it some more. Then someone else said yes. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM WHAT A TWIST
God, man. A lot of these authors are following me on twitter and yeah, a lot of them are probably making more money than I am but when I see @AUTHORNAME post "MY AWARD-WINNING NOVELLA IS OUT NOW ON AMAZON!" and I click on it and find myself seeing CreateSpace as a publisher and not someone like Tor? I'm closing that tab. Why? Because I'm going to make a lot of assumptions about your work going in and ain't nobody got time for that. There are some exceptions, of course. Chuck Wendig, for instance, got his start as an indie author, and I became a fan of his after reading this.
BUT BACK TO THE PATREON
WHY DON'T YOU JUST WRITE FOR LOVE DON'T YOU LOVE WRITING I THOUGHT YOU LOVED WRITING
I do love writing. I'd like to make a career out of it one day, whether it's teaching creative writing at the high school or college level. Or owning my own sports/geekdom magazine. But right now, that's not my reality. I'm already writing for free, why not go ahead and get paid for it? This is a capitalist country.
SO YOU'RE JUST GONNA WRITE NEW POEMS BUT WHAT IF THEY'RE CRAP
That's always a risk, but I wouldn't send out crap. Here's the thing. I can only send X amount of poems to journals in a given day because I work 8-9 hours a day and have other stuff to do at home. For instance, I'm trying to get my collection of short stories published and I'd rather send out three query letters to three agents than ten poems to ten journals. So the end result of that is I only submit a few poems for consideration. And I inevitably end up with my own favorites and I'll send those instead of adding some variety. For instance, A two-stepping guide for cowards, which is forthcoming in Donut Factory,. I submitted that poem to four different publications just in the last two months before finally having it accepted in the fifth one. Maybe if I had submitted another poem I'd have 16 publications instead of 13. Another example is two poems on my selected works page. My girlfriend was a bit "eh" on Love Lessons, which is one of my favorite poems; but she loved 'Television'.
So I'll send out fresh material to the tune of 12 poems every month.
That's pretty much it, if y'all have any questions you know how to contact me.
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