Norwich Street Art Warning by MarkHeyBo on Flickr
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Why I am resurrecting my Patreon account

Some of you may have already known this via social media or the mailing list.

I have restarted my Patreon account.

For $1 per month you can read the draft of my crime fiction book Gin & Tonic as I write it, start to finish, with two posts per month. The first one went live yesterday and they are scheduled up until mid July with more to come because I have a ton of pages of scribble to type up.

For some of you, this is not your thing at all. You want to know what I do via the blog or the newsletter but you are not really otherwise keen per se on the outcome of what I do.

And that is totally fine and fair enough. Heck, I am happy when people open the newsletter emails.

But I wanted to spell out why I am doing this.

An illustration of a Victorian lady reading a book.

1. I want to know who exactly really does want to read my writing

What I mean by that is that I know and am very grateful that a lot of you are here and reading because you are supportive of me and my ideas in general. That’s great. Thanks.

But I also want to figure out who is willing to wait however many years it will take to buy a copy of a book in a store or online or who is willing or wants to go through the whole process, messy drafts and all.

Because then at whatever stage of the book I am at, I am talking about the book to the book people and the blog to the blog people and you see what I mean? I don’t want to annoy the people who are here for other things on the blog with random stuff about the book that isn’t relevant.

A photo of a closed red Moleskine brand notebook on a glossy dark table surface.  Project 50 - Day #1 by Sean McGrath on Flickr
I wake up at 4 am to hand write the book. Project 50 – Day #1 by Sean McGrath on Flickr

2. I want to value my work

Let me explain.

I don’t care if anyone else doesn’t value my creative writing – I do. It occurs in a lot of unpaid time and I am now waking up at four am every day to work on it.

That’s just what I have to do to ensure I fit it in around all the other paid work I have to do in order to make a living.

I want it to be valued. And I spend a significant amount of time unpaid on things like MEAA or other (as yet cannot be mentioned) collaborative projects and I have spent time in the past unpaid on IPEd and the Society of Editors (WA).

I volunteer because I believe in the aims and end goals of all these organisations and I am not asking them to fund me.

So I think it is time to turn other unpaid work into something that is somewhat paid even if it is only a couple of dollars a month.

If I don’t start setting a value on my time and my work, then people won’t perceive it as having any value and people won’t see a need to pay for it when they have been getting it for free all this time.

3. I am trying out diverse streams of income

Freelancing is very up and down. One way I know to make it work is to ensure several different streams of income, some passive, some active.

So I am trying to find ways that will lessen the stress, make things a bit more stable and help me save and focus on doing better quality work and get around to a laundry list of cool projects that maybe you too would like to see.

Patreon could be that. Even if it only gets me $50 a year, that is still something I can spend on business expenses, on superannuation, on MEAA and other membership fees, on equipment, on organisations I want to support.

But I won’t know what Patreon can do till I try. So better I try and fail than not try at all.

A photo of light falling on the legs, hand and book of an airline passenger reading in the dark during a flight. Reading on a jet plane by Flavio~ on Flickr.
Reading on a jet plane by Flavio~ via Flickr

4. I want Gin & Tonic to be read

Frankly I need some help with character names again. But yes I want to hear people’s thoughts on the draft so far.

The last time I tried this with HIM via the website, it was very clunky and all over the place and needed passwords and things. And then HIM stalled.

So Patreon seems ideal. I have scheduled posts with bits of the draft in order all the way up to mid July and the first one went live yesterday.

It makes it easy, people can cancel pledges when they want to, I don’t need a whole new mailing list and people can comment away.

Headphones by The Matthew Knot on Flickr

5. I get to try new things

Not just the trying out of Patreon itself.

For $2 per month, you get a behind the scenes look at how I write my articles, pitch them, research them and so on. For $5 per month, we get to chat in a monthly Q &A session about anything you want.

Those are just two ideas I have at the moment. If you are a patron you can give me more ideas.

But there are also other goals.

IF Patreon works out, it could pay for the editing of the book. It could pay for the time spent creating a podcast or video series, both of which I want to start doing.

I am starting small to see how far I can go. We will see when I get there.

The Fist by Pabak Sarkar on Flickr. A photograph of several raised arms in protest with one arm in a fist in focus in the foreground and other arms out of focus in the background.
THe Fist by Pabak Sarkar on Flickr

6. I want to support others on Patreon

If you are on Patreon or have some sort of project that is, let me know. We can create a community of people supporting each other on the platform.

And I want to know what you are creating, so leave a comment and tell me. Or send me a message.

If you can’t support me on Patreon, don’t worry.

There still will be things for you on the website and social media and the newsletter but there just might be a few additional links to Patreon on occasion.

And not everyone will be in a place where they can afford time or money to support me and I get that. So please don’t worry about that. I understand.

But if you cannot support me, don’t stress, just pass the link along to someone who might be interested in crime fiction or journalism or any of the things I do. Just pass the word along.

And if you want to join this strange little experiment and read the crime fiction, here is the link.

And most of all, THANK YOU for being here. It means a lot to me.

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