I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day weekend, spent full of love no matter what that love looked like. Roses and diamonds love. Pyjamas and NyQuil love (guilty). Kinky rope-y sweaty love. Angry-triumphant-fuck-yeah-we’re-single love. Action movie marathon love. Kitty purrgle love. Doggy slobber love. Chinchilla chirpy love. I hope there was some love!
It’s snowing today in Frederick, which is kind of nice. It started out as those sparkly dusty flakes that don’t look quite real and settled into the big gloppy giant flakes now that the sun is warming the clouds’ backsides.
For the last few months, I’ve been working on the conclusion to the Ayala Storme series. (Yep, you read that right, but fear not! Surprises and news about more Stormeworld stories are on the horizon.) And it’s been hard. Really hard. This might be the hardest book I’ve ever written, for myriad reasons.
Last year, I wrote four books in the space of one calendar year. That’s some books. For most of it, I was working full time, usually over 40 hours a week plus a commute that started out two hours a day and ended up six before my position ended. I made the terrifying, exhilarating, breathe-into-a-bag decision in July to write full time — and only write — after six years of working 80-120 hour weeks in the service of bills and passion both.
January marked month six of doing my scribbly thing professionally. I’ve been working part time as well, because I have to. I had some setbacks this winter and a minor medical emergency (joy) that have put me a bit behind. And I’m starting to grapple with a few very real facts:
That last one has taken some doing. For six years I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. In a lot of ways, I’m still doing that, just not with a commute and an additional 40-80 hours of Office Life happening too. I’m facing the knowledge that, at 31, this thing I’ve spent the past 13 years trying to succeed at is where my skillsets are. Art, writing, all that jazz.
It’s mostly paying my bills, but frankly, I’m neglecting some necessities as a trade off. Things like health insurance and a couple even more serious things. (Cringe.) I count myself among the very-very fortunate to be able to even mostly pay my bills with my books.
I want to be able to turn out the best books possible, presented professionally, with a proper plan and all the business aspects nailed down. I want to cultivate a community of you all — the people who read and support my words — in a way that benefits you and allows you to see the very real difference your support makes for me.
After over a year of contemplation (seriously), I decided the best route for me to do that was with Patreon.
Patreon, if you don’t know, is a website where the lovers of arty things can directly support the artists who make those things. It’s not Kickstarter; Patrons pledge an amount (large or small) per creation or per month to support artists. It’s totally optional. I’ll never get snotty at someone who’d rather just buy my books and salute from afar. I love all of you who buy my books. But Patreon offers perks for those of you who want more involvement with my words and with me as a human. The rewards and goals I’ve picked are very me, from handmade thingamajigs and personalised letters to a kaffeeklatsch hosted and paid for by me at con cities when I go. I’ve picked those things because I believe writing is about connection. My words come from me, but when you read them, you bring yourself to the table. You might find things in my words that I don’t. And you’re a person. So am I.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I haven’t started a Patreon, or had family members ask me how to support me. This is just another way to keep my art gears turning efficiently.
You can find my Patreon here, if you’re interested. No matter what, I think you’re swell. No matter what, I’ll still be writing and doing my thing. Patreon is a way to help me do it better, more efficiently, and with the safety that comes from fewer financial worries. If you decide to pledge and become a Patron (capitalised because I like that), you’ll get whatever reward you choose as well as the knowledge that you are REALLY helping me continue on in a profession that I’ve already worked over a decade to gain a foothold in. You’ll help me keep on climbing to wherever it leads.
Thank you for reading — I’m excited to turn over this new page with you. Smell that new paper smell?
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