The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Patreon

Wanna Read My Novel In Progress…In Progress?

One of many notebooks in which I'm writing my future masterpiece.

One of many notebooks in which I’m writing my future masterpiece.

I’ve been on the DL about it this week, but I figured now would be as good a time as any to share!

As you may know, I’ve got a Patreon page where you can become a Patron of my work for whatever amount you like (though there are a couple of perks and whatnot), both supporting my public offerings (my blog, podcasts, etc) as well as Patron-only work! Well, I’ve been working on my first novel, and for the past week I’ve been sharing it with my Patrons over at Patreon, 250 words at a time!

Why 250? Well first, my hope is that this becomes something that Patrons enjoy reading every day; a short, serialized story that will eventually be a novel, but can also keep readers engaged and entertained daily.

Second, I need to get my ass in the chair and find time to work on this if it’s every going to get done. It’s difficult between The Mary Sue and trying to work on my scripts. But I was tired of this being the thing that always got dumped on the back burner, so I figured out a word goal that I could hit every day without breaking a sweat. That’s 250. Some days I write much more, but I never write less.

If all goes well, by the end of 365 days I’ll have a 91,250-word manuscript to tear apart! 

Wanna read as I write? As of right now, I’m on Day 5/365 and at 1,281 words! Want a new excerpt in your email every day? Head on over to my Patreon page and become a Patron! Remember, you can set a monthly cap so you don’t go over-budget, and you’ll still have access to this work.

I’m looking forward to sharing this with more of you!

Sometimes, You Just Need to Stop DOING

 

Hey there, everyone!

I came out of the gate hard at the beginning of this year, and started the first week of 2016 with a blog post here every single day! It was great! It was exactly what I wanted my blog to look like!

Then I got sick. And after days of doing absolutely nothing (which I absolutely needed), I came into the following week feeling better, but needing to ease back into my routine. And do you know what? I didn’t feel bad about it. I basically did the bare minimum of what I needed to be doing last week. Worked at The Mary Sue. Went to a couple of meetings I’d had scheduled for a while. But other than that, I kept taking it easy, because I still wasn’t at 100%, and I wasn’t going to force myself to “be productive” for the sake of it.

All of this is to say that I’m feeling much better this week! Well-rested, well-planned, and raring to go! And so, here I am – back to my old bloggy ways.

Some things you should know:

1) I’m not going to be keeping up with the 52 Week Challenge here every week the way I was planning. I’ll still be doing it, but I’ve decided that I’d prefer that The Teresa Jusino Experience remain a Monday-Friday enterprise. Weekends are mine, and so I won’t be posting.  If you’d like to do the challenge yourself, head on over to Erin Dullea’s site and sign up!

2) Now would be a great time to consider becoming one of my Patrons at Patreon! Starting next week, I’ll be sharing the novel I’m working on exclusively with Patrons as I write it – 200 words at a time. 🙂 Since January 1st I’ve been writing 200 words a day of the book I’ve outlined. Which isn’t a lot – until you consider that if I do that 365 times this year, that’s a 73,000-word manuscript. No one’s waiting for this book. There are no deadlines, and I have other scripts and projects I’m working on around it. But I’ve been putting this book on the back-burner for far too long. So, rather than waiting for the big chunks of time I thought I needed to devote to it. I’m going to chip away at it bit by 200-word bit until it’s done. It may be slower, but it’ll be way more effective than procrastination, don’t you agree?

So, if you’re interested in keeping up with my progress on this, and other works I plan on sharing exclusively with Patrons, check out my Patreon page and consider supporting my efforts there by pledging at least $1 per story I create. You’ll be able to read my novel hotter than hot off the presses and follow my progress and process as I work.

Surely, that’s interesting to at least some of you, right? 🙂

3) Lastly, I’ll soon be announcing a series of giveaways I’ll be doing here and around my social media feeds, so stay tuned!

And I’ll see you all back here tomorrow!

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #5: Cinderellas Need Their Animal Friends

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. 

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #4: Community

Not this kind of Community. Though that show is hilarious. :)

Not this kind of Community. Though that show is hilarious. 🙂

We’re almost at the end of my Week of Promoting Like Crazy! What am I promoting? I’m glad you asked – my Patreon page!

By the way, I was told today by one of my Twitter followers that my Patreon video was accidentally set to Private when it shouldn’t have been. Sorry about that! So, if you’ve tried to watch the video, and haven’t been able to – YOU CAN NOW! 🙂

So far this week, I’ve given you three good reasons to become a Patron:

5 Reasons to Become a Patron #1: You Want My Work to Continue

5 Reasons to Become a Patron #2: As Much or As Little As You Like

5 Reasons to Become a Patron #3: Monthly Limits

Today, I want to talk to you about one of my biggest reasons for joining Patreon. Community. 

Sure there are plenty of crowdfunding sites, or other websites that have comment sections and whatnot, but Patreon allows you to share intimately and exclusively with the people who love your work. My goal with this page is to not only expand my readership, but to nurture my relationship with the people who take time out of their busy lives to read the stuff I’ve written. I want my Patreon page to feel like hanging out at a friend’s house to commiserate over some book you’ve read, or TV show you’ve watched, or movie you’ve seen. I want to get to know you as much as I’d love for you to get to know me. I want to create a community. I already know some of you are out there! The people that send me messages on Twitter or through my Facebook page. The folks who’ve come up to me after panels I’ve moderated. Join me! Let’s build a treehouse and start a club! 🙂 Who knows – there might even be surprises and presents in it for you!

Though, I really hope you like me for me, you guys. 😉

Check out my Patron page by clicking HERE. And thank you!

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #3: Monthly Limits

Incredible Girl is one of the many projects your patronage will be supporting!

My upcoming digital series, Incredible Girl, is one of the many projects your patronage will be supporting!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that I’ve already given you two great reasons to consider becoming a Patron of mine at Patreon:

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

Today, I wanted to bring up one of the biggest reasons why Patreon is such a great site, and it has a little something to do with Reason #2. In addition to being able to set your “per story” patronage to whatever amount you’d like, you can also set a Monthly Limit! 

A Monthly Limit means that, no matter how many stories I create on Patreon, once you set your limit, you’ll never have to pay over that. So, let’s say I start out with creating 4 stories a month, and you agree to be my Patron for $1/story and set your Monthly Limit for $4…if I suddenly become more prolific and create 7 stories in any given month, you still only pay $4.

But you remain a Patron and still have access to all of my Patron-exclusive material! 

What’s more, your monthly limit can change. You’re never locked into any amount. Ever! Pretty damn cool, huh? 😉

Now, I’m currently at 3 Patrons as of this writing. I would love to get to 10 by the end of this week. Are there 7 of you out there willing to step up? The stories will start coming next week, and I’d love for as many of you as possible to have access not only to the stories I’ll be releasing to the general public, but also to the Patron-exclusive short stories I’ll be writing. Join me!

Check out my Patron page by clicking HERE. And thank you!

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #2: As Much Or As Little As You Like

Me, after FINALLY having a shower after pulling an all-nighter preparing my Patreon launch. Oh, the glamorous life of a writer. ;)

Me, after FINALLY having a shower after pulling an all-nighter preparing my Patreon launch. Oh, the glamorous life of a writer. 😉

It’s difficult to be friends with lots of artists, I know. Because they’re all always doing something, and chances are, they’re going to ask you for money to help them make that something. Deep down, you’d love to say yes – they’re your friend after all, and you love good art – but where do you draw the line? You can’t very well give to everyone’s film or go see everyone’s play or help fund everyone’s album.

Well, to set your mind at ease a bit, here’s the great thing about Patreon: you can give whatever amount you like. Literally, any amount. Being a Patron doesn’t “start” with a particular amount, you can just type one in. Like, I recently became someone’s Patron for $0.50/month. You can become a Patron with $0.01/month! Sure, you might not get any rewards at that level, but if there’s an artist that you want to show support, those pennies add up (especially if you can get other people to join you!), and I can’t even begin to express how your moral support bolsters a creative person, who really just wants to know that they’re not screaming out into the void!

But even better? If for some reason you’re really strapped that month and can’t part with that $0.50 (and believe me, I’ve been there! Sometimes getting myself ramen is more important than supporting other artists. I get it!), you can cancel individual pledges if you do it before the month is up! So, you remain a Patron…you just forgo that one payment. And it’s fine.

Artists aren’t trying to bankrupt you. But they are trying to get paid for their job the way you get paid for your job. And I tell ‘ya what – you try pulling this “flexible payment, whatever-amount-you-want, cancel your payment anytime” thing with your mechanic, and see how far that gets you. 😉

But seriously, Patreon is designed to be as convenient and easy financially for you as possible. So, if there’s an artist whose work you enjoy (like, oh, I don’t know, me?), know that if you give through Patreon, you’re not making a life-or-death commitment. You’re just supporting art you enjoy when and as much as you can. 🙂

Check out my Patron page by clicking HERE. And thank you!

5 Reasons to Be a Patron #1: You Want My Work to Continue

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This article by Ann Bauer at Salon, posted by a writer friend of mine, Jennifer K. Stuller, on Facebook today couldn’t have come at a better time! As I reach out to readers today in launching my new Patreon page, it’s important to understand just how much writers depend on others just so their work can exist. The world isn’t designed for most writers to make a living wage – even the “successful” ones. And very often, the writers who “make it big” are the ones who had huge amounts of outside support – from spouses, from rich families, or from being born into families that already had literary connections. Or, they were able to tap into an audience through grassroots hustle, and that small but mighty tribe supported that writer consistently enough that they were able to get to a place where their writing career was sustainable.

In the Salon piece, Bauer is up-front about the fact that the only reason she is able to have a career as a writer, is because her husband has a stable, well-paying other job, and he supports her career despite her being able to contribute less to the household. She believes this up-front-ness is important. The piece goes on to illustrate that there’s this illusion that writers (and, in my opinion, other artists) put forward that they owe their success entirely to hustle and grit and determination while obfuscating any privileges they might have had. From the piece:

I attended a packed reading (I’m talking 300+ people) about a year and a half ago. The author was very well-known, a magnificent nonfictionist who has, deservedly, won several big awards. He also happens to be the heir to a mammoth fortune. Mega-millions. In other words he’s a man who has never had to work one job, much less two. He has several children; I know, because they were at the reading with him, all lined up. I heard someone say they were all traveling with him, plus two nannies, on his worldwide tour.

None of this takes away from his brilliance. Yet, when an audience member — young, wide-eyed, clearly not clued in — rose to ask him how he’d managed to spend 10 years writing his current masterpiece — What had he done to sustain himself and his family during that time? — he told her in a serious tone that it had been tough but he’d written a number of magazine articles to get by. I heard a titter pass through the half of the audience that knew the truth. But the author, impassive, moved on and left this woman thinking he’d supported his Manhattan life for a decade with a handful of pieces in the Nation and Salon.

Now, when she discusses privileges, it isn’t just about being born into a rich family. There’s the privilege of having a spouse who supports you, or someone else having grown up with connections in the industry, etc, etc. This isn’t to begrudge anyone their success, nor is it to say that these people who have gotten to the point where they can support themselves exclusively through their writing got there without talent. All the privileges in the world won’t help if you’re writing is complete garbage and unrelatable to anyone.  But to never acknowledge those privileges is a mistake, and often causes many writers, who don’t see themselves stacking up against these people with huge advantages, to just give up and do something else, leaving the world without their unique voices forever, simply because no one provided them consistent support.

I was so glad to read this piece, because for a long, long time I wrote “on the side” or wrote as one of a million other freelance gigs, and it’s frustrating to look around, as someone who doesn’t have the resources, and be made to feel like you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re lazy, or that there’s something wrong with you if you’re not on the same level as other writers when the truth is, writers generally don’t get to “hustle” the way they need to in order to build a sustainable career, unless they have their lives taken care of in other ways. 

My bff in NYC, Robin, baked me a cake to celebrate my first publication in a print anthology! Support of all kinds, emotional and financial (and edible!) is so important.

My bff in NYC, Robin, baked me a cake to celebrate my first publication in a print anthology! Support of all kinds, emotional and financial (and edible!) is so important.

Now, here’s where I’ve been lucky: I’ve never been unemployed. So, even when I’ve written “on the side” I was able to pursue freelance writing gigs in the evening while working a day job during the day. The down side? Very often, after working eight hours at an office job, you don’t really have the energy to come home, switch gears, and spend another couple of hours in front of a computer to do your writing. So yes, I wrote, but progress was slow. I’ve always had good friends and family who’ve supported me, both emotionally and financially, when I’ve really needed it. I’m so grateful for that! The down side? They have their own lives to deal with! It’s unreasonable to expect the support of the same few people (and only those few people) to be sustainable for the long haul. Unless you have a really rich relative who doesn’t mind paying your rent, buying you food, and paying for your transportation for years, the fact is, this alone isn’t enough, and it also fosters a feast or famine roller coaster that’s just super-unpleasant. My current partner, who is also a freelancer, but whose work (production sound mixing) generally pays more per gig than writing gigs pay, supports me tremendously both emotionally (especially emotionally) and financially – allowing me to pay my share of rent on my own pay schedule, doing a majority of the grocery shopping, and driving my carless butt around when I need to get somewhere important. I wouldn’t be able to do anything I’m doing now without that support, and I love my partner for it. The down side? As I said, my partner’s also a freelancer, meaning that my support is coming from a source that’s only slightly better off than I am. Also, see above re: support from family and friends not being sustainable long-term. Couple that with the fact that I’m a fiercely independent person and hate the feeling of dependency this engenders, and it’s not an entirely pleasant situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m immensely grateful, and I know that my partner wants to support me in this way and is a grown-up capable of making decisions about how money/time is spent. But just the same, there’s a strong feeling of ick about it. 

Here’s the thing. I know that people outside my immediate circle of family and friends read and enjoy my work. I have the blog stats, the credits, and the online comments (not to mention personal emails and private messages on social media) to prove it. I also know that all of those people buy books, purchase digital media, and go to concerts and films all the time!

Supportive peeps at a Moffat's Women panel I was moderating at GeekGirlCon two years ago.

Supportive peeps at a Moffat’s Women panel I was moderating at GeekGirlCon two years ago.

Those are the people whose support I now need, and Patreon is the easiest way for them to show that support right now, in a way that will sustain my work most directly. If you’ve ever read my work and liked it – if you think that you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg as far as what I can do, and you want to see what I’m capable of with just a little push – become a Patron.

This isn’t charity, nor do I want charity. I want to create work of value, have people enjoy it, and have those same people repay me for enjoyment of my work by popping a dollar or two into the online tip jar to make sure I can continue creating the work they like so much. I want to give them special rewards for their Patronage. I want fair exchange. I want people who say that art is important to them to show it.

I wanna tell you stories.

Check out my Patron page by clicking HERE. And thank you!

The Art of Asking, Making Decisions, and Being Thankful

I had the pleasure of attending Amanda Palmer’s event for her new book, The Art of Asking, at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles this weekend. I’ve been looking forward to the book, which is based on her awesome TED talk, for a long time, because she espouses a view that I firmly believe in – that asking (for help, for support, for guidance, for what we want and need) isn’t audacious because it’s shameful or selfish, nor is it a sign that you are incompetent, because you can’t do things on your own; and that giving to one who asks doesn’t mean you’re being taken advantage of simply because you had the audacity to give. I was looking forward to reading this book about how Palmer’s history of asking has propelled her forward – mostly because asking has propelled me forward.

I’ve asked for job opportunities, for financial assistance, for guidance, for connections. And I believe I’ve evened out the scales by providing help in return, by paying it forward, by offering writing that people seem to find valuable for whatever reason. People seem to marvel at how easily I ask, and receive. I think it’s because 1) I never expect a “yes.” “No” is always an acceptable answer; and 2) I give freely when I’m asked for things, be they time, money, expertise, or anything else. If I have it, and can give it, it’s yours. Trades are even so long as both sides are getting something they value. The arrangement doesn’t have to make sense to any outside party.

But the event itself was about more than just the topic of asking. It was a mixture of Palmer reading excerpts from the book, playing some songs, and having an on-stage conversation with legendary music writer, Bob Lefsetz, and her “book doula,” Jamy Ian Swiss. Some highlights:

1) Palmer sang “The Bed Song” in complete darkness: I sat snuggled next to The Boy as we Had a Moment, and I realized that this song is the complete opposite of our relationship. And I’m so grateful for that. 🙂 (Fun fact: Amanda Palmer’s music is one of the first things we bonded over when we got together, and this was the first Palmer event we’ve attended together.)

2) Massage therapist Courtney, from Seattle: in The Art of Asking, Palmer tells a story about dealing with internet hate, and how she was feeling particularly shitty about it on her birthday as she was being pilloried over the “She’s Not Paying Musicians” kerfuffle. She and her husband were in Seattle, and he booked her a massage to make her feel better. As it turns out, the massage therapist, Courtney, had written some scathing, deeply angry things about Palmer on the internet, and wasn’t going to take the appointment with Palmer at first. But she did, and she told Palmer before the massage that she wanted to be completely honest about having written things about her, and not being her biggest fan, etc, etc, giving her an out if she wanted one. But Palmer stayed, Courtney gave her a full-body massage in silence, and it was apparently a hugely healing experience for both of them. Well, Courtney was in attendance at the L.A. event, and it was cool to hear her and Palmer talk about what fuels internet anger and what can lessen it. Courtney, a singer-songwriter herself, sang a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Hey You,” which both sounded amazing and was hugely appropriate. It was a really heartwarming and inspiring moment. People can change. Wounds can heal. Relationships can be formed despite a tumultuous beginning.

3) The part about Henry David Thoreau: my favorite excerpt – the one that made me really glad I bought The Art of Asking – was the part where she humorously talks about Thoreau and the experiences that lead to his famous work, Walden, which is entirely about living living simply and independently apart from society to gain perspective on it. People hold it up as an ode to self-sufficiency while ignoring the fact that the cabin he was staying in was on a friend’s land, and that his mother and sister brought him food (including doughnuts!) every day. We wouldn’t have a book like Walden if an artist didn’t get support from a tight-knit community of people believing in him and helping him live day-to-day so that he could produce his great work.

A sweet moment I captured between Palmer and a young fan who brought her a piece of art she made.

A sweet moment I captured between Palmer and a young fan who brought her a piece of art she made.

So, what does all this have to do with me? 

The entire evening of conversation about art, asking, pursuing passions, the business of entertainment, and the place where hard work and creativity meet got all the wheels turning in my head about what I want to focus on and what I want my career/writing/life to look like in the coming year. You may have noticed that my output has been low lately. I haven’t posted much this month here at the blog, or over at Beacon. Writing-wise, I’ve been in a cocoon trying to nurture the stories I’m creating and laying low on the internet. I’ve been working on the production side on Incredible Girl. I’ve been meeting weekly w/my writing partner, Adam, to work on our hour-long pilots. I’ve met w/my writing mentor and am working on developing a project with her, and I’ve met yet another, kind writer who’s agreed to show Adam and me the ropes to the best of his ability.

What I want and need most is the freedom to pursue the projects that are most meaningful to me. I’ve been a pop culture critic for a long time, writing about all things geeky, interviewing geeky creators and actors, analyzing television and film from a feminist perspective or through the prism of race. It’s work that’s important, and that I enjoy doing. But my ultimate goal is to create stories. To write things that will eventually be criticized by other pop culture critics. To make things up for a living. 🙂 I’ve built a name and a career on my non-fiction, and since that’s where a bulk of my money has come from, it’s what I’ve focused on. Because hey, writers gotta eat.

What I’ve been wrestling with as we approach the end of the year is starting to make decisions based on the path I want to be on, rather than the path I have to be on. I’ve built a wonderful resume writing for some amazing outlets, but I want to start being paid for the stories I create, and there’s no way for me to do that if my writing time continues to be taken up with hustling for non-fiction gigs. I want to expend my hustle energy wisely! Of course, I’ll always want to talk about representation in media, or gender equality, or activism, and it’s likely that I always will somehow, but I don’t want, nor did I ever intend for that, to be my job.

Also, there’s the matter of needing to make more money, period, than freelance writing is paying me at the moment. However, I don’t want to take a full-time job unless it’s on the path I want to be on. I’ve spent too many years working jobs that go nowhere I want to go, running in a hamster wheel in the name of practicality.

What’s funny is that, even having flown across the country to Follow My Dreams, my decisions have been based more in fear and practicality than they have been in moving forward in the career I want. And yes, I’ve built up a quality resume as a writer. Now, I want that resume to reflect more of the writing I love.

Basically, if I’m gonna have a 9-5, it’s gonna be in the industry I want. And if I’m gonna be making freelancer money, it’s damn well going to be writing stuff I love, because the stress of this kind of life is just not worth it any other way. 

I have three major goals for next year:

  1. A full-time job anywhere in the television industry (office work in any department, PA, assistant, agency – doesn’t matter. As long as it’s in the television neck of the woods).
  2. A Patreon page, so that I can earn financial support for the projects and stories I want to be creating, rather than churning out writing that has outlived its usefulness to me.
  3. Adam and me getting to know L.A. (and the television industry specifically) as a Writing Team.

All of the decisions I make from now on to be in the service of these goals. 🙂

Lastly, since Thanksgiving is coming up, I want to say how grateful I am to all of you reading this. To those of you who’ve already supported my writing up until this point. To those of you who’ve reached out to me at various times to tell me that, for some reason or other, something I’ve written has struck a chord with you. To those of you who’ve subscribed to me at Beacon, purchased my chapbook, bought an anthology because I was in it, written a kind blog comment, or shown your support in any way over the past few years.

I write, because I hope that, by revealing the ideas and feelings rattling around inside me, you will recognize yourself and feel less alone. I hope that my work allows communities that don’t know each other well to get to know each other and communicate better. Your support makes me feel like my work is doing what it’s supposed to do, makes me feel like my work has value – and that is amazing. Thank you so much, and I hope that I can continue to contribute to your lives in a valuable way.

More to come… 🙂

HOTPIXEL POST: The Hot List – Tyler Palmer & Cole Palmer of Patreon

(left to right) Cole Palmer, Sam Yam, Tyler Palmer, Anthony Privitelli, and Jack Conte. Photo courtesy of Patreon.

(left to right) Cole Palmer, Sam Yam, Tyler Palmer, Anthony Privitelli, and Jack Conte. Photo courtesy of Patreon.

July’s HotPixel Hot List is up at the HotPixel blog, and it’s about a crowdfunding site that I know a lot of you have expressed interest in. I had the chance to speak with Tyler Palmer (Director of Operations) and Cole Palmer (Director of Creator Relations) over at Patreon about what sets their company apart and how a model like Patreon’s can help filmmakers and creators of longer-form content. If you’re curious about that at all, you’ll wanna check this out!

EXCERPT: 

Patreon fills a niche that allows creators who may have fallen through the cracks before – or who have been underpaid by AdSense through YouTube – to have a shot at making a living. Tyler told me the story of the birth of Patreon by telling me how Conte started the site.

“Jack launched his first music video called Pedals, and he spent close to $10,000 on the music video. He got his check from YouTube, from AdSense, in the mail for $120. So, he went into debt making this music video, and that’s why Patreon exists,” he explains with a laugh. He then told a similar story about musician, Molly Lewis, who had 30,000 views on a video that ended up paying her a whopping $60. Her paycheck from Patreon for the same video? $2,300. “I hear the story too many times, from people who have thousands of eyeballs, millions of eyeballs, and then they get their check for fifty-three dollars,” says Tyler. Fan love translates directly into support for the artist without having to go through advertisers, which is one of the many things that makes Patreon special.

Now, this is all very well and good for digital creators of short-form content, but what about creators of long-form content – like, independent films, for example. Can they make a home at Patreon, too?

For the complete article, as well as to leave a comment about it, CLICK HERE.

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