I walked into his bedroom and was unsure where to sit. There were no chairs, and there was a few large stacks of paper piled along the edge of the bed.
“Let me move those,” he said, gathering the piles, “It’s just a book I’m working on.”
“Which pile?” I asked, curiously, handing the last stack to him, estimating the page count.
“All of them,” he explained. “It’s a novel.”
I stared at the little letters all over the page, in awe.
Dave wrote his novels by hand. In the typing process, he’d do the first round of edits. Eventually, all his ideas became books.
In the time we were together, he penned 200 short stories, 3 novellas, 4 full-length novels, 400 blog posts, and over 500 jailhouse letters to me.
I still have some of his favorite pens because we always had hundreds of them. We tucked them in suitcases and shirt pockets– just in case, just in case. Dave was always writing, penning things in the very literal sense of the word.
And, of course, so was I, but I only needed the one pen because I never wrote in the quantity that Dave wrote. Though I regularly jotted down diary entries, emails to friends, and little anecdotal re-tellings, mostly I typed everything I needed to say– and everything I ever needed to say fell between 500 and 1300 words.
In other words, I was a blogger long before I ever had a blog.
A couple days ago, I made some big changes to my life-long system– I started writing my daily journal directly into a blog.
It’s been two days and I haven’t touched my pen. It is a strange feeling, and when I pass my jar of Dave’s pens– pens I’d never use myself because I don’t like the way ink flows faster than my thoughts– I am hit with waves of nostalgia.
The daily journal blog was a creation of mine for Patreon, because it was suggested that people who enjoy this content would enjoy the recycled, unfinished content that leads to this content.
Patreon, if you don’t know, is a site that specializes in fund-building for creators. It is not like Kickstarter, where you put in money for a specific project. Instead, you become a patron of the arts– pledging a certain dollar amount per month. Optionally, creators may choose to show gratitude with gifts they call rewards.
In my case, I set up Patreon with three patron levels. $1 a month, $3 a month, and $42 dollars a month. If you go over there, you can see why I picked the numbers and what rewards I intend to offer at each level.
Putting together a Patreon page was probably the most productive, truthful think-session I’ve ever had for Rarasaur blog. I felt rewarded just setting it up because it made me sit down and think about what it costs me to create, and thus– what I would like to generate from my creations. You can read about that over there, too.
After establishing the page, I sort of intended to never post the link, but then several things happened all at once.
- I made a coloring sheet for the Thank You page and wanted to share it, so I posted a portion of it on Instagram with questions about Patreon and artistic worth. I got a lot of response on Instagram and Facebook, and I thought about each comment a lot.
- I decided I would make Sack Nasty available for pre-order by the 21st of June. I also decided that if someone did the $42 a month plan, then they should definitely get a free copy and I didn’t want them to double give just because I presented options in a bad order.
- Bradley shared the link in a post (https://greenembe.rs/2016/06/17/) after realizing I wasn’t brave enough yet to do it on my own. I just clicked over to get the full link to the post and realized he put it on his sidebar, too. If you haven’t listened to my audcast about #humbled, this would be a good moment.
And so here I am, posting the link, and thinking about patrons and pens.
It’s a new world, you know. Not everything needs to be written by hand, but I don’t think I’d have ever convinced Dave of that.
He’s not here anymore, though.
It’s a new world.
One additional thought on money here: I know that many of us are in the same position as myself right now, and simply unable to give as much as we want. To that end, please know that I intend to use the proceeds of Sack Nasty to get copies of the book to those of you who are long-term supporters but can simply not afford it. I also will be donating to the Women’s Prison Book Project, but since I have no idea what I’ll actually sell, I’ll just have to play it by ear. You know I’ll tell y’all what’s happening, every step of the way.
If you’d like to support in other ways– don’t forget to add your voice to my Thunderclap. You can do that by going here:
This started as a response to the Daily Post’s Analog challenge. But I got a little distracted along the way. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/analog/
Do you write by hand still? Do you keep a daily journal? Do you use Patreon for youself or for artists you sponsor? What is your biggest creative goal right now?