I hope you’ll all bear with me just a little longer while I talk more about this Patreon thing that I set up, as I use this space to continue to drum up support.
I realized that I owe it to myself to do this, to move into the discomfort of asking for help and support, rather than shy away from it.
Shying away feels like the easy thing to do. It is the easy thing to do.
If you missed my last post, or haven’t been over to my accounts on Instagram or Facebook, then here’s the nutshell recap: I set up a page at Patreon.com, a site where people can pledge a certain amount to the creators that they support. It’s my way of asking for a little help and a lot of support as I move through this long and often difficult process of trying to write and publish a book. There are more specific details on my Patreon page, including how I could expect to use any money earned from the site, what my goals are, more about the reasons I decided to do this.
The result was interesting. There was really nice engagement and encouragement from these posts, and I can feel that there are a lot of people behind me in taking another step towards these dreams of mine. And that feels really amazing. Though this Patreon effort IS about extra financial support- it would be a lie to say that it’s not about the money- what runs underneath it has always been the most important thing to me. That I have my people out there, cheering me on.
But because this is about the money, I looked anxiously to see if anyone would be willing to be a patron. And the results here give me really mixed feelings, and it’s so hard to articulate this. Maybe because it’s about money, and that’s a difficult subject to talk about and be really honest about? I’m not sure. But it’s also about expectation vs hope, that tricky balance of asking for help but also not expecting it, and in needing to see the effort all the way through.
I currently have four patrons (one of whom is my mother. Hi Mom!!). I can’t say that I expected anything from this little venture, and to be really honest, the fact that there are three people out there who are not related to me or even a friend to me “in real life” who have willingly and enthusiastically pledged to help me out with my art… it’s so incredible.
My first reaction was to want to pull back and say, “Wait! No! I’ve changed my mind, I can’t accept any money, this feels strange and different and I’m not sure that I’m 100% comfortable with it and maybe I should just wait until there is a real book I can put in your hands to ask for any money.” Part of me still feels this way.
But part of this whole process is about fear. It’s about facing something that’s uncomfortable and scary and taking a step towards it. And then, when it continues to feel scary, my reaction is to want to stop and say, “Yes, this is good enough, it’s more than good enough, I can stop now.”
I wasn’t going to say much more about this Patreon, other than to keep the button on my blog and mention it briefly, from time to time.
But maybe what I need to do, instead of back away and go back to being quiet and keeping small, is to just step into this space of discomfort and come back here and keep talking about it.
Maybe four patrons is all it’s going to be. I didn’t expect more or less, but I’d hoped that, maybe, there could be a few more. And maybe there can be?
There’s the $1.00/month level on my page and I think it’s a really interesting concept. $1.00 a month isn’t much and might seem like only a drop in the bucket. And, well, yes, if just one person comes over from this post and pledges at that level, it’s not going to make a huge difference (but man, I have to tell you, I’m going to appreciate it). But I just have to wonder- what if 25 people in my audience make that pledge? What if 25 of the people who support me make that pledge? An additional $25.00 a month becomes something altogether very different.
So if this were a pledge drive (which, in a way, I suppose it is), and I were on TV or the radio and urging listeners to call in, that I wanted to hear the phones ring and see the numbers rise, then this is my drive, my call. I wonder if I can get 25 pledges at the $1.00/month level. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.
Nothing has started to feel more comfortable as I’ve continued writing this post. I think, again, about expectation vs hope and the difference between them and how I’m trying to come from a place of hope. I’m back here again, trying to not back down and let it go, but instead to keep this up. To really launch this idea, rather than mention it and then pretend it never happened.
I will happily continue to blog and take photos and work on my book, and so happily share all of this with you, regardless of the money raised on Patreon. My readers and followers and friends and family- all of my supporters- I take so much from the encouragement and support you give. I always have, and I truly hope that I always will. If you’ve liked my blog and liked hearing these stories, and if you’re in the position to be able to make a small pledge on Patreon, that would be amazing. But regardless of what does or does not happen over there, I’ll continue to be over here, wrestling out the stories from my walk that happened over 5 months ago. (Yikes, I really behind on this one!!).
So thanks again for being here, in whatever way that you are, and I hope to keep writing for many more years to come. To sign off, I’ll leave you with the photo that kicks off my little Patreon video, as well as one of my very favorite photos from all of my Camino’s. There is such joy and happiness here.