It has been suggested by multiple people (and multiple times by one person — “Hi, Sharon”) that I should get a Patreon account. I have been reluctant.
Yes, it has given me great pleasure to be able to shell out a few shekels to support other people whose work I value on Patreon. They deserve much more than I can afford to donate. But the idea of me asking others to contribute to my support has seemed wrong.
Right now, preparing to talk about this, the impulse to cry is causing my eyebrows to bunch.
Up until now, my creative efforts have been tucked in at the edges of life: Get the cheapest camera at second hand that will do a reasonable job (it worked — sometimes); Get the cheapest website and flail about trying to make it as nice as possible using only my own talent (not bad, but with resources it would have been sooooo much nicer); Struggle with the bundled software on my Mac to make videos; Get the cheapest craft supplies and just make do. I spent the lion’s share of my time and energy working for survival, doing something … else (clerk, administration, project management, etc.). There was little left of either time or energy for creating.
The people I have envied over the years are those whose whole job is to, for instance, sit in the woods waiting for a critter to walk by either to photograph or study scientifically. I’ve envied anyone whose job seemed to be being present for beauty and discovery. I was happy for their ability to live their lives that way, but I had no idea how to get to the point where such a thing was possible for me without starving or being homeless.
Somehow, I’ve managed to self-publish two books (Yoga for Every Room in Your House, and Mousenapped: An Inter-Species Adventure. In the publishing part there was a huge learning curve, but I think they turned out well. Sadly, my inability to promote them myself (self-promotion NOT my talent) has resulted in sad sales numbers,
Inability to afford an adequate camera has meant that few pictures have turned out as I wanted them to. It’s hard for me to evaluate the videos I’ve done up to now. They were the best I could do at the time.
I’d taken two or three super-small steps toward setting up on Patreon, but kept backing off. In part because of old feelings of unworthiness, but more because I couldn’t imagine what I could offer patrons. Also, it felt like no matter what I tried to accomplish, there was something else I had to do first …
Finally, I buckled down to work on it last week. The time was Now (then). I managed to get to the point of publishing my Patreon page last Friday. Hardly had I launched my site, when I got my first Patron (Thanks, Sandy Sue)! She signed up, not at the lowest tier, but at the highest I could imagine anyone springing for! Makes me think I should create some higher ones — imagine that!
This miracle flipped a switch in my brain. With the help of Patrons I can treat creating as my job. I have never done that before. I begin to have ideas of what I could accomplish. I began to envision purchasing the tools I need to do the best it is in me to do. Just today I began to envision paying a professional to help me promote my books. Imagine that!
I’ve never been any good at promoting myself. With the help of Patreon, it almost feels as though I wouldn’t need to.
Should you happen to be interested in supporting me or some other creator you have fondness for, visit http://www.patreon.com/JinjerStanton. I look forward meeting you in my brave, new world.
Thank you for reading this.