If you are a regular visitor, I’m sure you’ve noticed that something new has been happening around here. There’s been two new stories that have appeared in the last two days.
The line that lead me here isn’t exactly straight, but let’s try to sort it out.
The failed website from last year
I had an idea last year about blending my writing and teaching together. I opened up memberships, hoping to share lessons from my writing classes, as well as one-on-one meetings, something I had been doing as the writer-in-residence.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do the work to make it take it off. I should’ve built more focused lessons and marketed myself harder, but I just wasn’t excited.
But I still believed in the notion of patrons or members to support writers.
My love for the Creator Economy
The newsletter business is booming now and there are plenty of writers making at least a little of money by sharing their work directly with their audience. To me sharing writing directly, skipping traditional paths of publishing, and rethinking the model completely—I WANT TO BE A PART OF IT!
Content is King
But if I’m going to be a part of it, I need writing.
I could share teaching, but it’s not my priority. Fiction has always been my first love. Always.
So if I am going to commit, I need to start producing content and fast!
For a long time, I’ve been dancing around my fear. I haven’t been doing the work as much as I should, except for the book with Angie, and that has been a grind. I need to get past the fear and start writing again.
Recently, I’ve watched a bit of stuff about beeple, a visual artist who has been making a new piece every day for the past thirteen years. (Oh, he also sold an NFT of his artwork for 69 million, but that’s not a part of this conversation).
Back when I started writing, I had done a similar thing on a smaller scale. I wrote ten feature length screenplays in a year. The work invigorated me. To me, writing a new story a day seems like a similar challenge and a way to bust through my fear.
(And trust me, there is fear. The first one “What the hell is going on?” is a complete shitty mess, but I still posted it. I hadn’t even planned on it until halfway through the day when I just decided to commit and take the leap.)
So far, the rules are pretty vague. Write a new story a day, aiming for 750 words but less is fine. I want to be allowed to do a six-word story if that’s what comes to me that day.
It has to be posted by midnight (but since I’m an old man, probably closer to my bedtime of 10 pm).
And lastly, I’m not going to be a stickler, so I'll allow stories to carry over days (beeple starts fresh daily). Today’s (Mud pot), was an idea I’ve had for a week, but I started without any initial words, and it took its own twists and turns.
Patrons are Members
The final thing is that I am opening up patrons again. Not quite yet, but soon. It requires a big change to the website (rebuilding it in a new home), so it’s in the works, but it will take some time.
I’ve dropped the price to CAD $5 a month or $50 a year. At the moment it doesn’t get you much, except the pleasure of supporting me and my writing, and a few behind the scene notes about the writing (which I'm not even convinced in).
However, I do hope to add more rewards, like discounts on signed books, an acknowledgements page on the website, as well as being mentioned in a book, and whatever else works at that price point. It’ll be a “make it up as I go along” sort of thing.
BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT: the stories will always be free. I want them here for anyone to read and share with others.
My Last Go
My wife is remarkable, and she’s been more than patient with me as I’ve pursued my writing. But she and I are both getting to a point where we can’t keep doing this, and I’m going to have to grow up and get a real job that pays the bills a little better.
I don’t really want that outcome, so this is my last real go at making my writing work.
If I can get 1000 patrons, that helps a lot. My ideal would be 2000. That’s all I want in a world of almost eight billion people.
So, now, I am trying to write a new story for seven days. And if I get past that, I am going for 100, then if I make it to that, I’m going for the year. If I can do that and make an income, then maybe I'll keep going.
If I can’t, then by this time next year, I will need to start looking at doing something else.
So, that is the deal
Hopefully, I answered your questions. Hopefully, you’ll read the stories and share them with others. And hopefully, you’ll become a patron and support my future writing.