What's up at Ravens March.

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Progress, and deep thoughts about the near future

Posted by Dirck on 3 September, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 September
  • 1 September
  • 2 September
  • 3 September
  • First draft of “Old Home Week”.
  • Pondering Patreon, Kickstarter, and Gofundme.
  • The same (more story than pondering).
  • “Old Home Week” concludes
  • Five manuscript pages.
  • Deeply.
  • Seven pages.
  • Four pages, and about a pint of tears– this one really opened an emotional vein on me.
  • 30 min.
  • All damn day.
  • 40 min.
  • 35 min.

The three crowdfunding things listed above are another response to the current dire financial straits I’m bound up in, of course.  The prospect of strangers sending me money is, for a dinosaur like me, a slightly odd one, even in the versions where there’s some strings of performance attached.  At the moment, what I’ve got in my head looks like this:

1) Kickstarter

Pros:

  • Everyone has heard of it (and yet I provide a link to show what it is…)
  • Doesn’t call for repeated output, just a single explosion

Cons:

  • Should have a specific goal in mind (a novel, an anthology, a comic, something with a title hung on it)
  • Categories include “publishing” but not “writing”, and I’m not sure I have the knowledge nor the stamina to figure out self-publishing.
  • Need to come up with a lot of extra little treats for the various levels of support
  • Needs a certain amount of flashy production in the presentation to be really successful

2) Patreon

Pros:

  • Has a discrete “writing” heading.
  • May provide enough of an ongoing income that writing displaces The Regular Job (may–  I’m not insane in my optimism on that point)
  • Pushes me to push my writing out the door (much as one must eventually sent the kids to school, no matter how tiny they look crossing the playground).
  • I know there’s probably a curious follower or two here that would like to actually see the stuff I’ve been boring you with for the past couple of years
  • Comes closest to the “get paid for what you like to do” sensation I’m hoping for

Cons:

  • Anticipates extremely regular output which means:
    • relentless pressure to keep producing (so a long, time-consuming thing like a novel or that still-awaiting-second-draft Choose Your Doom project becomes difficult);
    • on-line releases of material, which burn first-publication rights (a consideration when hoping to get into more traditional print anthologies)
  • That extra treats problem raises its head again, although possibly more manageably
  • A lot of the writing projects seen there seem to view the natural measure of funding as “per project” rather than “per month”; it takes the time-pressure off, granted, but doesn’t seem like a good way to get bills seen to.
  • Also needs a somewhat flashy production (although perhaps less-so than Kickstarter) in the presentation to be really successful

3) Gofundme

Pros:

  • Doesn’t have to be reliant on productivity– “I am broke” is a viable pitch
  • Not as Big Fat Project-ish as Kickstarter, but also not open-ended like Patreon; looks like a good middle ground for funding the effort of a novel without having to see it all the way through the presses (if it was a novel rather than bills that were my current prime concern…)
  • Less anticipation of rewards for donations, but it is there.

Cons:

  • Embarrassment factor of shaking a begging bowl, especially when it’s not a discrete “house burnt down” situation.
  • Not as well-known as either of the others for artistic funding; I know when I see it I’m thinking “people in trouble” more than “project needs funding”

I need to do something, because The Regular Job isn’t keeping up its end of the social contract, and there’s little alternative in “real jobs” otherwise for reasons I won’t bore you (moreso) with.  Right at the moment, I’m wondering if I don’t try two of the above; I begin to see, with some serious thought-experimenting required to finish, how I might be able to work my way into a Patreon client, and while the house hasn’t burnt down, I have the sort of real concerns about it remaining intact without renewal of the roof that make Gofundme seem wise.  The martyr/proud idiot element in me shouts that doing both at once is somehow cheating; I don’t understand why any more than you do, but it’s in there.  Kickstarter is where the money is, and I think I’ve got sufficient powder for the charge if I go that way, but it’s SO daunting in the department of stuff that would still need doing should funding be successful… and frankly also in the prep needed for a pitch.

This is not, by the way, mere rhetorical muttering.  There’s space for comments, and I will happily greet anyone’s suggestions or descriptions of experience (and, with a nod to the embarrassment angle mentioned above, I will at request anonymize or remove those comments from public view).  Speak out, please!  I’m going to do something really soon, and I’d rather do it after suggestions are in.

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