In an attempt to soothe away some of the anxiety I’m having right now I made a list and did the math to figure out what would keep my writing sustainable.
When I say sustainable I’m talking about things like memberships, software, and hosting. I’m not talking about making any profit at this point.
I’m not going to detail the specifics but here’s how it breaks down:
- Yearly not counting any hardware (computers) +/- 10$ is 287.16
- Monthly that is 23.93
That seems pretty cheap no?
What that doesn’t provide for is when my computer(s) break, no travel or time off from work for readings, no writing conferences or other educational/networking events.
This year I elected to skip more than half of the things in my budget. Mainly because we’ve had some family expenses that have eaten up a lot of our savings. There is no room in this budget to enter my work into any competitions, submission fees, books of the educational variety.
Given that in my life outside of writing shit is difficult economically speaking, trying to do these things as well has proven to be stressful and depressing.
Now we know I hustle. When I can there is XOjane but that is not all that regular. I don’t have the time for something with a heavier commitment. This is why I opened my Etsy store but frankly that is not all that successful. If I make 5$ a month with that it’s pretty cool.
That being what it is I’ve thought about maybe trying out Patreon.
I feel like if I could lift some of the financial stress I could improve my output and free up enough brain space to write more of the shit I want to write.
Enter writerly self doubt.
I am not famous. I’m not sure I even know enough people with a few dollars to spare a month to do this. Real talk I feel like a lot of folks like my work but not enough to support it in that manner.
I had another idea of doing monthly dispatches (kinda like the Rumpus letters in the mail but via email) for a flat few bucks a month type deal.
Again, I have to factor in the likelihood of enough people being interested in order to make the work involved worth it.
I hate thinking about that part, I want to be one of those I DO IT FOR THE ART types but that is not my life.
My thought process also involves things like:
- Going to/performing at readings both locally and far away as Portland. I would need to be able to take the time off of work, have travel options. Things like if the reading is in the Capital Hill neighborhood here in Seattle, there is the cost of buses (from my home that is about a 2 hour bus journey, and if my partner is coming maybe more to cut down walk time), taxis (from my house to the middle of downtown is 35$) etc.
- Enough spare money in the budget for books. Not pleasure reading but things more craft related.
- Money for maybe a local small conference or workshop. I’ve never been to one I got the most out of but I’d like to try.
Also maybe enough little bit of profit to buy a pair of shoes or get my nose pierced. Enough to save up for next years AWP, enough to maybe buy a brand new totally up to date real laptop.
And most importantly I want to keep the more necessary things out of the household budget. It just stresses me out too much to be taking from that when I know my partner needs medication, to re up his bus pass, new shoes, new cane tips. We need a new shower head, our electric bill is fucking ridiculous right now etc.
I don’t need or want to be rolling in cash.
I really just want a little freedom. A little less stress. A little more space to do more with my work because I feel like my writing is going really good places. But I can’t go those places if I’m so stressed out I’m having nightmares and the fiery shits.
I’m not usually so open about this stuff. On an emotional level it just destroys me that basic sustainability is so close but not close enough. I’ve already sacrificed my entertainment and other for me for fun things, I don’t have new shoes, I don’t have clothes for Spring.
Shit just fucks me up.
So I’m going to keep considering patreon and just try to get through it without giving myself an ulcer.
That’s all for now.