Updates, My Artistic Process and shit.

OKAY HI.

Yes I’m hollering.

I am finally sort of not so sick anymore. I’m almost done with my antibiotics-

and as an aside, y’all. I did not know that being on a very strong antibiotic would not only wreck my bhole but also just wreck my whole being. The medical evidence about antibiotics causing mood swings etc seems to be 50/50 but for me that shit was super real and triggered a few major anxiety spirals. It has been a lot.

I’m mainly on the mend and back to work in earnest.

SO let’s talk about something that happened and was amazing.

A while back, maybe two months or so over on my FB page, I cursed a certain orange fuckbucket in chief to public pants shitting. After some private uh, discomfort on the part of some fellow witchy types I wrote this essay. I wasn’t sure what to do with it and a friend sent me a call for work and then this happened. The best thing about having this piece bought was that the day after it published, I’ve seen an outpouring of feelings from other POC witches and have heard how what I said resonated with other people.

And I made some coin.

That leads me to my next thing.

I’ve decided to post more work on Medium as subscriber to Medium only.

Basically, if folks read and clap I get a few coins. And because of the discovery nature of Medium, I feel like I have a little bit more of a chance to make some of those coins.

Ready for some real real?

In the decades of this point of my work, keeping it radical and accessible to people has been in my top five important shit to do with my work list forever. For years, a lot of the advice I’ve been given about trying to get the work not fit for mainstream publication or that I decide to handle myself out into the world is to ask my community for support.

If you’ve been here a while you know that anytime I ask for support whether it is monetary or whatever, I always ALWAYS say please share. Please boost. Please help me get eyes on the thing.

This has been what folks have advised me for so long and it is what I’ve done. I ask. I always ask. I ask here, twitter, tumblr, facebook. I literally have thousands of followers across all platforms and average maybe 1-5 shares per time I ask.

I offer a lot to the communities I belong to. Labor, I offer my work. This very blog there is an actual TON of legit writing advice. It is important to me.

I believe in community. I believe in being of service to the communities I belong to.

The problem is that, it is not a two way relationship at all. I feel like I don’t ask a lot. I’m not trying to make a living off of giving basic writing advice or selling y’all bullshit.

Pragmatic Potato Shannon says, look at that nobody gives a fuck stop.

Idealist Potato Shannon says, but LOOK at the resources folks still read.

Regular Potato Shannon is still poor and running an unsustainable creative thing.

Now, yes sometimes I get donations and tips. Yes I have that languishing gofundme, yes I have Patreon. Those have been lifesavers and helpful but, they aren’t the most sustainable.

IF you’ve been here a while you now I’ve talked about, posted surveys etc other things I could offer up at low cost. Writing classes meant to be accessible to everyone. Crickets. Sensitivity readings, crickets. Hey please boost this? Crickets.

Now this causes me a lot of cognitive dissonance because often, especially when I’m not posting something new, folks gas me up. Yes I appreciate compliments and someone saying how much they want to share me with the world.

Then too often when I ask, it is the same few people who do share shit and it feels like shit and I am still broke.

After talking to some other POC about this, a few things are clear.

  • My solution sucks and means I have compromised something important to me.
  • My solution(s) don’t make me -that- much money.
  • Capitalism sucks
  • Black Femmes have a hard time getting funded/supported.

So what am I doing?

A lot of the free content I’d normally post here or on Medium, I’m posting at Medium but for premium members. It is not a whole lot of coin but let me break a thing down.

As of today a piece I put up less than a week ago has made almost 2$. That is 2$ more than my etsy store (where I had a grand total of about 25k words available to buy all in for less than 15$) made in a year, it is 2$ more than my merch store made after folks asked me to do merch. It is more in a week than my gofundme raised weekly.

Ahem.

Real talk, the idea that if your community values you, ask and ye shall receive doesn’t work for all of us. It just doesn’t. Not just in my personal experience but in the circle of folks I talk to regularly we are often passing around the same ten bucks to each other because ain’t nobody else doing shit.

And right this moment, I’m also dealing with a whole other level of white nonsense and I’m sure this entry will serve them with fuel. You, y’all know who you are. Fuck you for deliberately trying to take food off of my table.

Anyway.

I may move some other projects to medium for the slow but steady trickle of income.

And I’m pretty spent. More later I’m gonna nerd on you about world building within an existing world.

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Tools and Whatnots.

Let’s talk tools. (There will be affiliate links)

In 2016 I bought a little used RCA windows tablet. I bought it mainly to write on. It was small enough to be portable for me and not so expensive I’d freak out in public if someone touched it.

Well, lil buddy is pretty much only good for games now. It served well and the keyboard took my beastlike pounding pretty well.

So now, I am on the hunt for a new thing.

Folks keep recommending things like the Lenovo Yoga tablet. Or of course a Windows Surface. Both sexy little things that give me a nerd boner. Words like ultraportable make me feel a lil something in the pants.

But, if I go that route I’m going to have to wait until at least next May and I’d rather not do that.

The thing with the RCA tablet is that even at peak, it just wasn’t quite powerful enough for my needs. I need to be able to run my word processing, probably have an internet window or four open for other research and not have it lag out or crap out. I am honestly too paranoid to carry my big ass laptop so, new tablet it is.

I’m thinking I will probably get a Kindle 10. Multiuse gives me wood although most of the cases with keyboards I’ve found have looked a little wee tiny for me to get used to.

I do wish that Kindle, Android and microsoft would stop pissing on each other so a body could use shit they pay for like Office365 across more devices without bullshit. I am a little leery that I won’t be able to use word online the way I like with a kindle 10.

If I get the kindle 10, I’m going to have to do a work around.

What I really want is laptop capability, with real windows 10 and tablet size.

Most of the office related apps I’ve tried are shit for working on and Google Docs has dry fucked me one too many times.

This little thing here is about as close to ideal as I think I’m going to get.

Presuming I can sell two or four more essays I can probably get one in Decemberish.

I don’t want to be reliant on apps. Microsoft apps just don’t work in a way that makes them very usable for me. And you can’t use online Word with mobile devices. I am also really reluctant to depend on wifi as well.

Sometimes trying to get tech shit figured out as it intersects with economic shit is bullshit.

Other than that, things are fairly okay. Laptop at home is working nicely.

Ahem.

As things stand right now. Here is what my side hustle/patreon money budget looks like.

bills

Bear in mind these are my personal bills currently. This doesn’t count family budget. Not rent and shit. Being that Sept-October have both been financially crazed and I’m trying to save up from my side hustle money to move…well.

In a perfect world, this budget would leave me about 85$ to use to tuck into my moving savings. I make a tiny bit over 200$ a month on Patreon but I account for folks lowering pledges and declines.

Logically/rationally I will not buy any new tech/anything that costs more than 10$ for a while. My entertainment budget is pretty much 0$. After this week I’m giving up my morning coffee/calm/poetry time. I’m taking a slightly later bus so I can walk to the transit center so I don’t have to walk around downtown for an hour before work, neither is great but the later bus is the slightly safer option.

This morning I tweeted a little about my current situation and two people kindly checked in and a couple sent me emails to lecture me about how to budget.

I hate doing this.

But y’all ready for the poor people dance?

HERE IT GO.

I work a full time actual real job. It is almost barely enough to cover household bills. I’m talking my partner’s care/medications, rent, lights, phone/internets. Our household entertainment budget is 15$.

So the house budget is pretty much on lock and every red fucking cent I make in my day  job is just for staying alive.

So as I’ve talked about fucking constantly, writing money and patreon are for literally everything else.

After the last couple of months shit has been rough.

SO okay per usual. You can find my various tip jars in the side bar, check out my Patreon or donate to my Gofundme.

Writer Financials and other updates

My (currently 2nd most shared/reprinted article to date) piece giving White folks some boundaries about how they interact with POC on the internet got reprinted again. Check it out here. As expected, I’ve been called a racist, rude, crude, divisive and the ever so common claim that I hate White people or that my work is why somebody just won’t try to not be racist anymore.

I also posted up a freebie Patreon update which you can find here.

I have an October/witchy themed piece coming out in a new to me publication next month that I’m pretty hype about.

So let’s talk some stats.

Freelance shit:

  1. Four pitches sent.
  2. One acceptance.
  3. One rejection.
  4. One no response.

Literary shit:

  1. Two submissions sent.
  2. One acceptance.
  3. One still in process.
  4. Acceptance for a small anthology, a wee peom.
  5. In process, suite of poems.

Not bad given that I’ve been sick for almost a full month, my partner is still pretty much incapacitated so I have to do all his household stuff too.

Other stuff. I have 255$ saved towards moving.

My poetry book is close to being born.

Being that I’m hustling to save up to move, I redid my personal budget which for our purposes is money made through writing. That means freelance and patreon and eventually possibly sensitivity readings.

October is a big bills month.

WP 100
CC 25
Ginger 6.4
Office 9.99

This is the short version of my budget. This is 100 over what I’d anticipated, I forgot that my personal blog renews this month. Whatever.

If most of my patrons go through, I will about deplete those funds for the most part which sucks and makes me angry but yanno.

What else?

I have this new thing coming out and the new to me editor had a really great response to the piece. My last um, three new to me editors have all be very enthused and into my work. One of my problems with freelancing is just how ramped up my anxiety gets. When I am freelancing because I’m broke, any failure or rejection or non response from publishers and I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I’m a terrible boss. And rationally I know that I can’t do the shit I’m good at in that state of mind but, I often feel like I’m too poor to be so against being exploited or having my voice fucked with.

I’m still trying to learn how to balance my need to hustle on the please just pay me level and continue to hold my personal integrity.

Shit is hard as fuck.

That said, I have some time next week and will be writing like a mother fucker. I’m selling important to me work that is me unfiltered. I’ve been very very blessed to work with editors recently who have been supportive and really believed in my voice enough not to ask me to tone my shit down.

So that’s that.

Posting will likely remain light while I’m grinding. Y’all know.

 

State of The Artist and Their uh..things.

Hello friends.

A lil bit of news.

First of all, pardon my little hiatus. I had a family emergency, my partner got very ill. Two ER visits, he’s been incapacitated, I got sick. Then I got really fucking sick as in, face down ass up missed a fuckton of dayjob hours type sick.

Basically so far Sept has me like:

stares
[image description: a still from the film Pulp Fiction. Samuel L. Jackson staring. Text reads: STARES MUTHA FUCKER’LY]
Due to the illness in the household, we had to spend pretty much every dime we had saved for transportation, medications for both of us, pricier food than we usually get because I had to shop by myself. That laid us out financially and it’s going to be at least a month before we recover.

Unfortunately, I panicked and cut my entertainment budget out entirely (a whopping 15$) and put off reserving the laptop/tablet thing I want. I also sold an essay so it was kind of good and bad?

Can I be real with y’all?

As rough as things have been in the last few years, these last few weeks have wrecked me. Life for real pushed EVERY one of my fucking trauma buttons.

That said.

I’m working out some things.

My priorities right now are:

  • Keeping self and partner fed and with proper medications.
  • Saving a fuckton of money to move.

That is all my life is right now.

I’m thinking of going ahead and opening up for some sensitivity reading. Nothing long. Articles, essays. Come back to get full info next week.

I’m grinding at that freelance shit. Y’all. Let me tell you a quick story.

After a shitty day, I had a long FB chain where my witchy friends and I laid some curses like hell and it was so satisfying I wrote an essay that day and sold it to a new to me venue the day after. Y’all. Sometimes, just fling your stuff out into the universe. I’ll be talking more about that in my Loveletter later today.

I mention the grind because my fundraiser continues to go badly and it is demoralizing. Not only is it failing but, every time I post it places people get on their Y DON’T U WORK HARDER LAZY POOR ASSHOLE.

Rationally, I know that it is bullshit that I feel like I have to justify asking for help but I can’t really deal with trying to answer that shit individually so, here we are.

At this point y’all, it is so imperative that we be able to move I can only focus on that. If we don’t move, our health, mental and physical is going to deteriorate further and we cannot do that.

So I’m on the grind.

I currently have more pitches/subs out than I have in a couple of years. I’m pretty excited about it. I have done some big swing submissions and I ain’t stopping.

If you wanna help this post is still super accurate and as always, when I put out my rates for sensitivity readings etc share em. Know somebody with cash and a burning need to do something tangible? Help a living artist live. Except for Etsy the shop is closed.

SO there we go.

More later.

Some Business and Updates

Let’s consider this one of my writer financials updates.

Buckle up.

First a rule. None of what I say today is me digging for compliments or pity. I’m not just working off of feelings there is a LOT of data I’ve been studying.

I.

My Etsy shop is now closed. In 2017 it has cost me some money and I’ve not sold anything.

II.

I’m most likely not going to be offering indie stuff for sale for a while.

Stuff that is upcoming:

I’m going to be redsigning my professional author site and http://www.shannon-writes.net and my other domain (still under construction) will be pointed there.

I am deciding whether or not to offer limited sensitivity readings.

What else?

I currently have an unexpected 100$ bill to pay. Not having my little shops is both reassuring (no fees for Etsy, no stats worries about Teespring) and infuriating at the same time.

Sometime in the future I am considering offering other writing professional services that aren’t line editing. Being that my dayjob doesn’t look like I’m gonna get a cost of living increase anytime soon, I gotta rethink my hustles.

I am also still really into the idea of accessible (as in non jargony/non expensive) downloadable writing classes.

I don’t know.

I feel like *and my ride or die folks pls don’t take offense here* I need to find the mythical larger audience/folks who have money and would like to spend some.

Officially okay look y’all.

When I talk about my financials like this, it is not an invitation to send me lengthy messages across various platforms about how, if only I’d kept my shit open another week or so you’d do whatever.

Really, just don’t blow smoke up my ass about it. I’m not completely mad about the lack of material support cause, I know how the world works especially for Black Femmes like myself. We tend to have a harder time with funding and that’s to be expected. What makes me rage out, is the words of support or when I ask for help promise it and when I actually need it, crickets.

Please just don’t. For me it’s worse than not being able to fund my fundraisers etc.

I feel like I HAVE to say this all the time but, it takes two seconds to share a link somewhere. Where? Doesn’t matter. Don’t tell me you’re about it and then wah wah, you’re not.

Don’t piss on my feet and tell me it’s raining,

So that’s the status of things. I’m already working on my new site and she pretty as fuck. I’m in the process of deciding if I want to do the services thing or speaking or whatever.

This brought to you by the rant below I had last week just before my lil vacation. Stay tuned for more news homies.

 

Further Fuckitlist things and comforts.

Comforts first.

I really love audiobooks and stories. I have some faves y’all should know about.

First one right now I’m listening to one of my favorite voice talents read a story I have been into since it came out. Buried Eyes by Lavie Tidhar.  That swords n sorcery n guns n shit stuff is pretty awesome. You should buy all of Lavie Tidhar’s work cause it is really friggin good. The reader is Graeme Dunlop who has a lovely voice and is very emotive and really good.

Actually just dive in at the linked podcast site and find stuff.

Another fave is this story called Gig Marks from Pseudopod. Y’all it is so damn good I think of it all the time. I love a great ghost story and it is perfect.

In my backpack I have copies of Narrow River, Wide Sky: A Memoir by my beloved friend Jenny Forrester. Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life by Kim Addonizio.

All nice things I am enjoying.

What am I writing? I started a weird bird person story here’s a bite:

Mr. Peach White likes to walk with his wing just around my shoulders. He forgets how short my legs are compared to his and I must always adopt a rolling bird waddle to keep up with him. He speaks a mile a minute, informing me about the children, trouble in the local rookery, the gossip from the cranes who fly the river and return with mail and messages. He snorts and shakes his crest when we pass a seabird colony full of the howling of the gulls and cormorants.

“So you see, Mary of Brown skin, it must be quite impossible to make peace with these strange creatures. These odd drab birds that fly with misery from the north. What need of them, have we? Our city is a place of-” He stops talking, distracted by something or other and I catch my breath a bit. I would never deliberately slow him down, he is one of my regular customers, but I do appreciate it when something catches his eye. “Mary, Miss Mary of Brown Skin, look there.”

He points one white wing and I have to stand on tiptoe to follow the direction of his pointing. “Um, can you lower your wing a little bit please?” I sound like a mouse but, Mr. Peach White burbles an apology and lowers his wing so I can see over it. Across the river there was a dust cloud full of ruckus of some sort. Squawking, rough shouts from working laboror human humans. Mr. Peach White is notoriously and insatiably nosy, he gathers me under one wing and hustles me to the nearest weaverbird.

What the fuck is this? I don’t even know. Except that the end is gonna be kinda gory but romantic? I like the idea but why bird people? I find the idea so terrifying I can’t stand myself.

What else?

I’m working on this literary, memoir related, observational thing and I CANNOT for the life of me figure out how I want to write it and I’m getting on my own nerves. My first attempt started out way too academic, the second was closer ish but not there yet. My head is SO FUCKING FULL and I just….

I mean what if I could just reach in, give the ole brain sponge a squeezy squeeze and Voila essay falls out of my nose. Shit, at this point I’d take it if it dribbled out of my butt.

At least I feel like I’d be deeper into this fucking thing than I am. Can y’all tell I’ve about run out of patience?

I’ve mentioned my impatient studiousness but for fuck sake I JUST WANT TO WRITE THE SHIT ALREADY.

But I also kinda don’t because I’m not ready.

OH let us talk of shit I’ve kicked off my Fuckit List.

I wrote this review for ROAR. I feel very good about it. Read it.

I also sent a few like major swing for the fences pitches last week. Baby needs shoes and bylines.

I’m having one of those weeks when part of my fuckit list involves a big ass project that just seems like too much. I’d need:

  • Start up funding (I could likely contribute a bit but I’d need to crowdfund the rest and well…that doesn’t work for me)
  • To stop writing other projects/things for at least 3-4 months.
  • Help with reach from folks who haven’t shown up for me in the past.
  • Opportunity to work on this thing without worrying about how much it is costing me.

Today, I feel like these seemingly few things are never going to all align. I’m frustrated. I don’t -want- to have to make a whole business. I don’t want to work that as an extra full time job because, I’m not in a position to just leap and assume everything will be fine. I’m responsible for another human being staying clothed, housed and fed.

Also honestly, as I’m researching I’m just- I don’t want to. I don’t. I just want to make enough money in life to maybe not be triggered to fuck on payday, or be able to buy vegetables whenever I want some and maybe, MAYBE buy some fucking underwear without feeling guilty or otherwise fucking up my budget.

And no it isn’t that I don’t work. I work hard at maintaining the quality of life I have.

The super extra frustrating thing is I already fucking know that the path above, isn’t the one I goddamn want. I don’t want to try and run a business and write and live. I’m super extra tired of wanting to or needing to feel like I HAVE to try doing this in order to live and maybe come up a tiny bit.

I am not looking for some rags to riches come up thing.

I just want a bit less stress and maybe a nice place to live.

And maybe do some good and make a little coin.

But nah.

This post also brought to you by someone who thought it was helpful to tell me how much I don’t believe in myself or want a better life because I won’t not work my regular job for 6 months to MAYBE find a better position…like.

What the fuck good would coding or other certs do me if I lost my place to live or am unable to provide for my family?

When I asked if she’d like to pay my expenses she got angry and just kept giving me that be your own boss schtick like it is gospel and it pissed me off.

Okay I’m frustrated and upset and I’m gonna not do that for a while.

The Support I need Right Now

At the suggestion of some fellow poor artists, I figured I’d update some stuff and tell everyone in the world what support I need right now.

My current situation:

  • I have a slight cost of living (not fancy living just living) increase that I can do nothing about.
  • Partner and I are both in dire need of some basic shit that we just don’t have money for right now. I’m talking underwear that fits, socks. A few pairs of jeans/pants each. Camis/tanks/tees. Basics.
  • We need to stock our pantry. Non-perishables, heavy stuff, because my partner has mobility issues and getting a good stock up has been impossible between that, my schedule and the cost.

So really what we need is help. We need a chunk of cash to explicitly use for this shit.

I also have some creative projects in the works but have decided on putting them away for now until I can get our household a little bit more stable in our current situation.

So that said.

What I need right now is signal boosts, paying work that isn’t like a job (I will talk about that in a second), and donations/tips/sales.

Here are the many things:

My Gofundme. 

Venmo. Cashme.  Paypal. Etsy.  Patreon.

If you aren’t down with cash and want to do something material. Here’s my amazon list. I have some stuff I need but most of it is for funsies stuff.

Now the job thing.

I have a full time job still. I make just barely enough to cover bills if we eat poorly etc. I was considering (again) a part time job but, just recently I’ve worked 6 of 7 days in a row a few times and I am paying for it heavily. I just physically can’t anymore and there’s that.

Also, real real talk. I really want a chance to have some stuff just taken care of so I’m not spending my little savings or just having a chance to feel secure enough in that we have a bunch of shit we need so I can continue to work as i have been.

And that’s it. That’s what I need. Like my Gofundme says, my lil family just needs a leg up.