Finding support for writing
Last spring, I decided to create a Patreon campaign to find out if there were a few people on earth who admired my writing, and/or my literary activism over the past 35 or so years, and would be willing to support me in my endeavours on a monthly basis.
My hope was to have a modest bit of extra regular income to make things easier and give me more time to write. In exchange, I'd offer some perks: poetry leaflets and chapbooks, online readings and workshops. Plus a monthly writing challenge and exclusive peeks at various works in progress.
Since I left Toronto in 2010 and moved to Smalltown, Ontario, it's been tougher to get work (I'm not in Canada's publishing/writing centre and shmoozing all the time) and to get read (ditto).
I really wrestled with the idea of asking people to support me beyond buying my books. After all, most everyone I know is a writer, and many of them are struggling as well. But I considered my own contributions to the literary community: decades of organizing readings and other events, ten years (probably 600 or 700 volunteer hours) of the free Patchy Squirrel Lit-Serv, publishing mags and chapbooks at great cumulative expense, supporting others' events, mentoring, advising, literary matchmaking, some pro bono editing, and more.
So I figured I'd go for it. It's been an honour to discover nearly two dozen people have been willing to help me out with anywhere from a buck a month to $50 a month. It's taken some pressure off, and is likely one of the reasons I've had a pretty productive 2016.
I still welcome new supporters, and I'm open to hearing about the kinds of perks that might make such patronage feel worthwhile.
You can find my Patreon campaign right here.
Over and out.