I made a Patreon account, finally. I had mixed feelings before doing it, but I’m considering it an experiment. To explain those feelings, here’s what it says on the page.
Hello, internet. It’s me, the verbose and versatile Mx. Jones. I’m a writer whose début novel, Tiresias, was a finalist in the Transgender Fiction category at the Lambda Literary Awards. I also do a lot of other things: I’m a performer, director, designer, critic, gamer, linguist, spooky person, and all-around artsy type. And… I do not like asking for money.
Let me say that again, with a special emphasis. I do not like asking for money. I’m an idiosyncratic creator (aren’t we all) who doesn’t mind asking people to read or otherwise consume what I share with the world; who doesn’t mind giving people a public view of my creative process; who doesn’t mind interacting with a fanbase; who doesn’t mind nudging people about how my writing is worth something. But just saying, “Hey you. If you care about me and what I do, you’ll give me fifty bucks”… oh, that’s not my style. I know you might not have the money. And if you do have the money, I’m more comfortable with gift economies than with economies of tit-for-tat exchange.
However, here I am with a Patreon account, at long last. You see, I’d love to write more often than I do, and I know there are people who’d like to see more of my writing than there is. Unless I reach that rare plane of writerly existence where I can just mention a manuscript and have a three-book contract land in my inbox, then I unfortunately can’t oblige my dreams or my fans without sacrificing time that could be spent on more immediately lucrative 9-5 jobs (or asking my very beloved husband to snap his fingers and discover a six figure salary). So I stand digitally before you now, admitting that if you want to throw me some cash, and if enough other people wanted to do the same, this would offset what I’d lose by 9-5 becoming, say 9-2, or straight up disappearing… and that offset would be most excellent.
This is not about you, an individual, supporting a queer, trans writer in a society that remains disinterested in (or even hostile to) voices like mine. If you like that way of framing your support, that’s cool, but I’ve decided to think of this affair as patrons giving a leg up to someone who envisions fictitious possibilities for solving real injustices. To someone who’s not afraid to speak truth to power. Contributing to my “income transition” will hardly change the world, but maybe there’s a world-changing novel buried in my brain, and I’d appreciate assistance from anyone who wants to help me mine those words.
D. Llywelyn Jones