And Now A Brief Message To Our Sponsors
March 7, 2012
This post is brought to you by Hewlett-Packard’s dm1 series ultraportables, Starbucks coffee, Allied Digital, the Employment Development Department, the city of Anaheim, the Council For Ensuring Danny’s Life Isn’t Total Shit, and, of course, readers like you.
These are the things that have brought together my ability to post here regularly. Beyond my own “talent” and voracity in producing written work, I wouldn’t be able to do so without the support of those things I mentioned. My laptop, the coffee shop I work at, my last employer, the supplier of my unemployment insurance, the city that keeps the roads straight and paved for me to walk on, my friends and family, and you, my readers. That last thing is really important and I’d like to explain to you why.
Many of you probably know, and have pieced together, the kind of position I’m in. I’ve spoken about it here and there in introductions to my posts (and those of you who follow me on Twitter saw me ranting yesterday). To say the very least, most of my life has been, and continues to be, tainted with desperation. I’m always chasing my own survival, chasing my next meal or my next quiet night to myself. My next evening with a lover or the next nice dinner at home. The very idea of “home” has been sacred to me for a long time because I’ve been without one that’s really mine since I was a child. I’ve always been, barely, supporting everyone around me and I’ve always had a sort of economic sword of Damocles hanging over my head between debts and budgeting. I’ve let my health deteriorate in the past simply so I could eat and get to and from work. Finally, the problems of my health, my capabilities, and my neurological state caught up with me at my last job. When I lost it I slowly had to come to terms with it being, most likely, my last normal job. There aren’t positions out there that I could get into because I’m neurologically atypical, I can’t drive anymore, and I have a chronic pain condition that is slowly making my joints too painful to use regularly. I slowly accepted that writing, and my wacky business idea I’ve told you about, are probably my best options for supporting myself, for surviving.
This is frightening, though, because I’m slowly sinking into a story we’ve all heard before. A medical problem, a mental health problem, an economic hardship destroys a family. A person. A life. They get sucked into homelessness and terror, put into a mode of thinking that they can never recover from. My mind teeters in fear of that every day, of sinking into quiet desperation and looking for just tomorrow. It seeps into how I deal with my friends, how I deal with my family, and how I deal with the strangers on the internet who are just coming to know me. It’s probably making it harder for me to succeed at those things that I think can stop the fear, which makes it all the more dangerous.
This speaks to something I have a hard time hearing, reading, lately. When I talk about how hard it is to write, not knowing what to write about, not knowing what people like I’m told to write for myself. That was a nice option two years ago but I can’t do that anymore. I never really wanted to write for myself anyway; I write for you, my audience. I want to entertain you, enlighten you, embolden you, enable you, ennoble you, educate you, elucidate you, encourage you, entice you, embrace you. I’m not a philosopher, writing things to process them and create whorls of thought for others to partake if they wish but, ultimately, fashioning a work of art for themselves. To calcify the thoughts they have been working on. I am not the word-artist, I am the word-smith. I am a bard, ultimately in the business of communication. Teaching and telling, taunting and titillating, things that move people and bring them back. Like the bard, as well, the only way I can continue to do this is with your support.
Yes, I mean money; there’s a reason a busker places their hat upon the ground. I don’t mean just money, though. If you know someone who might like my stories, please share them. If you can’t help me, even if they can’t help me, maybe the know someone who can. I need just a little bit of support from you, my readers and my friends, to help me weather this. Alone I’ll sink but together, with just a hand and a little bit of heart, I’ll float. I might even soar. I need you to tell me what stories you like, what questions you have, and what stories you would like to see. If you want to see a Sherlock Holmes story, tell me. If you’d like to see my take on Peter Pan, tell me. If you’d love to see me tackle a modern war story, tell me. If you’d like to see me write a simple love story, tell me.
Ultimately, my boss is you. My job is entertaining you, seeing that you’re enjoying yourself. This is because, ultimately, if I get paid it’ll be from you. If one of you throws in a dollar every time I post, it boosts my mood in ways you don’t see but, I assure you, it’s quite a bit. If thirty-five of you throw in a dollar every time I post a new piece, you cover my current expenses for my day to day eating and drinking (yeah, living in a Starbucks I spend about $5,500 a year on food to sustain myself). If 112 people throw in a dollar every time I post, I’ll be able to afford to live in a new apartment with my girlfriend. When you draw out what I’d need to survive, it isn’t much. The hard part, though, is finding those people who can afford to throw that dollar into my hat. Part of that is you, those of you who think I’ve got the talent and the drive to make it, to find people to see me. Find people to read me. Find people who can throw that dollar in.
I can only promote myself so far. Until I can afford to advertise on my own, I need help. Reshare this, retweet this, reply to this, repost this. I’ll answer any questions you have, I’ll have whatever conversations you want, because I want to be the best bard you’ve ever seen. I want to be able to collect my hat at the end of the day and know that my fans love my work enough to want me to come back again, to sing for them and entertain them again. Until I’ve got my cover images, until I’ve got an okay from my test-readers, until my books are ready to go on the market as well, my hat is my only real source of income.
Please, consider it.