I’m here for weirdos, dreamers, & survivors (and, frankly, the dead, the lineages).
When I drafted a Patreon profile four and a half years ago, this line was included. Upon the page’s completion, I saved the draft, set it aside, and didn’t look at it again until yesterday. I’m someone who dreams up plans and schemes and projects and ideas all the time, but haven’t been able too see all of them through (yet), due to a complex mix of illness, self-doubt, poverty, and difficulty with the long-term, with committing to long-term plans. Then, too, a lack of access to ongoing, meaningful health care and other resources impact my creativity, my healing, and my ability to connect. This is one of multiple things I hope my Patreon page will help me to change.
I’m asking for financial support from those who are able to offer it to help me with the basic costs of living & eating & breathing, access to meaningful bodymind health care, & creating a life worth living within the difficult barriers and limitations built by poverty, chronic pain, and recovery with complex-PTSD and fibromyalgia. As my biography notes, I’ve been writing and self-publishing for over fifteen years, and I have no intention to stop. I have meaningful contributions to continue offering to queer, poor, mad, cripple, misfit communities – it’s one of my purposes or callings, and I know this even at times when I’m fatigued and dissociated with deep despair.
Over the years, I’ve written more than fifty zines, dozens of blog entries, a handful of essays, three novels, 10,000 tweets, provided countless Tarot readings, and most of what I’ve done has been low-cost or free. Once upon a time, I was able to tour and to give readings in public, but illness and inaccessibility changed that. Hundreds of people have told me that my work has been life-altering for them, and has even prevented them from attempting suicide. I’ve never had access to institutional learning or support, to grants, to mentors, to traditional avenues for publishing, etc… I still don’t have wifi at home. Everything is DIY and likely to remain so. However, the work does become less sustainable as I continue to struggle with fluctuating illnesses and mobility, with the ever-rising costs of living that come without an increased income, with food insecurity and housing precarity, and with heightening online and IRL surveillance culture. Writing, and writing as vulnerable as mine, is always a risk, and there’ve always been consequences. But I refuse to quit.
I want to write longer-form work. I want to write more fiction of varying lengths and genres, I want to study, I want to write about the books I’m reading and the feelings I’m feeling, and I want to continue providing low-cost Tarot readings that offer insight and guidance and concrete suggestions toward decision-making, healing, and fighting, and I want to be able to share it with those who need it. I want to rid myself of all the stuck and stale energy accumulated in my bodymind and home and soul that mere survival has given me, and become more soft, slow, skilled, vulnerable, protected, supported, and embodied.
I want to keep as little of my online writing behind a paywall as possible. While the occasional locked entry is probable – especially for drafts of fiction, or other words or sensitive information I’m not ready to make so visible – my writing is for poor people, especially those who, like me, are on social assistance, and thus considered nobody, considered disposable.
I’ve decided to use a monthly payment schedule on Patreon in the hopes that I’ll be able, eventually, to rely on something steady and predictable, rather than stress myself out about ~productivity~ and completion and end-goals. Also, although the ‘rewards’ could change over time, I’ve intentionally chosen not to include too much physical stuff. This has been the case with past crowdfunding efforts of mine, too, because I want to focus on the writing and the process, and not making merch-like stuff one can hold in their hands, as it feels extremely unnecessary to me. When I’ve contributed to similar projects over the years, it’s been the artists and the works themselves I want to support, and not the souvenir sent in the mail that’s enticed me to send some cash. I hope my readers will understand and feel the same.
Also, one reason I’ve stopped printing my zines was that my chronic pain and reduced mobility made getting to and from the copy shop, carrying the papers and assembling them, literally impossible for quite some time – while I’d like to make more zines in the future, I don’t want it to become a chore or an obligation, don’t want it to become something I do with resentment or painful, unseen labour.
Money-wise, my hope is that those who cannot afford to make a monthly contribution will continue to read/feel the work, and that those who can afford to make a monthly contribution – anywhere between $3 – $100 – will understand not only how valuable their support and appreciation are, but that their contribution isn’t solely on their own behalf, but to keep the work as accessible as possible for others, too.
This is a new experience for me, and as such, an experiment. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m feeling comfortable with that uncertainty, and curious about the future. In Autumn, I made a Twitter poll to anonymously ask readers if they’ve be willing to contribute to such an endeavor. In that thread, I emphasized that it’s true that poor people often get by with the support of other poor people, and that while I don’t expect every reader to have much to give, I do think it’s possible to find a way to make this work more sustainable, and I hope that with a monthly income, I’ll no longer need to worry about urgent crowdfunds, etc. I also made note that as I contemplate this project, I’ll do my best not to allow numbers and economics to impact my own feelings of self-worth. Though I’d been considering making a Patreon for quite a while, the timing hadn’t felt right until now.
P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!