Ode to a Tip Jar
A ringing noise upon my ear
tells me that an email's here,
so, I look to see, and sure enough-
a WordPress logo, bold and tough!
Oh, perhaps has someone read my tome?
I wonder aloud as I start to roam
my way around the website’s format,
hoping to find a like or comment.
But look! Oh no! It bears bad news!
No, not a troll with too tight shoes,
no, not a bot trying to sell me a cruise;
it’s the company telling me it’s time for my dues!
But woe is me, I’m out of work,
and what little is coming is already marked,
so, what is a writer-girl to do
when her tip jar is empty
and her wallet is, too?
Shill yourself, honey, sell them a book!
Better yet, a Patreon subscription-those are off the hook!
Or if they really love you, the tip jar they will find…
to the very right of the blog page, no waiting in line.
See, usually it doesn’t matter, I get by on what I get,
but I lose quite a chunk if certain needs are not met,
like the webhosting bill that comes due every July
and makes me suddenly want to vomit and cry.
So here I am asking a favor of you,
my dearest readers, I hope you come through,
and offer to me maybe a buck or two,
so I can keep this site running for me and for you.
Ok, now that my rhyme is done,
I’m off to pen some delirium,
because I just got a new notification
and it has brought me great exasperation.
So hopefully you find some happy in your day,
because mine is slowly ebbing away,
and I urge you please to consider a donation,
so I can keep on writing these quotations.
Right now, I am neglecting my WIP.
I mean, I’m working on other things. There’s the blog, and then I’m prepping a microchap to send out tomorrow morning. But I’m not giving her the attention she deserves, and she’s angry about it. I projected to be done by tonight, and that will only happen if I spend the next six hours locked in this office without internet access. So, y’know…that’s not happening.
I’m only a few scenes and an epilogue away, though. I plan to write a scene today when I finish what needs to be done, and hopefully if I can find the time, I will be done with the first draft by the end of the week. That would be ideal. Then I can spend the rest of the month of February editing, as planned.
I considered hiring a professional editor, but it is way out of my price range at the moment. Mark wants to stary a GoFundMe for writing costs, which is a great idea in theory but probably not in practice. I don’t even know if you can make those for career advancement purposes, and honestly, I have enough trouble selling books and Patreon subscriptions, and that’s cash for a product, so what makes me think people are just going to GIVE me money?
I’m just out here trying to get my Patreon’s sold, really. That’s the best revenue for me right now, aside from folks using the tip jar…it’s over there on the side of the page, and is as close to a GoFundMe as I’m going to get. If you really do just want to GIVE me money, that’s how to do it. Otherwise, buy a product. Pick up my poetry on Amazon, or check out my Patreon, where for 5$ a month you get something new every week. All the proceeds from all these things go towards writing expenses…and coffee. Which I suppose, is a writing expense in its own right.
Anyway…professional editing set aside until some real cash flow comes, I will be doing it on my own, and then sending it to a few trusted sources for their notes. Then another edit, a polish, and its off!
It’s a huge task. I mean, I think of the microchap, which didn’t take me very long to put together at all. I knew I had a bunch of poems centering one topic, so I organized them and got it ready for submission. It took maybe two hours total. My WIP, however, has been going since November 1st. Much, much longer, if we are talking “spark” to finish…in that case it’s been over a decade. And here I am, on the last leg of the race, attempting to limp my way across the finish line by Friday.
Wish me luck.
I fell behind in literally everything regarding writing last week, and for once it wasn’t due to illness, just the impending holiday season plus some extra personal stressors. Suffice it to say this is not our best Christmas, but we are keeping our heads up. That said, I was preoccupied and so all writing endeavors were put on hold, ergo no blog update last Thursday, no work on the WIP, and me frantically penning a late newsletter for my Patreon. I wrote in there about my year in writing…which was silly because I’m also going to write about that here, and now.
This year has two halves to one unit. Writing is not just the actual words on the paper, but also the publishing side of things. Let’s start there.
My publishing year was dismal. Icky book sales, only two poems published, and still no release date for my mini-chap after working on it all year. I try to brighten myself, however, with looking at the financial side of things…I did sell books. I started my Patreon, providing me with monthly money for writing expenses. I made very small revenue on my blog, but revenue nonetheless. And soon my mini-chap will be published, and that will bring in funds as well.
Then, the actual writing side of things. I have a couple of new poems, and I polished up quite a good little short story, too. Most importantly, I dropped over 50k words into my WIP, and am hoping to churn out the rest by the end of January. If that goes to plan, I will be editing and then preparing for query sometime in March 2022. The novel is the moneymaker, folks…I know in my heart it will be published. And I also know that someday I will be sitting in an office negotiating a film deal. (I’m not trying to brag or anything, I’m trying to manifest.) And when that day comes, I will look back on now as the time when it all began, and I started to really make a career of this. I will look back at pitiful book sales and silly ad revenues and think…gee, what a year that was.
Anyways, I’m off to do the things that make the monies, as Christmas is in 5 days. A gentle holiday reminder that I now have a tip jar to the right of this page, in case you want to help me out with buying stocking stuffers. And always accepting new patrons on Patreon. And also books for sale. Just sayin’.
I didn’t update yesterday because I woke up puking at 2am. A quick jaunt to Mercy told me I would be waiting for several hours, so I went over to St. Joe’s, which is in many ways my preferred hospital for my situation. Mercy is close and has all my history, but it’s always 100 patients and 10 nurses, whereas St. Joe’s has this weird reputation for being crappy, so the ratio is completely flipped. I’ve never received poor service there, however, only the best. And yesterday they ushered me in quickly and had me medicated and calm within half an hour.
Anyway, that was not the first visit to the ER this week. Hopefully, it was the last, but now today I still feel weak and out of it, and am vaguely surprised I’m even sitting here writing right now. I don’t really have a topic, either; I just want to talk about Patreon.
Patreon is the single best way for me to earn a monthly income through writing. A monthly income means a website that never goes down, and ad funding for my books. What is Patreon, you ask? Well, it’s a monthly subscription service connecting you to creators. If you visit my page, you will see I am creating poetry, short stories, essays, and more. Now, there are three subscription tiers, and should you decide to subscribe, you should ABSOLUTELY DO THE CHEAPEST ONE. I mean, it’s super sweet if you want to send me extra money (PS this blog has a tip jar over on the right) but I don’t know how to work the extra features so frankly, you won’t get what you paid for. Do the 5$ subscription. I will be plenty grateful and you will have access to everything.
And what is everything? Well…we have poems, stories, book chapters, chapbook excerpts, vlogs, essays, newsletters, and cover reveals. At least a piece a week unless I am laid up, I try to provide my subscribers with an insight into the writing process for me as well as my life as a writer. Everything is unpublished, new, or raw at the time that I post on Patreon, and it’s the only place to find my fledgling videos, The Vociferous Vlog (which I really have to work on this weekend…oh please don’t let me get sick again.)
All I’m saying is that if you like me, and you like what I write, and you’ve got 5 bucks a month…I will happily trade you some words. I really enjoy doing my Patreon, and I am hoping it picks up a little not just for monetary purposes but because I like the platform for connection that it provides. There isn’t anywhere else I would be comfortable sharing the first chapter of my WIP, or starting out making vlogs.
I’m editing the page a little later today to give possible subscribers a taste of what is being offered, so there will likely be two or three pieces available later, but there’s a lot more available once you subscribe. Either way, I hope you check it out and consider subscribing.
That all said, my shoulders are killing me. I’m headed back to the couch for a bit. Happy Friday.
The absolute last thing I want to write about is how I feel right now, which is crummy. Not sick, per se, though my tummy is sad, but that’s only because the rest of me is depressed. There’s this whole brain-body thing happening where my depression and anxiety aggravate my digestive system and also my achy back and then I feel like hot garbage all morning. That’s where we are right now, with me typing these words by force and also trying to figure out how to get myself into the shower at some point today.
Major Depressive Disorder at it’s finest, folks.
Now, I’m not worried because this sort of thing usually only lasts a few hours to a day, and the doc upped my Xanax so I am well equipped to deal with any issues. Alas, I feel like crap. But, I must solider on. Bringing me to today’s blog, where I discuss a couple of endeavors.
It’s been a few weeks now since I stared my Patreon account, and I have two very excellent subscribers right now. They are extremely biased however, one being my aunt and the other being my mother. But then, they are probably also my biggest fans.
So right now, I am creating content for them but also for new subscribers, who would have access to everything I’ve done on there so far as well as something new on a weekly basis.
If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it is a platform for creators to earn a monthly income. It’s a subscription service, so, for example, you would pay 5$ a month and I would send you subscriber-only content each week, including poetry, stories, essays, newsletters, videos, and more. If you want to check it out, here is a link to my page. Just sign up and click “Become a Patron!” But don’t go crazy…it has you set up tiers so my price goes from a 5$ plan to like a 15$ plan and i strongly advise you go with the cheap one, especially if I know you personally. As I said to my mother, don’t pay for what you get for free.
So today one of the tasks I must complete is the making of this week’s content, which will be a vlog about one of my poems, which Mark and I are going to shoot as soon as I get myself out of the aforementioned shower.
In other news, I had a poem come out this week, and I have posted it below for you, because it was just a one-day run. Pink Plastic House, A Tiny Journal is one of my favorite lit mags and they are doing a countdown to Halloween with spooky-themed poetry. I was day 56, with a piece called The Squirrel that’s about the change of seasons. It’s one of my “story” poems. I don’t do them often but when I do, I always love them a little harder.
Speaking of “story” poems…I’m on pins and needles over here. This is me, putting out into the universe, that my editor needs to email me back, because I’m freaking out here. Last year they accepted my piece and I didn’t hear anything for months, and when I finally did, he said we could go at my pace…well, my pace dropped edits in his inbox a month and half ago and I haven’t heard a thing. I’ve sent follow-ups. I tried him on Twitter. Nothing. NOTHING.
Impatience is my worst quality.
So that’s what’s going on, writing-wise. Just chugging along. Obviously, my personal life is a shambles because I can’t even get myself into the shower. But maybe I can do something else. Afterall, I just finished this blog. One less task to complete, and it didn’t kill me. Perhaps now I can take a shower?
Nah. Probably going to take a break.
I remember my grade school English class, when we learned about thought bubbles, or whatever they are called. It was a way to teach us how to brainstorm, which was something I had already been doing but had no word for.
I brainstorm A LOT. Likely because of my anxiety and the fact I am an overthinker. I use it in my writing life, of course, as I am supposed to, but I use it for other things as well. Today, we are brainstorming. We, being me, Kevin, and Sahar, as they are the two friends I have spoken with already this morning.
See, I need about 200 bucks. $250 would be better, but I can cover some of it. I need money so I can make money, which is a sad truth that I hate but alas, here we are.
My webhosting is up on brigidhannon.com at the end of the month, and I also need to host this blog, which is something I could actually monetize in the long run. But that means about $250 due at the end of August. Since it is unlikely that I will sell 40 books this month, I must look for other avenues of income.
Sahar suggests a “Mommy Day Package.” She says I should charge $150, take care of kids all day, and provide a meal prepared for when mom returns home. I could do this easily…and honestly all I would need is two takers by the end of the month. Though it would be better if I could say I was CPR certified…sigh. Another instance of needing money to make money. Still, I am considering it.
Kevin and I talked about Patreon. It’s a platform for creators to share their work with subscribers, and I think I might give it a go. I don’t know if I could make my goal, or anything really, but it might be worth a shot. You get subscribers to pay a couple bucks a month, and each month you put out content just for them…so I would post stories or essays or poems a few times a month that would be solely for the viewing pleasure of my subscribers. It could earn me a few bucks and use my talent to make money, which is the dream, y’know.
Then there’s the option of selling things. I don’t know where to even start there. I have quite the bag collection, but truth be told, none of them are in resale shape. I love my bags HARD. I have one pair of rarely worn Kate Spade Ked’s that I adore but are slightly too snug on me. They are about the only sellable thing in my house. No…this won’t work. I don’t even have enough materials for a garage sale.
(From the far reaches of my brain, a whisper: “you have Mulder and Scully Barbie dolls still in the box up in the attic.” Me, louder: “NO! My aunt Barb gave me those! Also…Mulder.”)
Anyway, I’m off. I’m going to research this Patreon thing. I think that might be a solution, if not immediately, perhaps for the future. More to follow…