I’m on Patreon

As the title says, I’ve created a Patreon account.  Over the years a couple of friends have mentioned doing so and I’ve always sort of dismissed the idea.  It’s not that I don’t understand how Patreon works, or that I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I know several people who have Patreon accounts, and they are wonderful.  I know many people who subsidize their income with Patreon.  What I had a hard time doing was wrapping my head around the idea that I did anything that would be worth people’s support.

It’s a weird sort of personal double-standard that has plagued me all my life.

After how rough last year was, though, I wanted to do something to expand my reach and income.  Especially with the upcoming release of Sew Witchy.  Another one of my friends brought up Patreon again a couple of weeks ago.  He has some experience with it and offered to walk me through everything.  He pointed out that I have knowledge and skills that other people could benefit from.  And this time, I had a list of projects that I had been collecting with the vague idea of doing a sort of add-on or follow up to my book.

With a vague idea and my friend’s encouragement, I set out.  I spent a few days looking at various Patreons.  I checked out those of my friends and people I know.  I looked at ones run by the various ASMR artists I am subscribed to on YouTube.  I searched keywords to see what other people were doing with regards to crafting and sewing and magic.

I also spent a couple of evenings searching out weird vintage sewing ads (which was fun and also horrifying in the various racist ways past advertising was … and still is, to be honest).  I had a hard time figuring out how to balance tiers and goals.  It’s hard for me to say, “Buy my knowledge” rather than “Buy my wares”.  Part of stems from all my self-esteem issues and part of it is because I’m anti-capitalist and feel like I should just give away my knowledge for free.  Honestly, the hardest part of putting this thing together has been struggling with that previous bit.  I am constantly being held back by my fears like that.  I’m working on it.

So, I present here my Patreon.  I’ll be posting a craft each month.  There will be patterns, instructions, video tutorials and more.  I’ll also be posting about my writing, adding excerpts and going into the nitty-gritty of what what goes into making a craft book.  Head on over to the account and sign up.  You can just follow the account, if you wish, or become a supporter.  I’m really excited to see how this goes.

Making it Work: Myself Amplified

Well, we survived 2017, a feat that I think deserves a round of applause, or a stiff drink.  While last year was especially tough because of a few things I’ll get into in a minute, it was also a year of good things for me personally, professionally and mentally.

On the professional front, 2017 saw my best income ever.  I grossed $10,000 from sales at conventions, commissions, work on e-book and book layout projects and the sale of my first book.  And while my net was a little less than half that, it still is better than I have ever done.  I really wasn’t doing anything different from what I’ve done in the past, so I think this is more a result of the other gains I made over the year.

Creatively, this was the most full-filling year I’ve ever had as well.  I took on lots of commissions that required me to learn new skills and level up in my sewing technique.  I felt confident in my abilities and really enjoyed the work and the challenges it presented.  And getting back into writing with Sew Craft was like coming home.  I have wanted to see my work published since I was a child.  So fulfilling that goal has given me a boost that no amount of money can match.

It hasn’t all been awesome commissions and writing about magickal properties of fabric, though.  Emotionally, this year was rough.  My depression and anxiety are being controlled, but are still present and not being helped by the monthly uncertainty of whether or not I’ll have health insurance.  Also not helping is the situation with the house, and the custody battle with my ex-husband it has triggered.  I have spent a ridiculous amount of time pulling together documentation, talking to lawyers, and sitting in courtrooms when I could be working.

With all of those external stressors, it would be easy to write 2017 off as a bad mental health year.  I have had one success, though.  I have, for the most part, killed off my Jerk Brain.  It hasn’t bothered me for months, and the couple of times it has reared its malicious head, I have vanquished it easily.  This bugaboo has plagued me my entire life (my first memory of it comes from kindergarten) and I had resigned myself to living with it my entire life.  So to say that getting ride of my Jerk Brain has helped my overall happiness is an understatement.

It’s been mostly the happenings in the larger world that have been awful and taxing.  I’ve tried to not let things like the recent passing of the tax plan, or the repeal of net neutrality get me down.  I keep thinking about places like Puerto Rico and Flint and the people there who are living with far more imminent dangers.  The events of 2017 have pushed me further left, to the point where I am no longer coy about my more “radical”* beliefs: Universal Basic Income, universal healthcare, federal legalization of marijuana, federally mandated equal pay and family leave.  I used to keep these beliefs to myself, and I understand now that doing so has contributed to where the country is now.**

Overall, what 2017 taught me was that I needed to embrace what makes me happy and act on it apologetically.  The world as it is will put pressure on me to give up on my happiness.  It will be unmovingly cruel, it will try to break me financially and emotionally.  But I owe it to my past self to stick to my happiness.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago.  I am myself amplified.  That is what I take with me into this new year.


*”Radical” to the conservative members of my friends and family who still believe in prosperity gospel and bootstraps and the like.

**Not that I am blaming myself, individually, for the current state of affairs, but there seems to be a large, silent majority willing to let bigoted family members go unchallenged, for example, just to avoid confrontation.

The Way We Think About Work Is Broken

“And there’s something special about idea technology, that makes it different from the technology of things.  With things, if the technology sucks, it just vanishes, right?  Bad technology disappears.  With ideas—false ideas about human beings will not go away if people believe that they’re true.  Because if people believe that they’re true, they create ways of living and institutions that are consistent with these very false ideas.”

—Barry Schwartz