Capitalism will have you working yourself to breakdown just to chase a few shiny coins. Three months ago I closed down my Patreon. It was a counter-intuitive move from the outside looking in. I had managed to hit my first tier goal after two years after all. For once I was making more than $100 a month.
Back in April I was in a depressive spiral due to the pressure I put on myself to post often to Patreon. It was supposed to be a place I posted three times a month and I had worked myself up to posting 2-3 times a week. My brain kept pushing me to keep it going despite all the pressure and stress because it brings in money and it doesn’t matter if that money is less than $100 a month, you don’t stop doing something if it pays.
It became hugely stressful to deliver. The strain came from knowing that people were paying money for my content and when I missed deadlines I would beat myself up. I’d rather post all my non-book writing to my website because there’s less pressure.
This is a huge step for me. Even a year ago I would have kept trying to make things work, staying up all night, not eating, not taking breaks, just to hit this arbitrary goal she set for herself. I’m still struggling with the idea that I’m “giving up” on something and “failing” to do what I said I would. But the morning after I decided to let it go I got up and felt better than I have in weeks.
So where does this leave me on the hustle. We still have bills to pay, after all. I’ve filled up my calendar with various events, now that they are open again. I’ve also signed up with Upwork, focusing on proofreading and content writing jobs, as well as Fiverr where I’m offering content writing and even readings from my Sewing Tin Oracle. I’m getting back into work on my third book, and have been working on a workshop about household magickal protection that I’ll be debuting at the end of September.
All of these channels are more like spigots rather than hoses of income. But I think of this quote from Krista Suh, which reads in part, “My income comes in chunks—I lived the freelance lifestyle, and there’s nothing steady about it.” Which, I guess, is the definition of hustles. We scramble and dance and parkour around the nine-to-five and debt in order to collect those coins. After so many years, though, this is familiar. What’s new is my ability to gauge when I’m running myself ragged and when I need to take a break. That, I’m sure, is going to make all the difference.