Why I'm Creating a Patreon Account
Okay, so it's time for a brand new writing adventure for me.
And I'm pretty nervous - so I'm trying not to think too hard about it. I'm just typing the words and pressing the buttons on the keyboard. Sometimes that's just the best way.
I've just finished filling in my Patreon creator account page. As per the rules of Patreon you have to fill it in then submit it to them to ensure it's within their community guidelines. So I pressed the big red button to submit and now I'm waiting for someone to let me know it's all good to go and I'm now live.
You might be thinking...Helen, what on earth are you talking about? What is this Patreon you're referring to?
Well, Patreon is a site for creatives - bands, artists, podcasters, filmmakers and writers (to name just a few) who are providing something in return for monetary support from patrons.
In the past I've been a bit sceptical of the site - who is going to pay for writing, or a podcast, or music? I thought. When there's so much free stuff on the internet.
Turns out, I am. I support a writer on there who I really admire. Once a month I receive a gorgeous essay from her in my in-box. And I love that essay. It's a real treat for me and I save it for a quiet moment.
As a writer I've tried to write long projects, like a novel or memoir, in the past. But I find the length of it so ferociously intimidating that it takes me forever. With a blog post I write it, edit it, add photographs and bam - it's live. There's a quick turnaround between an idea in my head to it being read by a real, live person. The speed doesn't allow me to lose my courage.
With my novel I don't get that quick turnaround. And as a blogger for well over a decade I miss that. Along with this fear of failure and fear of success thing I've got going on in my head and feeling like a complete fraud most of the time my novel-in-progress can languish, gathering dust on my desk.
Then there's all the non-fiction ideas I have, too. I won't let myself start on another book whilst I'm still writing my novel. And I'm not writing my novel because of fear which all means there's a hell of a lot of words that are not being written here.
A few years ago when I had a literary agent I worked the hardest I've ever done on my writing. There was no procrastinating but daily diligence at my keyboard. Which has made me realise: I need the structure of a project and I need to work towards shorter deadlines with a quicker turnaround where each section can be read by an audience.
So, I'm setting up a Patreon account to write a book. I'll be exploring the content, writing the content, editing the content and releasing it to readers before it's in the actual book! I'm incredibly excited.
So - what will my Patreon be about? The following is what I've written on my Patreon creator page.
"Welcome to my patreon page where I aim to explore creativity, confidence and writing through the seasons and my own experiences.
Every month you will receive an essay written by me that'll hopefully inspire, entertain and give you an insight into the life of a writer and a blogger.
In the past couple of years I’ve built up my current blog, grown an Instagram account to over 17,000 followers, taught myself how to photograph and edit flatlays and created seasonal films for YouTube and IGTV. I’ve written and sold an e-course helping people similar to me how to tell and share their stories in this online world and appeared in magazines such as Stella and Blogosphere.
Yet for a decade prior to this I was incredibly timid online.
I now want to create a series of essays over the course of the year where I explore my creative world and how it has been, and still is, influenced by the seasons. I want to dig into the past six years of being a chicken-keeper and seasonal lover and discover why this has had such an impact on my writing, both on and offline, and creative confidence.
How come I used to be scared of putting a photograph of myself on my blog but now I’m quite happy chatting to camera on IGTV? Is it the confidence I’ve gained from discovering new skills out in the field and garden? Or from posting a photograph every day on Instagram? Or is it something to do with my own personal season? I am in my early forties, after all, and feel like I’m finally shrugging off the shackles of limited creative confidence..
Over the course of these essays I aim to discover some answers."
It is going to be a bit of a writing experiment. I want to have fun with it and I want to explore lots of issues that I either haven't mentioned in the past or only touched on briefly. Having a Patreon account - even if I only have one person supporting me - will give me real accountability.
As part of this structure and accountability I'm also going to be vlogging behind the scenes and sharing my writing week every Sunday morning on my IGTV channel - the first one will be going up on Sunday 9th September 2018.
So - here goes nothing - I'm sending this post live now...