Writing this is hard.
So yesterday I had a bit of a minor breakdown. I realised that our financial situation had gotten bad enough that I didn’t have what I needed to pay for the next block of pole classes. I’ve been more or less keeping us afloat with stubbornness and careful juggling, but I ran out of resources to juggle.
See, a month or two ago I had to reapply for sole parent benefit and one of the things they ask about is whether you have a partner. I am now living with my partner, so I told them that, and the benefit went away. Poof. Suddenly we’re living on about $350 less per week than we were before. I suppose I could have lied, but that’s not really my way. I had some backup funds, I figured I may be able to solve it before it became a problem.
This wasn’t new information. We haven’t just been ignoring the problem. But somehow that $180 shortfall and the fact that it is for the one thing I do ALL for me, the one hard thing I have fought to keep up despite multiple setbacks just broke something in my brain.
I lost it. My brainmonkeys got free rein, and oh boy they had a lot to say about how hard I work and how little I have to show for it. How I keep trying to save the world, but no one gives a shit enough to save me. How I don’t have friends, I just have people who hope to benefit from the connections I have made. How I think I am special and making a difference, but actually I am just mediocre, and all my attempts to help people amount to nothing, my belief that I am making a difference is self-delusion, I want to be special but I’m not. And so on and so forth.
I hit the deactivate link on my facebook account and sat and stared at the confirm button for a while. Then I hit cancel and went and turned off my notifications and climbed in a bath and cried into my Cheer Up Buttercup bathbomb for an hour or so. And then I went back to bed.
And Adam came home and made me tea and a cheese sandwich. (I tend to stop eating when my brain goes kablooey. I don’t deserve food, you see. It’s awesome.)
I slept. All day. (Or at least until I had to go get the sprog from school.) And while I slept he worked on things in the background. He knows, you see, that my hope is that my various online ventures will make enough to keep us floating, that they will mean I don’t have to go back to editing erotic fiction for money. (It was hilarious, but the turnarounds are gruelling and the money not super.) He knows how hard I worked to get away from all that freelance editorial stuff that paid the bills and ate my soul. He knows how much I want to be able to make just enough so that I can focus on the stuff that I love, the stuff that IS making a difference: Wolfenoot, Critter Gifting, the Raven. He knows the invisible hours I put into those things to try and make that happen.
I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me up to now. Some of you have been there since day one, and have copies of my very first book on your bookshelves. I can never express my gratitude to all of you.
I don’t want to be a millionaire. Realistically, I never will be, because even if I make it that big, I am a longer table girl and always have been. I want enough to live a reasonably comfortable life. To not have to worry how the bills will get paid. To do pole classes. To buy bath bombs and take our kids to mini golf. You know?
I don’t want to have to quit the job I have at the zoo that I adore because I need to earn more money and part-time isn’t cutting it. I don’t want to have to give up on Wolfenoot and CG and the Raven because I need to earn more money. I genuinely think me giving up these things would be a loss to other people too. Like, yes, it’s selfish: I love doing them. But also, I love doing things that make the world a brighter, more beautiful place.
But it’s crunch time. Something has to give. I can’t keep this up anymore, not all by myself. I need help.
My Wolfenoot Patreon says that $2000 a month would let me treat it like a job. What it doesn’t say is that I am already doing that and it’s taking a toll. What it doesn’t say is that if it hit that threshold, I could stop fretting about the financials and just focus on the joy and the charitable aspects of it.
Our Raven Patreon is making some really fucking beautiful things that hardly anyone is seeing. I haven’t had the juice to promote it the way it deserves. I am stretched too thin. It is a pity, because the art and the stories are so damn gorgeous.
My personal Patreon was meant to help me get back to writing stories. I have so many stories in my head, but sitting down and writing them feels indulgent when there is so much more that needs to be done.
Please, please, if you love the work I do, please consider popping a dollar or two a month into one of those three things. Because I am at the point where if I can’t make this work, I will need to reassess how I spend my time and my contributions to them will drop off significantly. This is the most meaningful work I do, and I would do it for that meaning alone if I could, but alas, I still live in a capitalist society, and I still have to pay bills.
If an ongoing subscription is out of your means or you’d prefer a once off thing, you can buy me a coffee. I probably won’t actually spend it on coffee, but I will appreciate it.
I love you all. It is so hard for me to ask for help. But I am. Help me keep doing the work I do. Help me keep making a difference.