I just want to send out a giant thank you to everyone who tried their best to cheer me up yesterday. The most incredibly flatmate in the world bought me wine and made me awesome hot chocolate with whipped cream. That helped. Then there were my personal friends who gave solid advice and many hugs.
And then there were all the random people who liked my Facebook page. It took me quite by surprise to have nine people - nine! - like my page in a single afternoon. What the?
I know it seems so silly and narcissistic, but numbers on a social platform matter a lot. It's not just the need to feel recognised or loved (it plays a part, I'm not going to lie), but having a large following can land you contracts that pure talent and hard work would not have. After all, how many people do we see getting book deals, though they are not writers at all? Why do they get these deals (and leave every struggling author tearing their hair out and wailing in despair)? Because they have the numbers behind them. Publishing houses know they can make money from them. It's a lower risk, therefore easier for houses to say yes.
So genuinely, everyone, thank you. I'm still sad, but your support has really meant a great deal and it helps so much. I am really very touched.
Yesterday was a shit day all 'round, wasn't it? Let's move on to lighter things.
This week, I posted on my Facebook page a short video about the funding platform Patreon. It is a great place for people who would like to show their support for their favourite artists and content creators. It's essentially a place where you can offer a small monthly stipend to your favourite creator in exchange for awesome (or not so awesome) perks. It has worked wonders for many YouTubers, amongst them Peter Hollens (who has a great YouTube channel and an awesome amount of talent). Many of them are able to do the work they love full time thanks to their supporters.
I think that is fabulous, a sort of democratic extension of a very old system where the arts used to be supported by the very wealthy. Painters, poets and musicians would often be financially supported by the wealthy - their patrons (and patronesses) - in order to do what they do full time. It used to be something the wealthy did in order to increase their prestige.
Because the arts used to be valued.
Now the wealthy turn their noses up at the arts, refusing to fund it even in the smallest amount (by paying their share of taxes). It is a sad turn of events, really.
Only now, those who care about the arts can do something about it - sponsor their favourite artist!
I have considered doing something similar, but I cannot fathom a way to get any supporters the perks they deserve for helping me out. Writing novels is a slow process. Publishing them is slower still, and quite expensive, all things considered. I can't find a way to thank patrons properly for a monthly stipend. I can't churn something out every month for them, though that would be some talent! As for the 'per creation' option, well... that's why I sell my books!
So, though I can't think of a way to make use for this platform, it might be something one of you could make use of. I highly recommend you check it out.
Before I sign off and head off to my Welsh lessons, I was wondering... do any of you have a folk guitar you're not using you might be willing to give away or sell for cheap? How about two of them? Just asking... for reasons.
Right, I have work to be getting on with. Thanks again, and I'll be back Monday, hopefully in a better mood....