Hey everyone. I just wanted to give everyone an update on what’s been going on, since it’s been pretty quiet around here for the last month, after the flurry of captions I posted for October. This is an update I’ve been needing to write for a while now, but haven’t quite found the right words to use, and it also contains some admissions that I’ve been struggling to accept, but which need to be said in the interest of transparency.
First things first, the obvious: this has been a terrible year. Between the pandemic, and the election, and work, and so much other personal stuff going on, I’ve struggled with maintaining the kind of energy and connection the erotic I need in order to put out stories on a regular basis. Honestly, the fact I’ve managed to put out anything at all this year is surprising to me, and especially over the last month, I’ve been teetering on the edge of a pretty severe burnout. The kind of burnout that makes me consider setting aside the writing for a substantial amount of time. As of now, I’m not planning on doing that, but that would be Difficult Admission #1: I’m really fucking tired.
For my writing to work, for me to feel inspired, and engaged, there needs to be some sort of future. The erotic relies on anticipation, and this year has been one long series of the future closing in on itself. As cases spike, as it looks like the incoming administration is preparing to do fuck all about the mess we’re in, as I read article after article detailing the human misery and destruction going on all over the place, its been increasingly difficult to maintain the sort of fantasy that makes the writing possible in the first place. The despair is real, and constant, and not something I can just shut off. Writing from a position of anger isn’t strange to me, but the anger has been dwindling, and what remains is a big pile of hopelessness that I don’t quite know how to work through as of now.
It hasn’t helped that the income I pull in from Patreon has gone from hobby money to money I have to count on to make sure my bills get paid. Over the last year, it’s become clear that Patreon is slowly going to be weeding out adult accounts from its service, and it’s probably only a matter of time before mine comes under scrutiny as well. This could be paranoia, but after seeing what happened with gay spiral stories, I consider the paranoia to be well founded. Turning your hobby into a revenue stream sounds like a dream come true, but honestly, it can also suck the life out of it, as you find yourself worrying more about what is going to be popular/worth spending money on, and less about what sort of writing and projects interest you personally. I appreciate every patron, don’t get me wrong. The fact that I’ve found this much support is amazing. But the pressure to provide immediate, monthly rewards for patrons, in order to reward/entice people to support me runs up hard against a lot of the substantial projects I want to work on, leaving me tugged between short stuff like suggestions and captions that are popular but eat up a lot of time, and longform stories, twine projects, and other things that I’m desperate to work on but don’t produce any sort of immediate, tangible reward for people who support me. I’m hardly the first creative person to struggle with this push and pull, but there’s no real easy way to navigate it, especially with my depleted energy. But this would be difficult admission #2: As much as I appreciate the support I get from folks on Patreon, the pressure of maintaining that income tends to discourage my creativity, rather than enhance it.
There’s no easy way forward through any of this, of course. I have no intention of shutting down my Patreon or anything drastic like that, though I will probably be revamping it somewhat early next year. Rather than committing to a set of rewards each month, things like the suggestion box, interactive stories, captions on discord and the like are going to be more sporadic. I won’t be able to promise patrons some sort of exclusive content each month, but I will do my best to make sure they receive at least something extra as often as I can. But I really want to believe that if you’re supporting me on there, you’re doing so because you appreciate all of the work I do, whether its short stuff or the more complex twine projects, novellas and the like. If that means that some people lose interest in backing me…well, they probably would have already dropped me sometime over the last year, given my lackluster output, compared to prior years.
Mostly though, I want to thank you all for reading, for your support, for everything, really. Stay safe, hopefully things will begin to look up soon, though I have a feeling we’re all going to be struggling with this for a long while yet. I have no intention of stopping this anytime soon, so don’t worry about that, but I feel that it’s important to let you all know where I’m at.