On What the Future Holds

I don't usually talk about personal things.

But I'm not gone and things are changing, so I'm going to.

2015 is, thankfully, behind us. Cancer, car wrecks, breakups, custody battles, moving, delays, hospitalization, injuries, and crisis after crisis made it one hell of a year. Yes, all that happened. I really lived life in a deeply intense way for the last 12 months.

But the good news is 2015 is finished. I am healthy, stable emotionally and financially, and somehow am still managing to game twice a week.  I played Hackmaster on Saturday with one group and started a Risk: Legacy game on Sunday with another. All of the changes were positive ones for everyone involved, and moving forward we are all happier and healthier. That list above of tragedies are experiences that are essential to the human experience. I am gloriously alive for experiencing them.

Near the end of the year, I was doing some paid writing for publishers, both Role Playing Game related and not (I am a writer after all) which cut deeply into my blogging time. My schedule has also changed, and I have my daughter during my previous writing days which has caused me to have to adjust my schedule.

I have a million things I want to write about. But before we do that, let's talk about the future and money.

I run what I consider a fairly successful Patreon. The way I'm going to manage that is going to change, but to find out how, let's look at how it was managed last year.

It 2015, my net income from Patreon was $ 2,154.51 
This is minus credit card fees and the cut Patreon gets.

My Patreon related expenses for the year were as follows.
I paid out $238.02 to other Patreon Creators.
I paid $168 to Cancer Research (and owe another 47$ to make it 10%—I've been preoccupied)
I paid $2,652 to Artists, Writers, and other Creators. Those articles not by me in Hack & Slash compendiums? Those people got paid .05$ a word. I'm proud of that. Artists did art. Writers wrote words.

So, what I'm communicating here, is that Patreon enabled that to happen. It made blog posts happen. It made artists and writers get paid. No Patreon? Then the work of 2015 wouldn't have happened. The 300 blog posts since I started the Patreon wouldn't have happened.

The point is that the idea behind Patron is not to extract money. It allows me to be a conduit of creativity that creates products and helps creators who are not me get a fraction of what their talent is worth. Those things, in spite of life, are going to burst from their creative womb, stronger for their tribulations and see the light of day.

But as the Patreon become more successful, my style of posting became more problematic. Sometimes I spend six hours on a post, but it ends up being 5,000 words. Should I split it into two parts? What about 750 word top 10 lists? Are those 30$ of my writing? Am I upsetting the public?

I want to be clear, these aren't questions of self-doubt, they are honest examinations of work, its value, and how I desire to interact with my audience. It's important to consider the way people interact with media. 1,500 words is perfect for a blog post. Longer and someone doesn't finish, or clicks save and never gets around to reading it. But I want to write posts that are longer than that, so by splitting them up and putting them under Patreon as two posts am I doing a bad thing?

What about quality? I did some online "office hour" hangouts which were fun, but editing for 8 hours is not. Should I put up the unedited, 90 minute hangout, or take the time to edit it down to a tight 22 minute piece of entertainment? Is one a disservice to me? To my viewers?

So here is what I would like to happen this year:
  • I would like to continue to engage with creative people and continue producing and encouraging the production of high quality content. 
  • I would like to write and have longer more in-depth articles (4,000-8,000 word articles) be Patreon Supported in ~1,500 word chunks, while shorter pieces would be free. 
  • I would like to talk to and hire someone about editing 60-90 minutes of video two to four times a month. I'd pay you, because f*&k working for exposure, but I can't afford full professional rates. If you know someone who dabbles, would like some extra pocket money, and is reliable, put them in touch with me.
Well, that's the stuff I'd like to see that I can do something about. I've got in-progress art for Perdition, and several people with manuscripts that I'm told will see the light of day. I hope to see all that too. The nice thing about the way I work (as opposed to kickstarter) is I'm not disappointing anyone with a moving deadline. 

If this sounds awesome, go chip in on the Patreon. If you can't right now, take some time to share work that makes you happy and thank those that allow these free things to be posted to the public.

We'll see you very soon, with more posts!


Hack & Slash 

6 comments:

  1. I hope you have better fortune in 2016 (and beyond)!

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  2. Great to see you back, and I hope 2016 is a better year.

    I'm fully in support of you breaking up longer articles into multiple blog posts. As of my writing this comment, the Patreon says you earn $33.36 per blog post. If you paid yourself at the same rate that you pay others ($0.05/word), that would mean you only "owe" us about 667 words per funded post. A 1,500 word article would therefore still be coming to us patrons at a pretty damn steep discount - hell, even the 750-word top-ten lists are a bargain!

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  3. I think the stuff you've put out is great, especially about the quantum ogre, treasure, and tricks & traps. I'm definitely a fan and will continue to be one. Hope 2016 is a smooth ride.

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  4. That is a heck of a year to go through. Glad to see you're back at it.

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  5. When I started reading your blog, shortly after 5th launched, I was not in a place financially to support your patreon. Your Horde of the Dragon Queen Remix was uniquely and powerfully awesome content of the best kind, in that it took the foundation provided by WotC, and sprinkled it with seasoning to ignite the imagination of a DM. Some of our best gaming sessions were inspired by your work, and I sincerely hoped that you would continue with Rise of Tiamat or one of the other adventures. I loved that work. I love a lot of what you write. I'll support you in the hopes of more great things to come.

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  6. I'm one of your Patrons on Patreon, well worth it and I encourage split posts. I not Justin Alexander does similar with his excellent essays such as the Art of Rulings series.

    I'm glad to hear you pay 3rd parties. I have only just started a Patreon collection and I commission the artwork I use. There should be more of that.

    Keep up the good work. Live life with every breath. :)

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