This post was rescued from the now-defunct “Books and Storytelling of Lucy K.R.” Patreon page. Originally posted in January 2021, it is archived here in its original form. Tune in at the end for a note from the future.
As I clicked on the ‘create first post’ button, and settled in to write tonight, I realized that I don’t know how to do this part. How to chat conversationally, but in a way that makes it seem like I have something to offer you here.
My very instinct upon feeling that sudden uncertainty was to research. But it wasn’t really research that I wanted. My real instinct was to hide.
Finding myself googling ‘best first Patreon post’ is the exact reason I decided I needed to change how I was living my life. I’m an author, and I know that I am fairly good at what I do. But I don’t trust myself. I find myself seeking answers from others instead of consulting myself.
Sometimes that’s appropriate, of course. I am not an expert on anything, and I often seek the opinions of experts. But recently I find myself googling ‘best movies’ instead of thinking about what movies I like. I catch myself wishing someone else would tell me which of my stories was best instead of having any faith in myself and what I like most.
For a while, I was worried that it was laziness. But I think it’s much more complicated than that.
For the past 14 years– almost half my life– I’ve worked for the approval of others. Customer service worms inside your brain eventually. Especially if you care about it. And before that, I was a kid. Scared in the way teenagers are scared, that if I didn’t contort myself into the right shapes, I wouldn’t be loved.
Self-reinforcing bad behavior on both counts. You make yourself into who people want you to be, and then they praise you for being that, and you dig in deeper.
So now I’m 31, and I’m just barely starting to have an inclination of who and what I am. That’s okay. I’m not in a rush. But I’m ready.
So. Let’s get down to it.
Here’s the Plan:
- Get to know myself
- Finish a couple novels
- Write a bunch of short stories
- Become a stronger person and author.
It sounds almost childish written down like that. But like I said, I have a lot of work under my belt that’s put me in the position to try this out.
- Funds to make it about 4 months before I need to start job hunting
- 14 partially-written novels, along with a huge backlog of unpublished short stories
- Incredible friends
- Amazing family
And I think that’s about the state of things! I’m still trying to decide what exactly to do with this space, but I’m thinking…
- Excerpts of stories from the archives
- Special flash-fiction pieces that you all get to vote on
- Blog entries and photographs over the coming months
- Never-before-heard songs (most of which I wrote for stories, but eh! I made tunes for ’em too so why not!)
- No tiers or exclusive access. Honestly I think most of the posts will just be public? I don’t like charging people money
I think that’s got you caught up for now! There’s a lot to say, but if this goes well I’ll be saying lots to you after this.
So that’s it! This won’t be in the search results for ‘best first Patreon post,’ but that’s good. That’s better. It’s not built for an algorithm. It’s not perfect. It might not be ‘correct.’ But it’s mine.
Pst. Hey. The future here.
Wow, two years ago feels like more than two years. It also feels like yesterday… Let’s start with the good news!
First, thanks to the support of friends and family, I made it more than four months before finding my new job! I didn’t finish those novels like I was hoping, but my short story writing has blossomed! I have two publications with Duck Prints Press in their anthologies (the first of which is available as an E-book here, the second one soon to be released), and I’m working on a third as we speak.
As for becoming a better person and author? There’s no doubt. I needed to step away from everything and re-center. I needed to remember who I am as a person, and what makes me feel right in my skin. Plus, working with a professional editor sharpened my writing skills and brought me closer to being the author I want to be.
As for the Patreon, I think of it fondly, but with stress quietlys immering still in the back of my mind. I’m grateful for the help of others, but I know that it was more helping me than enjoying my work for them. That doesn’t make it any less valuable, but it does encourage me to break out more–to get outside eyes on my work, and see how I size up in the ranks of those who don’t know me.