This is a pretty uncomfortable post to write. But that is sorta my point.
I have a pretty amazing gig in my day job as pastor of Love Wins Ministries.
But I do a lot of other stuff, too.
I have a blog, where I publish posts several times a week about how to change ourselves and the world. I have a weekly live videocast about self-care for helpers. I have a weekly newsletter, where we look for beautiful things as a means of survival. I tell stories on stage where I encourage people to rethink how they see people who are different than they are, and teach them how to build communities of resistance to the status quo. If you lump it all together, it all falls under the heading of helping people have a compelling vision of a better world.
People say I should be spending my spare time writing a book, and I may yet. But honestly, working on lots of small projects (like videos, blogposts and newsletters) is much better for both the way we consume media today as well as my ADHD riddled brain, which has trouble concentrating on anything for very long. (Ask me about the three unfinished books on my hard drive.) In a world where most books don’t sell 1000 copies, I think I am having much more impact doing this stuff than I would be putting out a book a year from now, and I am probably doing a much better job of it.
But what I am not doing is making any money at any of it. The only argument to be made for publishing a book is a financial one. That list of stuff I do? Other than the occasional paying speaking gig, I get paid for none of it. Most of it actually costs money out of my pocket to do. Money for hosting, money for the mailing lists management, money for the camera equipment for the videos, software for editing the videos. And we won’t even talk about the time I spend on it.
Renee and I are evaluating our finances, and it is pretty obvious that one of us is going to have to start bringing in some more money. I sense she has a preference. Writing a book for money, frankly, seems like whoring out, even if I could do it, which the three unfinished books on my hard drive seem to testify against.
There are ways to make money blogging and so on, but they involve writing clickbait titles that get people upset toward other people, or putting ads all over your site, or getting paid to write about why you like JoJoBa soap or Craftsmen wrenches and try to tie that into what you actually want to write about. None of that fits into my values.
I spent my 20’s pretending to be something I wasn’t in exchange for money. I won’t do it now.
I have spent the last ten years telling people that community contains all of the things we need to have a good life. I believe that, and even if you could empirically prove to me that it was not so, I would still choose to live as if it were. All I really want to do is to create things for you, and people like you. And if I wrote a book, I would ask y’all to buy it. So I am going to ask y’all, my community, if you will support me another way.
Recently I started an account on Patreon. The way it works is people like you sign up to be patrons – you essentially pay me as little as $3 each month to keep on doing what I am doing, and hopefully, to do more of it. In exchange, I will a) keep doing it and b) do more of it and c) make some things for you that I won’t share with the public. You can read all the details over here.
I hate self-promotion, and I hate asking for money. This wasn’t a comfortable post for me to write. But I do hope that if my stuff is important to you, if I am important to you, that you will consider supporting me in this way. Regardless, I am grateful for you. The only wealth in this world is friends, and in that way, I am rich beyond measure.
Peace and all good,