First Access: Patronage and you

Greetings! I’m here to tell you that I’ve created a new patronage tier over on my Patreon Page, and if you find yourself thinking, ‘What’s Patreon?’, fear not. I’ll explain that, too. For those who already know, yes, there is the standard $1 Tip Jar all the way through the $25 Benefactor tiers. And now there is the new $3 First Access Tier, which will get you… wait for it… First Access.

So, all through 2021 as a thank you for surviving the pandemic, I’m periodically posting never before seen scenes from all sorts of stories to all my tiers. First Access is different.

First Access (and all higher tiers) get full chapters worth of material, and they get it first. If it’s a piece of fanfiction I’m posting to an archive for the first time, First Access will see it before hand. If it’s a piece of original fiction I’m adding to an unpublished novel, First Access will see it before it’s published. There’s no guarantee on how often I’ll put up First Access posts over on Patreon, as it entirely depends on how quickly I’m writing, but I will say that in the last eighteen months I’ve been averaging a new chapter four weeks out of five.

Wait, What’s Patreon Again? is an online platform to allow fans of art to patronize creators of art in ways large and small. It’s an ongoing way to crowdsource funding for those who create, rather than to have those creators depend on larger or smaller corporations to employ them for their art. A patron signs up to give a recurring monthly donation (that they can stop or change at any time) to a creator, often in exchange for some material benefit, like First Access, or being a part of the creative process, or something else. Whatever the creator decides.

While many patrons may choose to only give a dollar or five, when a creator has three thousand patrons giving a dollar or five, suddenly this is an income stream that can actually pay the bills and free up the creator’s time for more creation. It allows some creators to hire assistants, crew, employees, you name it. It can get quite impressive.

The online platform takes a very small and reasonable cut of the donated dollars and the rest goes to supporting the creator in question.

So you’re charging now, for stuff you used to do for free?

It took me a shockingly long amount of time to realize my creative work has value in a meaningful way. I’m in my mid-forties and I’ll be honest – this has only been a recent achievement of mine. I’ve been writing stories since I was fifteen and telling myself stories since I could hold a coherent thought in my mind, but this? This has happened in the last two or three years.

In a way, nothing has changed. I’m still writing fanfiction and providing it for free on archives available to anyone who has internet access. I’m still writing original fiction and slowly publishing it in Amazon for sale. I’m still creating digital spiritual content and putting it out there on YouTube and providing info and links to it on this blog. I’m still (occasionally) writing spiritual content and theological book reviews on this blog, and that is all free to access.

But, as of the writing of this particular blog post… there’s actually a little parish church that pays me to, among other things like administration and pastoral care, prepare my sermons. So while it may seem like those sermons are free on YouTube… That’s only because they’re being underwritten by somebody else. Which for these purposes is actually quite like patronage.

And so my patrons get to read what I write, first. From now on. Because there’s that shiny new First Access Tier. If you’re interested, go check it out.

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