As of today, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend my Patreon.
I joined back in September 2016 (wow, time flies). It was a way to make money for all the writing I did while I built the foundation for what would be the official launch of Crow Based Network. Even though the goal itself was serious, I hadn’t planned anything too intense with the Patreon itself. I just wanted to have a place to post my creative works. It was something that was all mine, and it was a central hub for everything I was getting into.
It was a way to connect all of the disjointed aspirations, and for a while, it even gave me focus. It was all in good fun at first, and it did help me make a plan. I dusted off my old Blogspot techniques and created a working schedule to help keep my content interesting and up to date. For a while, there was no pressure. I was finding my footing, and I wasn’t terribly interested in what others were doing.
But then, I began to want more than even I could give. I began to doubt myself, and even with my small audience on Patreon, I felt that pressure to create on demand. Even though this was my creative space, I didn’t feel welcome in it. Mind you, no one made me feel this way. This was a pressure and a demand from within. The expectations grew out of control to the point where I was too confused and intimidated to continue what I was doing.
In the beginning since Patreon was its own identity with its own focus, that gave me the freedom to create fan works, to go do unrelated projects, and basically just be a free agent. I would give Patreon things like behind-the-scenes creation logs and give full expositions about worlds I was creating and projects I was mulling over.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been great at promoting myself (unless I treat what I’m promoting as separate from me), and while I was watching others promote their work and Patreon and having others help them in doing so, the pressure from within grew. I was paying attention to what others were doing, and I felt compelled to do the same. The compulsion became a fear that I was falling behind, and that mixed with other thoughts I was having turned into a tumultuous blend of disgust, fear, and self-dissatisfaction.
I put myself under a lens though no one was doing the same, and when I lost my first patron (even though I can understand why — at the time, I wasn’t creating anything), I felt everything snap. I began going to an overdrive, trying to appease people who just seemed happy to be there. I was doing others were doing just because it seemed to work and not because it was what I wanted. I was working on fan projects and things, but I wasn’t sure if discussing them would have been appropriate. At the same time, I realised that I was doing more fan related work than original.
On and on and on, it went until I started to doubt the intentions of the people supporting me in the first place. At the point, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to continue this way. I was tearing myself apart.
Because of this, I’ve decided to take a step back from Patreon and re-examine what this line of support means to me and what I want it to mean. With any luck, we should be back before the end of the year, but I’m not going to rush things. I’ll be back if anything changes sometime soon.