Clickbait proofing: No, I’m not putting my blogs behind a Patreon paywall. I’m not as heckbent on destroying my reputation as EA.
Thanksgiving has already come and gone, but hoo boy… I still have so much to thank you all for. So much that I already tried thanking you all, but I only did so in a quickpost and in a comment on one of Larx’s cblog recaps. I can’t do the thanks I want to give justice without sharing them in a proper, upfront, and detailed blog post, so I’m going to take a while and elaborate.
I am overwhelmed by all of the support my blogs have gotten in so little time. The fact that I’ve been called one of the best bloggers in the community within four months of my joining blows my mind and melts my heart. I feel like I’ve discovered a skill I didn’t know I've been training, and that I’m continuing to make it better. But it’s only fair if I explain why I worked so hard to reach this point. Fair warning, I have a history of being a drama queen.
I’m not just blogging as a hobby. I have too much time on my hands, and I’ve been investing that time into building and polishing my blogs as much as I could. You see, I’m a part time supermarket employee living with his parents, and I don’t even make $1,000 a month. I’m also a college graduate who received so many scholarships that I got my Bachelor’s without student debt. I didn’t pursue an internship because I figured my degree was enough to get a job. My graduation was over a year ago. I still can’t even find an entry level position that accepts someone with no experience, and every internship around me only wants current students. That combined with autism has been eating away at my confidence and self-worth. I felt as if I was stuck, like I had no idea what skills I had, and I had no idea how I could possibly market myself to land a job. At the very least, not in the area I’m currently stuck within.
Icon commission by @GraphicN8 on Twitter
Since I don’t have any professional experience outside of retail, I reflected on the way I’ve lived my life up to this point and what skills that lifestyle favored. I play a lot of video games. I chat about video games at length very often. There’s people who do that for a job. I denied the possibility at first; game journalism is a competitive field with a lot of complications no matter what angle you try to approach it from. But I didn’t know what else to do. I was tired of doing the same nothing I did the past year. I no longer had any faith in my degree’s value, at least not in my prolonged moment of despair. Thus, after working up a mountain of courage, I joined the community of my favorite gaming news website - the quirky news source we call Destructoid - and I started to blog.
I invested hours, days, weeks of my excess time into crafting written works to try to stand on par with a professional journalist’s, to build a quality portfolio. I didn’t expect anything instant. I constantly told myself I was playing a long game, that I’d not see any substantial results for a year at least. I didn’t expect it to be as easy or fun as playing games for a hobby. Sure, I have fun writing blogs here, but that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games once I transfer those skills to the big leagues. Gaming journalism is still work, it takes plenty of effort and time to build worthwhile articles. And without experience on my side, I knew I’d need a lot of effort and time to break out into the profession.
And yet, somehow, it didn’t take long for my comments to be swarmed with compliments. Constructive criticism. Support. I found myself regularly claiming spots in the recap team’s Topsauce section. I consistently hit the front page with my attempts at the monthly Bloggers Wanted prompt. I’ve even seen myself nominated by others as a candidate for Best CBlogger in CelicaCrazed’s unofficial awards. All of that within four months. I feel like I’m selfishly stroking my ego citing all of these, but somehow, it’s more than just that. These are achievements given to me by the Destructoid community.
Even with what I imagined to be a best-case scenario, I didn’t expect myself to find so much success with my blogs, and not this quickly. And I have every single one of you reading this (and even those of you not reading this!) to thank for that. What you all have said to me has turned my blogging into the most personally fulfilling thing I’ve done since I graduated from college. You’ve done so much more for me than I thought I could ask out of all of you, helping me rediscover my self esteem and confidence in my skills.
That’s why it’s difficult for me to ask for material support, but if I don’t, I’ll have to choose between these blogs slowing to a crawl or not advancing the goal I pursued by blogging in the first place. With the new year approaching, I need to resolve to move forward in my lifestyle and work ethic to earn more income or else I’ll regret the time I’ve lost even more. But I also want to return the favor to you all by maintaining a decent, albeit possibly slower rate of content on this website. The only way I think I can satisfy both agendas, barring a position working at Destructoid (which would be cool winkwinknudgenudgeowmyface), is to create a Patreon for my blogs.
Now firstly, the Patreon isn’t live yet. Before I open it, I want to gather feedback on my plans to adjust them, plus it’d be a bad idea to ask for money during everyone's Christmas shopping! I plan to open it up after New Year’s on January 1st, though I may postpone that date depending on feedback or other circumstances. Secondly, I don’t expect it to ever become a primary source of income, but I hope to nurture it enough for it to become a substantial supplement to my professional goals. Thirdly, I will keep blogging if it doesn’t succeed. But I have to be honest, I expect to slow down a lot on writing blogs during the obligatory slow start in favor of reaching out towards finding paid jobs at the same time. Likewise, if it gains traction and develops into that substantial supplemental income, I’ll pick up the pace again, if not more than before. No matter what, I want to keep creating a minimum of one blog per month, and ideally several more than that!
Most importantly, I don’t want this Patreon to intrude upon how I create content for my current readers. Yet I also want it to be more rewarding than just a tip jar. To that end, these are the reward tiers I currently have planned for supporters…
I want to be clear that I’m not asking for pity money. I have a part time job. I don't have any student debt. My current financial situation is pretty safe, enough so that I’m already giving to several other Patreon creators who need the money more than I do. I don’t want anyone to give me money out of guilt or any such thing. But I need to grow as a professional in the long term, hence my decision to create content like this, among other decisions. If I wanted pity money, I could maybe just rely on my autism and seizure history, quit retail, and rake in unemployment benefits. I don’t want to live without contributing to the world around me like that. I want to earn a Patreon following, not just beg for one. But that’s also exactly it. I can’t just create that following alone. I need help to make that growth happen. That’s why I’m reaching out to all of you by sharing these plans before I put them into place.
If you enjoy reading my work, please consider following me on Twitter or on here so I can increase my online presence.
If you think others will enjoy my work, please consider linking and sharing my writings so I can reach out to a wider audience.
If you think my work is worth paying to see, or if you think you’ll enjoy my Patron rewards, please consider donating when the Patreon is live.
If you want to see me write more blogs, please consider sharing my Patreon so I can reach more possible Patrons.
Destructoid has done a lot to rebuild my self-esteem. It’s done a lot to increase my faith in my abilities. It’s done a lot to make me feel like I’m able to do something that gives back to the world I love so much. For that alone, as cheesy as this is to say, I’m eternally thankful to Destructoid’s community - for every show of gratitude, every piece of constructive criticism, and every well-constructed counterargument against my writings - and I promise to continue writing for this community as long as my life allows me to do so. And I say all of that cheese because cheese is real, it’s delicious, and it’s nutritious. I think you should eat cheese. Unless you’re lactose intolerant. Then it’s a corny analogy instead.
To you who read all of this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope that whatever happens to all of us from this point on, I’ll continue to take steps forward in securing my future, and that you’ll enjoy whatever else I write for this website.
Happy Holidays, and I wish the best for your own plans for the New Year!