In the opening chapters of To Save What’s Lost, Winter comes up a lot. The story centers around a community which thrives in the snow and the cold, as their only cash crop requires it. In terms of general symbology, Winter tends to represent times of adversity, or scarcity, or strife (see the White Witch’s curse in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: “always Winter, never Christmas”). Contrarily, I’ve always loved the Wintertime. Snow is a special kind of beautiful, I find the cold invigorating, and I like nighttime better than daytime. All of these worked together in my mind to make me celebrate Wintertime in the very beginning of what currently represents my Magnum Opus.
Folks, my life is in a period of Winter right now. Perhaps that’s a little overdramatic, but I’m definitely in a cold snap. We have a car at the mechanic until we can afford to pay for it, my wife is already working six days a week, and we’re only just keeping up with our bills. Since we moved, we’ve been slowly falling behind, and despite the fact that I’ve really improved my internet presence and streaming continues to go smoothly (I’m even on YouTube now!), it’s not money yet.
In Chapter Three of TSWL when things are looking quite grave for our idyllic little village, Kari, my stoic, burly female lead, gives a speech to the worried townspeople (which I’m not sure I establish the significance of well enough: since she’s generally very quiet, people listen when she talks). In it, she reminds them that, as Northerners, they thrive in the Winter. She then tries to tap into the aforementioned symbolism, saying, “Winter is when we’re strongest, and Winter doesn’t always come when it’s cold out… This is the coldest winter I’ve ever been through, and it’s not over yet.” If I were going to give up when things got tough, I’d never make it as a creator on any platform, particularly in the crowdfunding sphere. You can bet I’ll be writing until the day I die, but something has to change if it’s going to go anywhere.
I try not to beat you, dear readers, over the head with Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee links. I too am tired of hearing every creator on the internet reminding me that they have use for my money, but the simple truth is that I’m going to have to spend less time creating and more time at the restaurant in order to stay afloat, unless something changes. To that end, I’ll not be posting any new fiction this or next week (though I’m always still writing it), and instead I’ll be working on the administrative pieces of these monetization sites. Luckily for me, WordPress actually has well-integrated one-time and recurring monetary support functionality, so that gives me hope, but the struggle remains. How do I direct traffic to the spots where people can throw me a tip without begging for their money or guilting them into it?
Today, I come to you with only the truth. I want to write fiction and create other content online full time, and I hope to create things that YOU enjoy and want to consume. If you talk to me, I’ll listen—a friend of mine from college recommended a game called Hades, then tipped me for the amount it goes for on Steam. Therefore, within the next couple of weeks, I’ll be starting a blind let’s play series of the game on my Twitch channel. Also, I understand not being in a financial place where such support is possible, so don’t forget that likes, follows, comments, and shares really, truly make a difference in cyberspace. Help me convince the algorithms my work is worth showing people! I’m here to entertain you. Please, just tell me how.