Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Minute: Time To Evolve


Summer's coming. Spring is in full bloom here and the birds are plentiful. Everywhere, there are robins, their proud little chests blazing from the barren brown of their feathers as they search for worms.

On the front porch of our house, there's a birdhouse hanging, too small for any bird to actually live in. The hole on the front is barely bigger than an average watch face - and yet, there is life in that little house. A woodpecker that would likely fit neatly into the palm of Eden's hand lives there, ever so cautiously. He flees the little house whenever we're on the porch, and comes back only if we're very still, very quiet - or gone inside.

Summer's coming. The rainstorms are coming in, washing away the pollen clouds, nurturing the soil, encouraging thirsty flowers to reach for the sun. Temperatures are going up already, and in the afternoons, the sun blazes down while Eden and I wait at the middle school for Joey to get out. I already have a good start on my left-forearm tan, and the skin there is constantly itchy because I'm just the slightest bit allergic to the sun. I put loads of lotion there daily, battling the summer dryness.

The kids will be out of school soon, bored at home and always underfoot. They'll be here, where I'll watch them grow, where I'll prepare their meals and watch them go brown under the summer sun. There will be bickering, messiness, and laughter. There will be frustration and tears as we tire of each other's company - but there will be joy in the time we spend together. But they'll be here.

And, judging by the way they've been so needy with their dad not being around, by the way they've been so much more ... everything ... I'm going to have to change things up a bit in order to meet their needs while still taking care of my own.

Summer.

While it will be nice to have the kids around so we can hang out and strengthen our bonds as a family, it will also be overwhelming. I'm a mother who fights depression every single day, a mother who battles anxiety constantly. I'm a mother who gets easily overwhelmed with too much noise, a mother who tires easily.

A mother of two kids with anxiety, two kids with ADHD, two kids with abandonment issues.

It's going to be a busy summer.

So here's what I'm doing to prepare, and to make sure that the girls and I all make it to the fall intact.

Beginning in May, I'll be dropping my blog writing from every second day to every third day - at least for the summer. This will mean two things: 
  1. I'll have more time for fiction writing, which I miss dearly.
  2. I'll be able to focus more on building and utilizing my Patreon account.

What's Patreon?

Patreon, in short, is awesome. It's a social media site, basically -  but with A LOT less drama. You set up a profile (if you want to), and use that profile to follow and support (if you want to) your favorite content creators. It's a pretty varied makeup on there too - you can find YouTubers, writers, musicians, photographers, comedians, comic artists ... you name it, and it's probably there if you know where to look. The great thing about it is that creators like me can interact with our most loyal supporters in a whole new way.

Like Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, content creators can share messages, audio files, videos, photos, etc. We can talk with our supporters, exchange comments, and build community in the way that we all love. The best thing about this is that if you follow or sign up to support me on Patreon, Patreon will actually email you whenever I post something - so you won't be missing things like you probably are with Facebook and other social media networks.

This is totally free to do, and you can even go check my Patreon out right here for nothing more than the time it takes you to click and explore. You can see my goals for the page, a little bit more about me and why I have it, and even check out the - admittedly quite few - public posts I've got up.

Should you be interested in going beyond that (for me, or for any other creator you love) just check out the reward tiers your creator has set up, click Become A Patron, and follow the prompts to get yourself connected. I like to think my reward tiers are pretty fun - they allow you to support me in a very real way while helping to allow me to stay focused on writing. Check it out:
  • For $1 a month, you'll get access to a whole series of short stories - I've been publishing one every month since October, and these are totally exclusive. They won't be sold or posted elsewhere anytime soon. Each one is around 2000 words, so it's a quick but pleasurable read, usually with a romantic spin and sometimes with a suspenseful twist. At some point, there will also likely be erotica, horror, fantasy ... I'll write whatever I'm inspired to write, and I'm loving the idea that my Patrons will be along for the ride.
  • For $2 a month, you have access to something a bit more personal - my poetry. I'll be posting a poem once a month, and patrons on the $2 tier will get to read it AND the short stories! The cool thing about each new tier upgrade with Patreon is that you get everything on the lower tiers, too.
Access this story - and more - for just $1 a month by signing up here.

I have a bunch of other tiers too, which go all the way up to $20 a month, and include things like monthly podcasts, early access to my novel writing, and even chances to read along and guide the direction of my novels! One of my favorite tiers is the $3 tier, where you get to participate in a monthly vote to decide what short story will be posted in the coming month - that one has been the best and most fun challenge of all of them.

I'm sort of slowly moving toward using Patreon more and other social media less, because I feel more confident that when I post there, the people who follow me will actually SEE my content; in the future, I'd like to add even more content to this page, such as daily statuses, behind-the-scenes writing info and photos, and maybe even those vlogs I keep talking about wanting to try. Last week I got a GREAT new idea that I'm SO EXCITED about - but I'm holding off until the page reaches a few more of its goals.

But I'll still be here too, creating the same content as always - sharing my life, myself, and my journey with all of you. And whether it's here on the blog or over on Patreon - thank you for your support. It means everything.

For more content like this, and other exclusive rewards, check me out on Patreon!

40 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Patreon before. I'll have to check it out. I try to stick with my blog even during the summer since it's what helps keep me sane. Sometimes I get behind in social media and comments though, so that can be tough.

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    1. Yeah that's where I'm struggling the most. It's not the blogging I have trouble with, it's finding the time for all the other non-blogging tasks that come in promoting the blog and trying to get it seen. That's part of what I love so much about Patreon - the people who are following me there are my most loyal supporters, so it's a really great place to actually get to know my readers a little.

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  2. I've never heard of this before... I will have to check it out. I struggle with maintaining a following on social media.. it can be so fickle.

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    1. For sure! And as soon as you figure it out, it gets changed!

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  3. I've never heard of this before, but it sounds like it could be helpful. I will certainly check this out!

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  4. Patreon seems definitely an interesting social media! Never heard about it before, will sure take a look, I'm really curious now!

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  5. I just went to the website to know more about the platform, but I guess I have to spend some more time reading. Not sure how it works yet.

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    1. It's pretty simple once you get to looking around. It really works just about like all the other social platforms - the chief difference is that you can create posts that are exclusive to paid subscribers.

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  6. It's important to take time for yourself and your kids. You will never get that precious time back.

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    1. That's my reasoning behind stepping back a bit - this is a temporary time in my life and in theirs, so it's important to me to be able to give that time to them.

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  7. I've never heard of Patreon but I will check it out. As you've said, it's a place for talented people, maybe I could share my photography skills there as well! Thank you for sharing about it. And I wish you well and in the future you will conquer depression!

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    1. You could definitely share photography there - it's a place for any kind of creator to create any kind of art form that supporters would want to invest in, and it's a great way for artists to be able to focus more on creating by getting little things like their supplies (or their light bill) covered by their subscribing patrons.

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  8. I will have to check out Patreon. I like to scale back on my blog in the Summer as well. It gives me a little more time to spend having fun with the Kids.

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    1. That's the plan. I'm thinking I'll maybe bump it back up in the fall when they go back to school, but I want to be able to spend part of the summer NOT saying that I can't play because I'm working.

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  9. Family is above all else. It's better to spend time with your kids even if you are sacrificing some of your blog activites. It also nice that you a Patreon. A great way to support creator like us.

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    1. That's what I'm hoping. I'd love to see it grow into a little community one day, people who get to read along as I write my books, people who give input into my stories, and I suspect, people who will become friends. Patreon subscribers will have the inside track with me in the future, so I'm really looking forward to seeing it grow.

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  10. I would definitely be interested to see what you are going to be doing with your podcasts. The whole place sounds very interesting. I have never heard of Patreon. At least for the moment I don't think I have the kind of content that people would be interested in paying money for. Who knows? Maybe I am undervaluing myself and what I write. I have thought about doing podcasts and vlogs but I just don't feel like I had the equipment. Or at least from what I know I don't have it. You will have to let me know how the every third day goes. I have been doing pretty much every other day as well. Four times a week anyway. And that's a lot of writing. And some of those days can be stressful, even if the writing is easy. Because I get worried about the promoting and all the other stuff you have to do when you write. Ah well.

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    1. Well if you're curious about Patreon, and especially about my podcasts, sign up as one of my Patrons and check them out - you can cancel your patronage at any time of course, and you'll have had the chance to explore a whole new platform in the meantime.

      As for the every third day thing, I'm really looking forward to it because lightening the work load here will also hopefully allow a little more time to focus on fiction, too.

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  11. I have also never heard of patreon! I will have to check it out though, so thank you for sharing.

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  12. You'll get through this summer like you always have with the challenges you've faced before. I've never heard of Patreon before, it sounds like a good site for bloggers and vloggers.

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    1. Thanks! I'm mostly planning to use it for fiction though, except for the podcasting and a few other things.

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  13. It looks like you're going to have a busy summer indeed. But just like everything else in life, I'm sure you're going to be okay, even if there are days wherein you're not sure anymore. I would love to check out that website.

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  14. It sounds like your summer is going to be busy. Take one step at a time. Depression and anxiety can be rough. But think of the good times that you're going to enjoy as well. I'm excited for summer especially this year because we're having my family flying over.

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    1. That's a huge deal - I can see why you'd be so excited, especially if you haven't seen your family in a while! I'm definitely hopeful for summer, especially with lightening my load here.

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  15. Oh how brilliant I just checked patreon out and it looks like a great platform for creators like ourselves. I know how hard it is to have depression and anxiety but I admire how strong you are nevertheless. Keep being awesome hun x

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  16. Patreon must be a new social media platform, I haven't heard of it before. It must be nice to have your children home during the summers when you can watch them grow.

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    1. Definitely check out Patreon if you're any sort of content creator!

      Yeah it's always good to have them around - I love that being home with them allows me to really know them.

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  17. It's the first time I hear about this, Patreon. I will have to check it out.Sounds like a new social media platform, I wonder if there are not too many already :))

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    1. There are definitely a lot of social media platforms for sure! What I love best about this one is that it's pretty simple and straightforward. People are actually paying to see content there, so you aren't constantly having to work around complicated algorithms in order to be seen.

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  18. Sounds like you're gonna have a busy, productive Summer. It's the first time I've heard of Patreon and I'm gonna check it out.

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    1. It'll definitely be busy, but I'm determined that it'll also be productive! I have too many goals to slack off now.

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  19. I love summer because this is the only season when all of my family able to travel to a place for a vacation. So fun!

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    1. That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to once I've rebuilt the messed up parts of my life - being able to take my girls on vacations and stuff like that.

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  20. I have never heard of Patron. I wonder if I would like it? (Probably so if there is a lot less drama lol)

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    1. So far there seems to be less drama. It's really a place for creators to connect with their supporters in a way that feels like social media but doesn't incorporate all the garbage.

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