A comment that really hurt.

I’ve been avoiding the blog. Even though there are 4,000 of you reading. And last night, driving home from my Lyft shift, I finally realized why: because of a comment I got here recently. To paraphrase, it said: “I’ve really valued your posts in the past, but now, you’re talking too much about your Patreon. It’s getting tiresome. If you keep doing this, I’m just going to look elsewhere for content. Just thought I’d be honest.”

It hurt a lot, so I deleted it quickly before it could hurt more, but hey, it did its damage. So thanks, commenter, you knew exactly how to get to me—by basically saying that you felt entitled to free work from me at a time when I was staying home eating nothing but grits to get by. Cool. Thanks.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know the whole story of my last few months, but for those of you who don’t, it’s here. The good news is, I’m in a better situation now specifically because I made changes in the way I valued my work, and because my community responded. And I’m not going to apologize for that. Or for posting about my Patreon. It is literally my job.

For years, I could afford to write essays for free on this blog, because my money was coming from somewhere else. In the future, when my basic needs are met through Patreon, commissions, and other sources, and I can afford to occasionally write for free, I definitely want to! On this blog! About all kinds of things! But right now, I can’t. Right now, I’m working primarily for the people who are paying me—my patrons on Patreon—and they’re getting my thoughts and essays and stories and letters and pictures and travelogues and videos and audiobooks and they’re all REALLY REALLY GOOD. As good as anything you’ve ever read here.

So if you can afford to pledge just $1 a month for all that content? Go here! If you can’t, I understand!, and I’ll write here whenever I can afford to. But if you want to write a comment shaming me for trying to make a living from my work, don’t. I’ll delete it. And this time, I won’t feel bad about it.



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25 Comments on “A comment that really hurt.”

  1. Monica, please feel free to post about Patreon, and I compeltely enjoy anything you post. I’m learning a lot about Patreon, in fact, from reading your blog. May you have great success! Best — Catherine

  2. mmerriam says:

    Well, I enjoy following your experiment with new models of artist’s pay. I also pretty much neglect my blog these days, just using it for promotion of events and such. I once put a lot of content on it: essays about being an artist, essays about disability, things like that. Then one day my Very Wise Spouse pointed out that I should be getting paid for that content. She is right. I should be getting paid for that level of content. And so should you.

  3. the scribbling writer says:

    I understand your reluctance to write after having harsh words thrown at you. However, you have to let them fall away like deadening leaves. If there isn’t any critique criticism then that person just forced their opinions on the world, and sadly a lot of people fall for that. Not everyone can be pleased, not everyone wants to be please. After being addicted to celebrity news for years, the one thing I took away was that we as people LOVE to pull people down just when they start to do well. I feel I should be getting paid! I put in a lot of time and work into my writings but I am still proving my worth. And that is OK. Because you mentioned Patreon, I didn’t know there was another way of funding the dream. (Entertaining the mass can only be free for so long!) NEVER feel ashamed or embarrassed or let someone make you feel as though you are doing something wrong b/c you are promoting yourself. How else would your fans discover what you are up to if you don’t promote yourself? How else would ALL of your readers know where they can get more? If they are truly a follower, wouldn’t they want more? OR want to support you so they could also benefit from what you are giving? This person, who decided to take time out of their day to tell you how they felt, is obviously NOT an avid follower. They are what I like to call an “empty follower.” The kind that follows you b/c you follow them, all they want is followers nothing more. Keep your head up! And keep doing what you are great at!

  4. kathyrandall says:

    Thanks for honoring your own worth. Thanks for being honest.


  5. jamjarhead says:

    Of course it hurt. You are an artist crafting a vision from your singular POV. The mind doesn’t function well without shelter and nourishment. You are promethean, pointed, and penetrant. Hungry, cold, wet people can’t do that. Patreon is noble.

  6. Sam says:

    Well, I just tried to sign up on the Patreon site, and it kept telling me that I needed to put in my address. Which I already did each time I signed up! So maybe I was being a dolt and not seeing something that should have been obvious (always possible, of course) or something strange was going on with their software.

  7. laraingrid says:

    This is your Blog… don’t let anyone stop you from writing what your heart tells you! There will always be people that love what you write and people that will complain… You write because you want to. It’s in your soul… Your letting yourself go on paper…don’t let anyone stop you from writing regardless of what it is about… keep doing it, not for others but yourself… Those that truly like your thoughts will always stay around and after all those are the ones that deserve to read your posts! Best of luck always!

  8. I would just like to add some encouragement, I support some artists on Patreon and will be adding you to that list. I am also thinking of becoming a creator on Patreon. The work of an artist should be valued as what it is, WORK! And in this day and age people are generally paid for their work and if they are not something is wrong. You should definitely not feel bad about sharing with people that there is a way to monetarily support your work. I support you and not just with words!

  9. Jason S-C says:

    I am sad about the hurtfulness of the comment that precipitated this response, but so pleased and proud that you bounced back and responded with such grit, confidence, and strength. It’s awesome to see that you know your work has value and that you know we know it. Good on you, and thank you for what you do!

  10. You did the right thing, deleting the post and you’re doing the right thing, learning how to not feel bad about the stupid comment.

    I have had identical comments sent my way in the past, for trying to monetize a writing stream I was giving away free.

    I am SO HAPPY to see you do what you’re doing. I think you’re doing important work on the whole ‘being a writer’ thing. May your success continue until you are sitting in cafes instead of driving uber (at least by the time the uber gig goes away with self driving cars!) and nobody thinks to question what you’re doing, because it just the way things are done.

  11. Brandon says:

    Fuck that person. Get paid. Keep being an inspiration to the rest of us.

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