Supporting writers online with €€€
My friend Rosemary Mac Cabe has a Patreon, which is a means of funding creators from your own wallet in small or large bills.
There was a period of time in Dublin when it felt like every person I knew with a fringe or club night was asking me, through internet posts not directly aimed at me, for money. I am very glad I never collected my ticket and poster 'perk' for the play in which a now known pervert was the main star. A part of me wants to put together a one-woman show where I search Fund It and Indiegogo in my emails and discuss each project I was not part of and the people involved and whether I talk to them now.
When Patreon first launched I balked at the idea of giving someone who can afford to intern in London via Mammy and Daddy the 'price of a cup of coffee' every month so they can pursue their artistic pursuits. (Why does it have to be a cup of coffee? Why not a bag of Cuisine de France jam doughnuts? Meet me on my cultural level.)
However, I do think some Patreons might save online writing. I don't have a paid subscription to any paper - I get the Irish Times free through my DCU account and have been debating a Washington Post subscription around the next Black Friday - but I do subscribe to about 3 print magazines. Bust is the one I've renewed the most. It's great. I believe in paying for good written content - saying that I continue to consume A LOT for free. I am not an ATM.
It's tough to find the energy to write, especially in Ireland where the payout for pieces is dwindling or mostly non-existent. Rosemary made the point on her Instagram stories last night that if every person who watches her online stories gave her a euro once a year she'd have a salary. I have been thinking about that a lot. With Twitter, Instagram, other outlets, we're giving so much of ourselves away for free. It's a state of being that bothers me.
Here's Rosemary explaining her stance on her website: