My Patreon journey begins
On October 23rd, 2016, I posted a small note on my website with the title: "The Magical Appearance of Earthworms". I explained that I was embarking on an adventure to write a series of short stories about my life experiences..."life stories" as they're called, an emerging writing genre.
My good mate Sylvain Renou, himself a gifted artist and film-maker had urged me to write a regular blog about the writing experience, to keep folk informed about the creative process. It seemed like a good idea, so that short blog introduced that idea. It concluded with, "Let's see what unfolds. It's a mystery"
A mystery indeed and though I did post a few more short blogs, I never really kept at it and any interested visitor would have been forgiven for assuming I'd lost interest in the writing process. Not so! Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts have seen short excerpts from the stories appearing from time to time. Happily, the excerpts usually get many views and quite some likes. But the more intense creative process has ticked away quietly behind the scenes.
I've now produced 26 short stories comprising around 85,000 words. I've received wonderful feedback from family, friends and colleagues and an editor in Australia told me she enjoyed the stories very much.
I've decided to share the stories on my own Patreon site. Patreon is a site where creators can share their work and folk who want exclusive access can make a recurring monthly pledge, a minimum of $1/month up to whatever amount they feel they want to give, to support the creator in their artistic endeavours. There are tens of thousands of creators on the site producing podcasts, videos, painting, writing,, cartoons, all sorts of things.
My Patreon page is where I'll share the 26 stories I've already created as well as future creations. I've posted the first story today - it's called "Love on the Cranbourne-Frankston Road" - and I invite you to have a look and see what you think.
You might be thinking, "Why would I want to read stories about your life?" It's a fair question, I'm not famous, nor remotely even well know. But I believe there's beauty in everyone's story and when we share our intimate life stories, it makes us vulnerable. That's good, because vulnerability inspires compassion and goodness knows we need a LOT more of that in the world right now. So my purpose in sharing these very personal stories is to inspire people to have more compassion for themselves, for each other and for all other souls on the planet.
You might also be thinking, "Why doesn't he just share them here, for free, the lousy so and so!" That's a fair question too. I grappled with this for a long time. A good mate, who is now one of my very first Patrons, suggested I look at Patreon and my first reaction was 'WOW!" but then I worried for months about asking people to pay for my stories and podcasts. Slowly but surely I got over that as I read about other Patreon creators and the journeys they've travelled in their creative life. In the end, it seems worth a go to see if there was a community out there who cared enough about my creative work to support it financially. My goal really is to inspire a global community of compassionate souls. Fingers crossed.
So...Love on the Cranbourne-Frankston Road is out there now and every second Thursday, I'll post a new story. I shall write more and will also share podcasts there too. For a higher monthly pledge, you can access a podcast of me reading each story. I just thought it would make for a more intimate experience.
A big thanks in advance to anyone who takes the plunge and becomes my patron. You know I appreciate it so much. It's not about the money for me, it's about the community and my plan is to use whatever funds I raise to support forest conservation projects and the Movember Foundation.