The Plan

It’s been tough.

I’ve been going through a lot of personal issues lately. And these issues have been further compounded by writing problems.

In my last post, my last real one aside from reposts of my other work, I was inspired by Brandy Dawley to actually attempt to personify or give form to my inner critic or judge. If you haven’t seen it already, you should check out her Medium article  On Creative Paralysis, Feeling Naked Online, And My Inner Critic Whose Name is Chad: which is what inspired my Mythic Bios post “Time.”

I’ve been thinking about why I haven’t really been creative writing for a while. Originally, last year now, about the time I saw Stan Lee, Alex Kingston, and Michelle Gomez at Fan Expo I was charged enough — re-energized and inspired — to attempt writing full-time for Sequart. The idea was that I would write my 15K words on the side while I re-innovated my Patreon, and only doing so after having something of a centralized creative project or clear series of goals with regards to said project with which to work towards.

But 15K words a month is a large commitment. And perhaps even more than that, there is a difference between writing something that is analytical as opposed to being creative. It’s true that I am fairly creative in expressing myself and my words and viewpoints in my critical writing, and that does tide me over, but it really isn’t the same. Sometimes I become very mindful of the fact that I am not really making anything original. I’m not making something that is mine. While I have made good contacts and gotten my critical writing out there, and got to examine some fascinating creative processes, I can’t really take credit for them. They aren’t my own: at least not the source material that I write about.

This feeling can fuel Imposter Syndrome considerably. I may have to actually cut back, or down, on my analytical writing into the near future. There are some topics I definitely do what to still address and I won’t rule them out, but I need to make the space to create my own primary material once again.

So what will I do instead? Well, I have comics that I need to catch up on reading. And films and television shows that I definitely need to watch. I do require inspiration to continue my good work. I also need to take care of myself and possibly get to the point where I can go to bed at reasonable — read sane — hours.

And this leaves us at what I want to ultimately do in the future. Well. The good news is that recently I have sent out three creative pitches to the Toronto Comics Anthology. It just felt time to put my money where my mouth is. But that is only a start.

I need to go through my notes and my notebooks. I need to type out and I edit what I have of at least perhaps three or four creative worlds I’ve left for far too long. I need to decipher my notes, type them out, and make sense of it or discard what I have and start fresh.  Then I need to go back to my Patreon, however daunting it may be and challenging as you need to have a strong following and project to get anywhere, and redesign it accordingly. I am not a graphic artist or illustrator or even a video maker, but perhaps I can do something about replacing my picture on the top border, and making my funding goals clearer for me and anyone who potential wants to back my work.

I still have some critical pieces I want out there, but I think what I will do is return back to the Mythic Bios approach to these matters and write the personal into the critical as I used to do.

All of this is easier said than done, and I have said similar things in the past. I realize I can’t force a lot of this, but if I make the space and just record what I have, and read and write and not force it, I could form something else. I know I can still do this. I’ve been working on a public fanfic that is now forty-five chapters long and counting. I find that I actually thrive on just writing, on doing some research when I need it for a day or so, but then just writing on wards and writing more to back up what I wrote before. I am stronger when I just keep going. This and actual feedback through kudos and comments really does help me, and it is something I should definitely bear in mind. I just need to find the format and the media for it as I am not sure, for example, that A03 is the best place to publish original work.

I find I am at my most powerful when I am painfully honest. And that is scary. But if I have any hope of getting to where I need to be, I need to be at my best. I know that hard work is not a guaranteed method of success, but a lack of work is a guarantee method of no success. It isn’t even failure. Failure doesn’t happen when you don’t even try. And not trying is inaction and nothing. But reading and writing aren’t nothing, even if they are just focused on a fan work.

The point is, I hope to make some changes and to continue the ones that I have begun. I hope that those of you that still follow this Blog and my media will be there to see what I will do next.

A Business About Storytelling, Game Development, And Other Promises

Aside from the fanfiction I posted the other day in a previous post, it’s been yet another long while since I’ve posted on this Blog. Obviously, a lot has happened since I last wrote here so I will try to catch everyone up.

The LDEEP Workshop actually took another week longer than I’d originally thought. Now I am seeing the head of the program every Monday and Thursday. What we’re doing now is we are working on a plan of self-employment. It is going to be centered around two aspects: assisted storytelling, and the creation of some collaborative works. Basically the idea is that I will be helping other people with their writing, or telling their own stories while making my own with fellow artistic collaborators.

In retrospect, I’d been heading in this direction for quite some time even before LDEEP. Even before it had a name, even before I had a Patreon account, I knew this was something that I had to do. And if all goes well, I may even be able to get assistance for this. But it will take time and effort on my part. I am still not home free yet and, honestly, even when this becomes a reality I still won’t be.

There have been challenges even now. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I am doing the right thing or if someone as numerically challenged as myself has any right attempting to run a business. There had also been times when I was frustrated with LDEEP and how many of its workshops, while informative, didn’t really apply to my ultimate goals. And very recently I had to turn down a job offer that, while it might have given me some money, just wasn’t feasible for me due to distance and misunderstandings.

Yet these things have worked in my favour when I really think about them. I was having a lot of trouble articulating a good business plan. The head of our program told me to “make a story with numbers.” And I struggled with it. I admit, it slowed me down a lot. I wanted to create actual content. I wanted to keep writing on this Blog. I didn’t want to be bogged down by details. And I was looking for someone full time who could help with future administrative duties: to leave me with time to create.

But right now I am the only one that can make this happen. And I realized I was going about this all the wrong way. I’ve mentioned many times before that I have a learning disability: specifically in the realm of mathematics. So, one day after dealing with a lot of other issues, I realized that what I should be doing is writing out “the story” first and add the numbers, with assistance, later on. Basically, for lack of another better analogy, I am working on the thesis of the thing and gathering the research and evidence afterwards to back it up.

It was still work but I managed to create a first draft of a plan. And it is still, like everything I do, a work in progress. And I will definitely keep you posted once I finally make something a little more substantial to work with.

I have also been working on a collaborative game with a team of people who happen to also be made up of some of my childhood friends. And I have accomplished a lot. I have not only created a sample list of pre-generated character names and six factions, but also an extra seventh faction that I hope to use in a tutorial along with a creative event scenario. There is, like everything else, a lot more to do but I am pleased with mine — and my teammates’ — progress. So while I am not a programmer or a graphic artist, I am a writer for a game and so this is actually some game development on my part: which makes me really damned proud.

I also can’t wait to say more about the actual game itself, but I will wait on that until we have more done and when our team leader thinks it appropriate.

The graphic story collaboration I am making with Angela O’Hara is still happening, but we have both had to take time to deal with our respective workloads. But I know we are both still interested in its creation and I look forward to sharing that work as well.

So many promises now, I have to say. I feel like, for all the challenges and tribulations I’ve faced, I have been doing some good work. And that in itself is a reward. But I plan to do so much more: just as I also plan to share so much more with you, my faithful friends and readers.

Until next time.

Looking Outward

Patronage and Poets in Hell Now On Kindle

Hello everyone. I’d like to make two very important announcements.

I have received my first ever patron on my Patreon account. So let me take some time to publicly thank John Chui for his donation. John, thank you for believing in my writing and my work enough to support me and donate $25 a month to my ambitions.

It really makes a difference. It’s not so much the money, which is always both useful and helpful to have, but the fact that someone respects what I do enough to support me. Not only does it provide a little bit of an impetus, but it reminds me that there are people out there who like my writing and believe it is deserving of payment and recognition. John, you are definitely one of those friends who encourages me to keep doing what I do: even when I get tired. Even when I start to question myself.

You have to start somewhere and thanks to John and in words that he can truly appreciate, I will continue to soldier on. I do still expect a Twine out of you personally at some point, however, so don’t think I’ve forgotten. 🙂

And now, for the second announcement. A little while ago, I told all of you that my short story “When You Gaze Into an Abyss” was accepted in Janet Morris’ book Poets in Hell: part of the Heroes in Hell series. I said that I would update all of you when the book came out.

And so here it is:

The Kindle version of Poets in Hell.

Poets in Hell Kindle

And here is a nice description of what you will find within it should you dare to read it:

Where else but Hell can you join Beowulf, Dorothy Parker, Diomedes, Sappho, John Milton, Robert E. Howard, Odysseus, Caliban, Helen of Troy, and Mary Shelley? Where else but Hell can you adventure with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, e.e. cummings, Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Attila the Hun, Napoleon, David Koresh, Eliott Ness, Marconi, and Plato? Where else but Hell can you find the Jabberwocky, Li Po, Albert Camus, the Sphinx, Frank Nitti, Aeschylus, Goethe, Sycorax, and Merlin all in one place? Where else but Hell can you meet Galatea, Robert Burns, Ghengis Khan, Foster, Solon, and Lemuel Gulliver? Where else could you find Homer, Lilith, Victor Frankenstein and his famous Monster, Edgar Allen Poe, Jimmy Hoffa, and Lord Byron’s dog, Boatswain? In POETS IN HELL, that’s where. BYO pitchfork.

The book version of Poets isn’t ready yet, but for those of you who are eager to read the excellent tales — including my own first-ever published story — please download this Kindle version should you have one.

And if you live in the United States, this entire saga will cost you — aside from your peace of mind and soul — $6.66. I’d say that, all things considered, that is a pretty good deal.

This past while has just been a series of firsts for me. Let me tell you. I’ve seen my name on Amazon before, but only as a reviewer: and that was before I created Mythic Bios and placed the majority of my reviews on here. But it is a whole other experience to see my name on Amazon as an author, and right next to the names of giants: of my fellow diabolical, grandiose, and truly hilarious peers.

I’ve come a long way since that person who knew I had something to say but had little under my name to show that I could truly say it. But this is only the beginning and as I said with regards to my Patreon: you have to start somewhere.

And what better a start than writing from a place in Hell: from the hellfire in my soul, from where all of this truly began. Thank you all for reading this and Following my work. Again, please consider reading, supporting, and spreading the flaming word of POETS IN HELL.

You will not be disappointed.

This Little Party is Just Beginning

It’s been two weeks now since I posted anything on here.

Really, my post before this would could have had a few other alternative titles: you know, like “Fed Up,” or “Exhausted,” or something more responsible along the lines of “I Love You All, But I Need To Take a Fucking Break.”

So let me tell you what I’ve been doing since I last wrote here, and what I plan to do.

The very day I wrote that last post, I went to my friend Noah’s birthday dinner and then hung out with him and my friends at a Tim Horton’s: including my friend Andrew whom I haven’t talked with in ages. We just talked about geeky stuff and nothing more strenuous than that. That was about the last time I have seen my friends so far, but it reminded me that I needed to get more time out that I have, well, honestly been getting.

I’m can’t remember a lot of what I did after that. I kept meaning to write something here and I just … didn’t. I even started to get ideas again and have them become more coherent in my brain. I bought the second issue of The Sandman Overture, and then the book Darth Plagueis: the last of which I’ve been meaning to do for a while now.

And during this time I knew that I had a few ideas for more Sequart and Mythic Bios articles. I want to look at Gwendolyn MacEwen again, at an interesting form of comics, at a Batman fanfic comic and the second volume of the new Sandman. The material is all there. I’ve contemplated writing about women in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, but figured it had already been done before and didn’t include it here: though some of that did make its way into an article on Sansa Stark on GeekPr0n. Perhaps that will happen one day.

I also thought about eventually making that article on Anakin Skywalker and how as a classic science-fiction swashbuckler hero he is at a severe disadvantage merely existing in the extreme black and white Force-powerful Star Wars universe. I have also been meaning to write something for my friend Anthony with regards to his second novel Beloved Demons.

And, of course, after one playthrough so far I also want to look at Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest. It’s fitting I guess, when you consider that this past while I’ve been depressed.

Me and my Head

At first it was all exhaustion, but then I started to get perfectionist and disillusioned and side-tracked with procrastinating. Also, I began to feel concerned that I would get restless and feel empty again: having no sense of accomplishment writing at least two hundred words a day.

So I didn’t do anything at all.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been maintaining my one post a week on GeekPr0n, as it is my job but also something I like to represent my skills well in doing, but it’d been a lot of white noise in the back of my head. Of course, that white noise is ultimately a lot of ideas that lack a structure or starting point that threatened to drive me crazy.

But now here we are. I’m writing something on here again. And now, we come to the next part of this post.

I took one proactive measure that I’m proud of. A few days ago I went downtown and made good on my Day Pass to Bento Miso: a collaborative workspace and community. Game makers utilize the space considerably, but there are a whole variety of different people that go there to work on their own projects, network, and attend particular events. I must have the strangest luck in the world in that the few times I’ve visited outside of the Bit Bazaar events, I’ve always come when most of Bento Miso’s members are at conventions.

The fact of the matter is that, as I have said before, I do need a space away from home to work, but not just on anything. There are some other projects I’ve been meaning to focus on and I have not had time or the concentration to do so. And I just need something new. So I decided to join Bento Miso as a cohort. 🙂

I remember that night, walking down Queen Street from Strachan, thinking to myself that the street didn’t feel nearly so old anymore or filled with ghosts. In the spring time, looking at Trinity-Bellwoods Park and walking down the street to take a streetcar to the subway, it felt like it was new again. I mean, here I was outside going downtown on some adventures and a new quest.

I think what I’m trying to say is that for the first time in a while I felt more like me again: no longer hiding and starting that process of making new opportunities and perhaps even connections. Who knows, right?

And I do have plans. I’ve thought long and hard about why my Patreon account hasn’t been followed or supported. And I realized that my work right now, on Mythic Bios, is good but scattered over a variety of different subject matters: all of them geeky, but not always specific or focused. This was always ever meant to be a supplement to the main writing that I planned to do.

Kris Straub, before he created Broodhollow, spent much time creating works to get to that place where he could make something akin to an ongoing master project or, if you’d like to get more profound about it, a magnum opus.

So here is what’s going to happen.

I am going to be writing on Mythic Bios once a week now. I simply can’t always write two posts a week like I used to. I need time to work on other projects and details in my life. I will, of course, break my own rules from time to time, but expect a post either Monday or Thursday. I will most likely alternate.

I will still be working at GeekPr0n creating my articles for them as well and with more time, hopefully, I can send some more … unique work Sequart’s way again. But, more importantly, I am going to be creating Patreon-Only content. My plan is to create a serialized work, or series of works, and make it so that those who Support me will be able to see whatever it is I will post there. Anyone can contribute whatever they’d like and we will see what happens from there.

And that is just for starters. I need to make my Patreon more presentable aesthetically and outline what my actual goals are. Right now I just have what I can offer. These are two entirely different things and with something more concrete, I might be in something akin to business.

You can find my Patreon account right here: http://www.patreon.com/mkirshenblatt

Let me know if you have any suggestions. I have a few ideas for some serialized work, mainly fiction, that I think some of you might actually enjoy. In the meantime, this is just the beginning. There are other possibilities as well. And I look forward to seeing where they might go.

I Write on The Black Tunnel Wall

There is a story I read in Rosemary Sullivan’s Shadow Maker. It is a biography of the Canadian, and particularly Torontonian, poet Gwendolyn MacEwen. Towards the end of Gwendolyn’s life she approached a bank for a loan which, unfortunately, she was refused. In a fit of rage she apparently stormed back to her apartment, picked up all the books she had ever written, or ever written in–including those given awards by the Canadian government and literary societies–threw them down on the teller counter, and proclaimed that she made all of these books and that she just wanted her money.

There is, of course, a lot more behind this story such as Gwendolyn’s ultimately fatal alcoholism, the fact that she only had her sporadic university teaching salary and reading profits to live off, the job opportunities she was denied because she never matriculated out of high school, and always having to deal with the stigma of being a female writer and creator and fighting for recognition from the fifties to the late eighties, or even the argument that Canada didn’t value the arts and its poets nearly as much as it should. There is an entire book or two speculating and detailing all of these things.

I am also, obviously, not Gwendolyn MacEwen. I am not an alcoholic, I graduated from a Master’s Program, and I do not claim to have created any works coming anywhere near close to Gwendolyn’s but I have been unemployed for quite some time and, as such, I am on Ontario Works: a Provincial job search form of welfare. I’ve also mentioned that I suffer from situational depression. In retrospect I’ve probably had this for quite some time but it’s only in unemployment and the struggle to keep writing that I came to really call it what it is.

Systems are not perfect: especially bureaucracies. Bureaucracies and many of them do have some really good workers that attempt to help people to the best of their ability, are systems that function in quantitative ways. They want numbers written, blocks marked out, NIL scratched down in key squares: with “concrete evidence” or “statistical proof” of some sort before they will begin to help you. Coming from an academic background myself, I’m unfortunately no stranger to the bureaucracies of academia or even OSAP loans, but it becomes very clear when you leave those places and go into “the working world” that you are in a different place where quantifiable data is given more precedence over quality.

When I first came into Ontario Works, I was presented with a work sheet–a long letter-sized piece of paper–that I had to fill out once a month: to show how many jobs for which I actively searched. They have an initial section where they ask whether you’ve attended classes at school, or gone to a job search seminar, or gotten a job, and if so what are they and such. And then on the other side is the very long lined list of jobs you looked and applied for and, below that, is an additional comments section.

And for all that space and everything I had to fill in, that was it: just one small space for additional comments.

That is the mode of reality that I had to deal with for a very long time. And I won’t lie: it was depressing. It was made all the more frustrating by the fact that I knew this sheet didn’t even exist in the Toronto welfare system: that it had been considered an anachronism and was actually made obsolete. In the program that I had been under, had I not been so depressed and had to move back to Thornhill, I would have actually gotten paid for volunteer work while looking for a job. To go from that model to the one I found myself in was galling and it just rubbed the salt into my wounds even further.

For the work that I do, and make no mistake I do work, the jobs I can apply for with the skills and interests that I have are limited. As someone who is an extreme introvert and has social anxiety issues, along with tension headaches, stomach issues, and learning disabilities with regards to mathematics, retail jobs are not an option for me. I also know that if I work some job I don’t like, I will simply not do well in it because, frankly, I just don’t care.

And then there is the stigma of that to consider. People on welfare often feel like, if they aren’t flat-out told, that they are lazy and that they should accept any old job because, frankly, they are lazy. Thankfully, my counsellors at Ontario Works are not the people who communicate this sentiment and have, with what resources they have, actually tried to talk me through and help me with this.

But then there is that other critic.

I’m not talking about my friends who I, up until now, haven’t even told I’m on welfare, or my family that sometimes wonder what I’m actually doing about this, or all the people–anonymous or otherwise–that have their own opinions on the matter on the Internet. No. I’m talking about me.  I have to catch myself and be careful to remember not to impose what I think the system’s view of me is over who I really am. Because I am often tempted to think that the system, society or what not, views me as that stereotype: a lazy, free-loading unemployed shut-in bum that has done nothing worthwhile with his life while quite a few of his friends have jobs and families and should just “suck it up” (a phrase I find utterly infuriating) and do something that I hate for the greater good.

And then to remember that I was once a student that had very high marks in my classes, the respect of many of my teachers, who was always told that I wrote well and who believed that academia would take care of someone like me from cradle to grave only to have to compare it to my current reality of living at home again, in debt, and in this living situation…

It’s that nice litmus test between anger at the world and anger at myself.

Me and my Head

But one day, something happened. It was around the same time I was doing my best to fill out those worksheets. I realized that I could talk about the things that I was, in fact, doing that didn’t seem to apply to the criteria on the sheet. Of course, there was very little space and my handwriting got cramped and bad as per usual. So I began typing out my additional comments. In fact I made a whole section called Additional Comments.

Over time, and through a succession of workers, my Additional Comments varied but mostly got longer in description. For the past year or so, I have been telling Ontario Works about the conventions I’ve attended, the networking I’ve been doing, the writing I’ve undertaken, and the recommendations and praise that I have received. I have even told them about this very Blog: this Mythic Bios of mine.

Because, unlike the stereotype of the unemployed lazy bum, I have been writing. I have been writing almost every day. I write until it is late at night to the point of there actually being sunlight. I write until I rhyme. Sometimes I can get myself to go out and network with important people: to have them remember my name and know me. I made a whole lot of business cards for that very purpose. I made a Patreon account. I have looked over and edited other people’s works. I have made friendships and relationships during this period.

And even though I have not been paid yet, I must reiterate that I work. Some people clock out for the day. I clock out when my head feels like wool and I can’t concentrate any more. I read, research, write, edit, and attempt to maintain my own schedule. I am not useless. I have made more things than most people can dream of and one day, I hope to profit from all of these endeavours.

And perhaps it’s not that important. Even though my current worker has started calling my Additional Comments my Reports and knows that I am genuinely attempting to earn money from the places where I’m at now and I no longer have to use those worksheets–all now regulated to NIL–due to my disabilities and my therapist’s evaluation of me, perhaps the system doesn’t give a damn about my efforts beyond statistics. Maybe no one cares about anything I do if there are no crisp dollar bills next to my words.

But you see that’s the thing: I care.

Every time my worker sees my Reports, every time my parents glance at them, every time I have the excuse and the medium to write about all the achievements and contacts I’ve garnered it is a victory for me. It is me, to myself, proving that I’m earning my money, that I’m actually doing something and there is meaning in all of it.

It may mean nothing to anyone else. It may not even help me. But it means something to me. When I write these, it is just another way of saying “Look at me world. This is what I’m doing. This is what I’ve done. This is what I’ll be.”

Originally, I wasn’t even going to write about this. I had a review I promised Anthony Martignetti and I had a good Monday when Elfquest retweeted and Shared my article When I Recognized Elfquest. I wanted to talk about welfare and money after it was all over: after my loans were paid off, after no longer needing Ontario Works and beginning to function as an independent force again in my own right. But I am just tired of feeling shame and fear. I just wanted to tell all of you, more or less, what is going on and what all of this means to me. Realistically speaking, I will need help for quite some time and I know there are others out there like me, who fear waking up, who feel that sick pit of dread in their stomach whenever they have to pick up that phone, who despises dealing with bureaucracy and puts it off as long as they can, who have to fight against that feeling of futility, who wishes they had help and who–ultimately–need to read this.

One day, you will not be in this situation any more. You only needed help to get to your next destination and there is no shame in that. All of this will just become another story to tell your friends, your loved ones, and yourself: to remind you of where you were, and how far you have come.

Looking Outward

On August 27, 1987 the mythopoeic creator Gwendolyn MacEwen, who should have been the Poet Laureate of Toronto, if not all of Canada itself, slammed her books down on a counter and said, “I did this. Now give me my money.” I’d like to think that, when she did that, she was really throwing her works against her Black Tunnel Wall: on that last work she never finished and what metaphors it might have represented.

And every month, because I can never forget, I write on my own Black Tunnel Wall, covering it with words, one Report at a time.

amaze.me

Also, this is my Patreon Page. If you have the funds, or the interest, and you want to see what I can really do as a writer, please support me. You can also access it on my About Page. Thank you.

How You Can Help Me

Remember my post where I Am Asking For Your Help? Well, this follow-up post is both late and a long time coming.

I have been insanely busy. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said it feels like I’m in a Time War of my very own. I am trying to find that balance between having a life and using my art to support that life. It’s hard. When people tell you that attempting to become a published writer, especially a published writer that makes money off of your creations, they are not exaggerating. I have attempted to get published “legitimately,” and while I have still not ruled it out by any means, and I have one work in particular that I want to send by those channels, there is this one hard fact to consider.

I am working hard to make content and I am not getting paid for it.

Don’t misunderstand. I enjoy writing for Mythic Bios and being given the opportunity to contribute to the other online magazines in which I publish articles. I write much better when I get to focus on the matters of Geek Culture and other areas of interest.

This not about them or any of that. I just can’t ignore the facts. I am on social assistance, and I am working hard to write articles and stories that are not making me any money.

And this has been bothering me for a very long time. To be perfectly honest with you all, I know I’m talented. I know that I have accomplished a great many things in this past year alone and I continue to make myself believe “in as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” which is a far cry from the one or two I barely had energy to concentrate on back in the day, but despite my efforts and my audience I am quite simply not getting paid for any of it.

So I have thought about a solution to this issue. I’ve realized that this is no one’s responsibility but my own and I am now going to take steps to deal with it. The fact of the matter is that throughout my entire life, I’ve never done anything through orthodox channels, and even when I’ve been in established institutions I have had to find my own methods of dealing with them, and creating my own learning path. And now that I’m outside of academia and those established places I realize that I have to apply that same mentality to life. That said, I didn’t even know how begin to deal with life on those terms.

Until now.

Anna Anthropy, through her own quests to support herself and her work, made me aware of a new crowd-funding platform called Patreon. It is essentially an application that allows an artist’s supporters to become their patrons: to donate money to their art. It is a lot like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but while the former are made to support larger projects, Patreon is created to fund artists on a smaller and yet potentially longer term monthly scale.

So now this is the part where I finally get to the point. While Anna Anthropy was the one who lead me to this platform, Amanda Palmer introduced me to the Art of Asking: to the power of crowd-funding, of trusting in the goodwill of your fans, and to simply asking for help.

And here is how you can help me.

I have created a Patreon Profile. I would like you, my loyal friends and Followers to read over what I have written on this Profile and do one of two things: become my Patrons and donate whatever amount of money you feel comfortable paying to my art, or spread word of my art and my Patreon Profile to the people that you know.

I go into a lot of detail in the Profile, so please read it closely, but allow me to clarify a few other matters first. I am not charging money for anyone to view my work on Mythic Bios or anywhere. Aside from the fact that I lack the authority in those other places, I do have the authority to state that Mythic Bios’ content will always be free to the public. If you’d like, think of it as what the name suggests: you are patronizing me (hopefully in the positive sense of the word) for the work that I already do and if you do become my Patrons in addition my Followers you will get to see some Patron-Only work, or be the lucky ones to get a first view of it before I launch it more publicly. And I am also willing to undertake research and creative commissions.

I am not begging you for charity and most of you already know this. I am asking you for the opportunity to work for pay doing something that I love doing and making that connection with you.

Now, this will be a learning process for the both of us. I myself am still figuring out the details with regards to Patreon and it will undoubtedly change over time. Also, I just want to state that if you ever want to stop funding me for whatever reason, you can easily cancel your donations. I am simply hoping for a modest cumulative monthly donation of some kind which I plan to share the results of with you.

The thing is: this is both really hard and very easy to ask this of you. What Amanda Palmer espouses, asking for help, is something that has been ingrained in me ever since I was diagnosed as being learning disabled. The very term “extra help” is indicative of asking. But as I said, I have challenges but I will not beg and if you can’t or don’t want to donate anything to my work I understand and, like I said I hope you will keep following it and let other people know about it and my Patreon.

There has always been a stigma to asking for extra help, or even just asking someone for help in society. But here is where I began to realize the difference. I am not asking a bunch of strangers for change. I am asking you–my friends, peers, colleagues, and loved ones–for help. I am letting go of the negative part of my stubbornness: the pride and the fear of change that does not want to admit weakness or, in this lexicon, vulnerability.

I am trusting, all of you, to help me in some way. Even if it is only in the form of suggestions, questions, concerns, or advice about the contents of my Patreon please let me know and I will treasure what you tell me.

So I am going to re-post a picture I’ve been using for two posts now, and with good reason. This was me looking at the horizon a few years ago: wondering what was going to happen next. And this time, not only am I doing exactly the same thing but I hope to see you all there with me. I will keep putting myself out there. I promise you that. I owe you that. I owe that to myself.

Thank you for supporting me: in any way that you can. You already are.

*Hugs*

sincerely,

Matthew Kirshenblatt

Looking Outward

P.S. I am going to pay this attempt at good will forward. Gaming Pixie is an excellent reviewer, graphic artist, site designer, and video game creator. She is one of those that already believes in six impossible things before breakfast. But due to life circumstances, she needs more help than I do at this moment. Please consider donating some money to her art on her website and seeing what she can truly do. Because just as I believe in her, I also believe in all of you. Please encourage her to believe in a seventh impossible thing.

And check out Anna Anthropy’s Patreon as well. She cannot have enough support for the work that she is doing: not only being one of those creating games with her own voice, but advocating the creation of means for other people to do the same.