You Can Still Be My Patron - Just Not On Patreon

A few weeks ago, after a months of contemplation, I finally decided to deactivate my Patreon account. So, in case you were wondering what happened to it, there you go. There was no drama, no maliciousness, none of that jazz. The reason I closed out my Patreon page was simply a lack of time to maintain it and a lot of personal guilt resulting from that lack of time.

When you start a Patreon, people donate money to your cause. They support you because they value your work as a creator, and that's certainly a wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling to have. Each month, creators receive the hard-earned cash of their patrons, and it helps them create more things, put food on their table, keep the lights on, and in some remarkable cases provides them with a primary source of income to live off of. While plenty of patrons support artists simply because they value particular favorite creators, it's also with the expectation of rewards. I had defined various levels of support alongside various rewards, like an archive of all previously published works, exclusive behind the scenes stuff, excerpt, book cover reveals, that kind of stuff.

Toward the end of 2017, my wife and I welcomed our second child. Since then, time has been at a premium. Simply put, I don't have as much time for writing as I would like, and creating anything additional is simply out of the question. I also work full-time, which means I'm a part-time author...and nowadays that means really, really, really, really part-time. My writing schedule has withered down to about one day a week, and I'm lucky if I can count on having enough time to write a thousand words during that single session. This means it takes me forever to finish anything nowadays.

Having a Patreon account was simply one more avenue of maintenance. I had people paying me for goods I simply was not delivering. I was letting down my patrons, my supporters, those readers who liked my work well enough to pony up extra money each and every month for various additional rewards. I was failing them. Just logging into Patreon became a bit of a guilt-trip for me, knowing that I wasn't delivering for those on the higher end of the reward scale. I had no book cover reveals, because the big project I've been working on, for more than a year now, still isn't finished. The rough draft is almost there, and then it will be on to editing, and then cover design. That's a long way off. Even editing is a long time away, because that costs a significant amount of money to cover. 

All the rewards I had listed were easier to fulfill in 2017 when I only had one kid running wild and I had a bank of work to carry me through the year. In 2018, those same rewards are impossible for me to fulfill. I have no bank of work left, and no time to create additional new works to reward my patrons with. And yet they stuck with me, gave me their money...and I felt fucking terrible. I was taking money for nothing, and that's simply not in my work ethic. I was feeling guilty for not having enough time to follow through on my commitment to them. 

So, knowing that I was not going to be able to provide them with anything for the foreseeable future, and feeling pretty shitty about that, it was time to pull the plug on Patreon. While it's a wonderful resource, it was simply impossible for a part-time author like myself to maintain it. If ever I am fortunate enough to go full-time, I may consider rebooting my Patreon, but that's a long ways off.

If you were a Patreon supporter of mine, or are merely wondering the best ways to support my work these days, well here's how. Check out the Books link up above, follow the links, and go buy something. Read it, then post a review at the outlet you purchased from. Post that review on Goodreads. Blog about it. Share that review. Instagram the book. Spread it around. Share those links! Let people know what you thought about my work. If you liked it, tell a friend. If you hated it, recommend it to an enemy. These are the best ways to support me and my work as a creator. Buy, read, review. That's it. Nothing more is needed.

However, if you were a former Patreon supporter who wants to go above and beyond, you can always buy me a coffee. Since I can't promise rewards, but knowing that there are some readers out there who want to support creators like myself, I've set up a Ko-Fi (read: coffee) account. Ko-Fi is a quick way for supporters of content creators to leave a little tip, usually equal to a cup of coffee ($3), or more if they're feeling generous. You can find out more about Ko-Fi here. If you'd like to show your support, you can click this button:

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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