Valuing Creative Work

I write a lot. Twice a week, I post something I've written to the internet: on Mondays, it's a brand-new poem, formatted to be readable on Instagram, and on Fridays, it's the blog. In the between time, I read books to keep my mind full (or for research) and work on longer-form projects that I would like to see published through more traditional venues. I love doing both. There's nothing quite like opening an acceptance email from a journal and finding out that a thing I labored over (and that my very patient friends had to watch/help me sort out) is going to be out there in the world and a part of the literary community. However, I also get a thrill when one of the middle schoolers who follows my Instagram gets excited about a poem -- you read that correctly, there are youngsters reading poetry for fun because it's in the place that they access. Keeping that work up and accessible to whoever might be willing to spend thirty seconds with it matters. And, to be fair, most literary publications post everything online for free as well. 

The work I'm doing now isn't all of the work that I want to do, including in the work I want to see published. A lot of it comes down to readiness (for example, making sure I have time to do research I need to do) but it also comes down to time. There's only so much of it. In addition to a very cool full-time job, I pick up whatever freelance gigs I can so I can make the stuff that matters to me and that I genuinely think matters to have out in the world. 

I was reluctant to start a Patreon page, but I realized that having people backing the idea that art matters would open up my time. Nothing I already make is on the line; even so, I think it's valuable enough to say out loud, "you should also value this." The music I make (readily available for streaming on just about every service) is good enough that there should be more -- and more takes paying the photographer, and possibly paying the producer. Being an artist takes resources:  being a playwright means watching plays and reading them, being a writer takes books as well as a working computer, being a musician means new strings as well as listening to the muses. And it takes consistency, showing up and doing the thing. I know I've shown myself faithful in that (there was the one week in January 2017 that I re-posted a poem, but I also had food poisoning). Having a steady stream that I can add to my personal and writerly resources will mean having time to make all the cool things that I dream of as well as improve the stuff I'm already doing. The money I get goes to my time - making sure I'm taking care of me, paying for materials I need, and working on new stories, poems, blogs, songs, research, plays, videos, and other super secret projects. 

The point is that art matters, and making more of it for the world matters. If you are able and if you believe that I'm doing good work (or you enjoy the stuff that I put up and keep totally free), check out and support my Patreon page at Thanks for reading along! 



Photo by Nhu Nguyen on Unsplash