In the Bleak Midwinter

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January is usually a stressful month for me. The holidays are over, UK taxes are due, and for me, work has usually dried up. For the past few years January has been a month where I have almost zero income. Blog work and social media work has seasons, so it's not unusual for people to be very busy from September-December and work to be much quieter at the start of the year. But since I moved to Northern Ireland five years ago I went from quiet months to completely dead months and months I was typically busy during previously went quiet as well. It might not have been obvious because I kept shooting photographs and blogging even when it wasn't earning me enough to live off of. Things finally started to turn around last January when I decided to take back some control and launched my Patreon. Instead of waiting for fickle brands to come to me or getting endlessly rejected by agencies and brands that felt I was too niche I decided to create a platform for those who love my work as it is and want to help me to continue to create it without compromise. If I haven't been posting as much here it's because I've been sharing on Patreon; exclusive behind-the-scenes posts on the process of different photographs, tutorials, and even the occasional video into my home. If you're missing frequent posts here, consider becoming a patron where I share at least two new posts every week.

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Little Women Atelier dress, vintage boots, old Voriagh mittens

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It's been one year since I first launched Patreon and it's been slow growing, but it's already relieved so much stress and brought new joy into my life. I don't have any work lined up for January right now; as it stands in collaborations and brand work this is a zero earning month for me and normally I'd be spiraling in a panic of worry that these early months are a reflection of my whole year. But with Patreon now I'm not so dependent on outside forces, I know I'll earn enough to cover my bills on that platform and maybe one day it will be enough to completely sustain me without ever having to work with brands again. For now it's fueling my creativity and instead of a month of stress January feels like a month of opportunity and creativity. I'm making posts with joy and spending my evenings crafting with my hands. Instead of being consumed with worry, I feel at peace.

I haven't completely abandoned this blog and will continue to update it from time to time with my adventures, but if you miss the "good old days" of blogging when people were creative and posted frequently, then I think you'll really enjoy my Patreon. None of the posts there are advertisements or done in collaborations with brands, so you never have to worry that you're getting a biased review and I have a lot of fun content up my sleeve for the future. I want to dip my toes in more video work and have the courage to create "bad art" (i.e. try new things and experiment!). You can become a patron for as little as $2 and if you sign up now for annual membership you'll also get 10% off whatever tier you choose for the whole year. Click here to become a patron.

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Little Women Atelier dress, vintage boots, old Voriagh mittens

CONVERSATION

13 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! I have lately been thinking how I miss the "good old days" when blogs were for creativity and expression, rather than basically just ads for more stuff I don't need.

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    1. Yeah the "success" of blogging has been a double-edged sword for sure. Like it's cool to make money off of what you love but then it's annoying to have to sell stuff to survive and then you have to appeal to those brands, so people become less creative and more commercial so they can find work.

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  2. I'm enjoying your Patreon so much ♥ And you actually got me thinking because I love fashion but I really hate how it all comes down to persuading people to keep hoarding clothes they don't really need and making you accumulate more stuff in your wardrobe. I was actually disuaded from making a creer out of fashion blogging! Now I'm thinking of more ways to make a living online without having to resort to less sustainable options.

    Flor | https://flordeblog.com/en/

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  3. I feel January's stress soooo deeply!! I usually have absolutely no sales, it's like no one cares for books during this month, and even when I do promos, I get zero revenue both January and February - unless I have a new release and then I might sell 2 or 3 copies of it. And it's not only January, that's why I also decided a while ago to try Patreon. It's very slow growing- excruciatingly so - and it has made me want to quit a few times (the workload alone makes me wonder if I did the right thing) but decided to at least publish a pull lenght novel in there, through bi-monthly instalments, and see how it works after I finish it. But to be honest, it's been very soul crushing, hardly anyone reads or comments (of the very few patrons I have, I think only one is sometimes active, so I wonder if I'm posting for a ghostly audience all the time) and even the fact I've posted the first chapter of my online novel publicly, so readers can access it for free, there were no reads. That is so very discouraging. It may sound silly, but the fact I'm earning a small income in a steady, regular way through Patreon does not make up for the fact my posts and all that hard work go unnoticed or ignored even by the patrons sponsoring me. It's bittersweet at best - if on the one hand I do welcome the steady earnings, on the other hand it breaks my heart and completely shatters me that most of my content goes unnoticed or unread. It's a very harsh, hard world for those who work in the independent creative businesses, I think.

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    1. That's certainly a tough place to be and agreed; it's very hard for creative businesses! I would say that you should keep at it, Patreon can take a long time t grow and pick up speed so try to be patient--it can take ages to grow on any platform and I think when we switch to new platforms we forget we are essentially starting from scratch so growth can be very slow. Comments are also only one indication of interaction; people could very well be reading and enjoying and not commenting--usually it's only a tiny percent that comments. But I know it can feel discouraging to feel as if we're sharing into a void.

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    2. Also I don't want to be like "try another platform" but have you looked at tiktok? There's a very active book community on tiktok and I think there would be a lot of interest in your genre. People do different book recs based on movies or styles, or videos like "what kingdom you'd belong to in my book" or the aesthetic of my book, etc and some get really popular. It's an idea and can also mean connecting to a new and active community, of writers as well as readers.

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    3. TikTok has a huge no-no for me: video. But I've been thinking about it for a while, just don't know if my dinosaur mobile phone can handle installing it LOL. I'm going to give Patreon time, of course, I at least want to publish the whole novel there before I think of quitting, but yeah, some days it's really ughhhh, you know.

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  4. I love your posts and I'm so glad to hear that you're finding a way to make it work all year round! I was actually really surprised to read that there are months where you're struggling as your content is so great, I just made assumptions and I'm so sorry that there have been really stressful times. Wishing you an amazing 2021 x

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  5. Ah! It is so lovely to see you here briefly! I became a $2 tier patreon last year and I adore all the content you have shared! I wish you all the success in the coming year and I am so glad you have found a way to relieve the stress of blogging

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  6. Hello Rebecca and greetings from London,

    I hope you're well and in good health.

    I've enjoyed visiting your blog immensely over the years. It always lifts my spirits, and you write with eloquence and sensitivity. Your images are always an absolute delight to see.

    Based on the quality of your blog and long-term commitment to creating content, I was really suprised to know that things have been hard. I know blogging is a very tough profession and can be shallow.


    There was something I wanted to ask you. If I subscribe to Patreon, will I be able to see the previous posts you have written for Patreon members, or will I see only the content that is new?

    It would be so helpful if you could please explain.

    Many thanks.

    Saba x

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    1. Hi Saba, When you subscribe you access all the old posts too on Patreon; basically every post there lives like a blog so you can scroll back to the beginning. Even if you only support for one month, then take a break, and come back again once again when you start supporting you'll be able to access everything. all the best, Rebecca

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    2. Hi Rebecca,

      I've just joined your Patreon! I can't wait to see all the content I've been missing!

      Thank you so much.

      Saba x

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