...(or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kickstarter)
I made a post on my personal blog about what it means to me, personally, to be so close to reaching pro rates for CG Magazine. It's a follow-up to a tweet I made: "A chance to pay pro rates means more to me than I thought it did before it looked like it might happen."
I realized this needed some context. Here's the post:
Since I started high school, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I entered college planning a Creative Writing major; some years later I went as far as to apply for graduate programs in Creative Writing. Kay and I are both 2-time NaNoWriMo winners, and I have a finished first draft of a novel sitting in a folder (along with several partial first drafts. I’ve even published a couple of stories, and I still write nonfiction (mostly for Wired’s GeekDad now).
Over the past few years, as Crossed Genres has grown and gotten more complex, my writing time has dwindled. Recently I’ve had almost no time at all for writing. I’ve told myself that I’d make time, but it’s difficult, and that’s depressed me.
As the Kickstarter’s passed 75% and then 80% and now sits at 85.5%, it’s seemed more and more possible that we might actually somehow make this crazy goal. It’s good in so many obvious ways: It was one of our big dreams back when we first founded CG Magazine; we get to help new authors get that huge, confidence-boosting first pro sale; we’ll draw more authors, publish even better work, gain greater recognition, etc. etc… It’s just good all around. Right?
Well there’s been a tiny fear at the back of my mind that the rise of the pro-rate CG Magazine means the death of my desire to be a writer. If I can’t find time to write now, how could I possibly find time when I’m managing a pro-rate magazine on top of the rest of CG?
Earlier this evening I was chatting online with Daniel José Older. We’re about to publish Daniel’s collection Salsa Nocturna in July.
At one point the conversation turned to how busy we both are – Daniel’s working on his MFA in Creative Writing, and I mentioned how it made me kind of jealous: “At this point I’m not sure when I’ll ever have the chance to write again!” I said it tongue-in-cheek, but knew as I said it that it was true.
But surprisingly, it didn’t bother me the way I expected it to. Because the thing that was preventing me from writing – the work I do as publisher and editor for CG – is a great thing.
And that’s when I realized why I was so unbelievably excited about the chance to pay pro rates. It’s because so many other people are excited that we might get the chance too. There are a LOT of people – those who’ve backed the Kickstarter, or helped spread the word, or supported us in other ways – who want us to do it. Every pledge and tweet and show of support is a vote of confidence in me and Kay and what we’re doing.
And that means that Kay and I have made the right decision to pursue this. It means that even if we don’t make the pro-rate goal, we’ve still accomplished and will accomplish incredible things, through shared respect and admiration with the people who support us.
I’ll write again – writers go on hiatus but they never stop. But right now, we’ve taken what started as a wisp of an idea (and no clue what we were doing) to the brink of what some would’ve called a pipe dream.
How can I be unhappy about what I’m not doing, when what I am doing is so special?
(42 hours left, $2,029 to go.)