If you need a lift to the airport, you ask a friend for help.
If you need extra hands moving, you ask a friend for help.
If you need someone to feed the cat while you’re on a trip, you ask a friend for help.
All of these things, and so many others, take time and resources. And yet, we rarely hesitate to say, “Hey, can you…?”
So why is it so hard to ask for money? Everyone needs it, everyone uses it. We gather it by spending time doing things. As artists, writers, musicians, crafters… as people… we pause before we say, “I have a Patreon page up. Would you contribute?” It feels gross, doesn’t it? Greedy.
Recently, I had an opportunity to go to Sundance and participate in a writer’s workshop that could have changed a great deal for me. At the very least, my writing would have improved. In the realm of pipedreams, I could have landed an agent. I’m not going. I don’t have the $700 + airfare it would have cost. I considered, ever so briefly, asking for help. But the doubts started. It’s a selfish request. If I can raise money for that, I can raise money for other, “more important” things. And so, I’m not going. And yes, I was disappointed. Crushed for a few days. I fell into a Why Bother hole. I ignored my writing, and my writing group. I pouted. I cried a little. I was, very briefly, in mourning. (I got over it.)
Why is it so hard to value our work? Nearly everyone reads. Nearly everyone listens to music and admires art. We don’t mind paying for a new book or the latest album. We hang paintings on our walls and place pottery on our shelves. But when we look in the mirror, how many of us say, “But I’m not talented enough for…”
There’s a great article I’d love for you to read. It tackles this idea and lays it bare.
“I feel bad about people paying for my work because I think that the people who buy and even those who appreciate my work are somehow being duped. I keep feeling that at some point I am going to be found out to be an imposter. I feel bad when my work is considered valuable.”
It’s on the long side, but stick with it. You may come out of it a little kinder to yourself. Take some time to seriously consider your talent (honestly – don’t undercut. It’s just you and your head.) and worth. Consider what you are willing to pay for work someone else does and test out that price tag on your own work. How does that feel?
Ponder Patreon. Konsider Ko-fi (I’m so sorry. I couldn’t resist.) Put yourself out there and see what happens. It can take some time to gather your minions, but I promise… they exist and they may surprise you.
To that end, and to bring all this back around to the beginning, I have created a “help if you like” page… and yes, it was hard do (the platform is so easy) and yes, it is hard to post it here. But I’m gonna… right now… here I go…