First of all: Thank you to Brad for drawing attention to my predicament and to everyone else commenting in this post.
I’d wish to extend my gratitude to any 3pp who has employed me in any function. You are ensuring, in the immortal words of Freddie Mercury, that the show does go on.
Now here are the harsh facts:
I’m struggling to make ends meet with my real life jobs.
How bad are things?
Well, they’re at the point where I can’t even afford to buy the RPG-supplements I want; that is, the ones I don’t receive as complimentary copies from the publishers who value my opinion and hard feedback. The last couple of KS I managed to back have been paid for mainly by my freelancing (and selling some books) and secondly by affiliate sales, because I wanted to give something back to the community, thus rendering that particular avenue a zero-sum game – not that it would suffice for either rent, gasoline, insurance or anything like that in the first place.
Without GMS magazine and Paco’s support, there quite frankly wouldn’t be an endzeitgeist-hp. Without the complimentary copies I receive from OBS as a featured reviewer and the publishers who directly send them, there wouldn’t be half as many reviews either – kudos especially to the latter. It takes guts to send me a product and not complain/whine/etc. about reveiws that don’t end up like you wanted them to be – while I try to remain constructive and positive, I’m also aware that I’m pretty hard on you guys, so thank you for keeping the average quality infinitely higher than during even the best of 3.X’s days.
I included a paypal-donation system and promptly received quite some flag for it; I *do* wish to extend my gratitude to EVERYONE who donated even a few bucks. Every time I receive a donation, I grin from ear to ear and am truly happy, feel like my reviews mean something to someone out there. You, ladies and gentlemen, make my days, you keep the spark alive.
The cold hard matter of truth is, though, that I simply do not receive many donations. It’s a busy month when I receive 2. And we’re not talking about hundreds of bucks.
Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to continue doing reviews in this manner and frequency, I have to face up to the growing need of setting up a full-time 9-5 job; I’m just tired of being utterly poor and not even being able to attend UK conventions or the like, much less fulfilling my dream of coming to Gencon to play with all my American friends. 2015, things need to change, one way or the other.
So yes, I talked to some people about this and, no matter how I put it, I’m honestly ashamed and not particularly content with the situation. I would love to continue doing all this work for free – because I *love* it. I really do. Alas, I don’t even have a family’s financial net to fall back on, meaning that I’m facing very real poverty if I don’t get something done soon.
Why no KS?
The issue with a KS, which I’ve contemplated doing, is simply that I’d be dependent on 3pp-products donated for it and receive a one-time boost, then…nothing. And yes, I’d love to be able to go to Gencon, have wanted to go there for as long as I can remember. But the flight alone is a massive expense far beyond my current grasp. And there’s the shipping issue. Patreon would allow one to set up a monthly support, which would probably help me out more and render judging how much time I can devote to reviews much easier.
So here’s the result of my ruminations – I’m going to set up a patreon. I’ll continue reviewing either way, but the amount of time I can devote to the process…well, that will be in the community’s hands. Now I don’t expect the patreon to net a lot, but my situation does demand that I re-evaluate spending x hours per week writing these reviews.If no one cares enough, I’ll put them on the back burner behind real life, design, etc.
On another note, should my financial situation improve to the point where I don’t have to fear for my livelihood due to a day-job that does pay enough to cover the basics such as energy, gasoline, insurance, food, etc., I’ll shut down the patreon again after fulfilling any remaining commitments.
This is a long shot, I am aware of that – consider it a wild stab in the dark, one shot of capturing lightning in a bottle.
(And yes, if by some miracle enough comes together, I’ll start saving for gencon and potentially go full-time reviewer – but that realistically won’t happen.)
Thanks for reading this,