A story about me

I have been making stories for as long as I can remember. I started paraphrasing nursery rhymes at the age of about 2, started writing poems and stories at school. They frequently made no sense, because my mind would race ahead of my hand, and large chunks of the story in my head simply never made it to the paper.

All through my teens I studied hard with the intention of becoming a journalist. It was the only ‘proper’ job writers could have, as far as I could see. Sure, there were authors creating and getting published but I had grown up with the same question ringing in my head- how are you going to make money? I wasn’t encouraged to set my sights higher, to take the risks. How else are you going to make money?

I was excited by crafting, and making things. But that wasn’t a job, at least not in the minds of my parents. I tried other things but kept coming back to the ‘safe’ option of admin, which bored me rigid. But how else are you going to make money?

I tried teaching high-school aged kids. I was too young, too broken from my own high-school experience to separate the two. It didn’t work. It was back to admin after less than a year. But how else are you going to make money?

I started writing flash fiction. I was pretty damn good at it. 365 Tomorrows published every story I submitted. Eventually after a stretch of writing 200-word fictions from prompts from friends on my old Livejournal blog, I was invited to write for Elephant Words, and I did until my divorce meant I didn’t have the mental space for a weekly short story, even.

I finally quit admin when it became clear to me that I couldn’t do it well because I simply didn’t care about it. I spent nearly a year puzzling over what to do with my life. But how are you going to make money?

A friend introduced me to the manager of a web team who were looking for a writer. They thought I’d be a good fit. I was hired. And I was home. I had come back to my first love, writing. I was earning a living doing something I actually enjoyed, and wanted to be good at.

I still loved craft, wanted to find a way to express that and me to others, to change their worlds in some way. But I also wanted- still want- to be really good at what I do.

That’s where Webstock comes in. My first web job sent me and it was amazing. The following year I was working for a government department who would change entire sections of a website because “the minister pulled a face”. They didn’t spend money on their staff. No Webstock for me. This year, I’m at a place which would send me, if they could afford to. Which they can’t.

I still want to be better at what I do. I still want to go. But the question again, this time not the fear asking me, but a genuine puzzle. But how are you going to make the money…for a ticket?

That’s where crowdfunding comes in. Of course, this isn’t quite an ordinary campaign. There aren’t t-shirts, or posters. Just me, and my crafts. Writing, and making. The rewards are things I can make myself- cross-stitches, portable device cosies, thank-you letters, stories. The chance to make me wear a truly hideous jumper to the convention (it’ll be a talking point, I’m sure).

How are you going to make money?

I’m going to spread happiness. I’m going to give special things to the people who offer to help me. Unique things. Crafted with love and a punk rock attitude.

If you’ll help me, I’ll give you one of them.

But how are you going to make money?

By asking people. By placing faith in the generosity of others.

Click the link to go to the Pledgeme campaign. I hope you’ll consider pledging.