Patreon, the future and feelings

Silence Killed the Dinosaurs started out as a whim. It continued as a way to help me cope through the worst of my chronic fatigue syndrome. Now I would like it to be a little more.

I have been thinking about how to write this for a few weeks, and I have made a couple of false starts. It’s all been wrong.

So I’ll start by telling you this:

I have set up a Patreon page to support my writing and illustrating for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs.

For those who don’t know, Patreon is a crowdfunding site designed specially for creators who have a constant output (i.e., writing, art, comics, music, podcasts, etc.). Instead of a big one-off fund-raising goal, patrons opt to pledge a smaller amount (as little as a $1) each month.

Don’t worry, Silence Killed the Dinosaurs will remain free to anyone who wishes to see it.

But if you like my work and think it’s worth a couple of dollars every now and then, please consider becoming my patron. There are some cool extras and rewards available for those of you who do.

If you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) support me that way but would still like to help out, please consider sharing my work around on social media and telling friends about it. I would really appreciate it.

If you don’t want to do that either, we’re still cool. But maybe leave a comment and tell me the picture I did for my Patreon banner is totally kick-arse. Because it is. Go look at it. That thing took me ages to get right.

Ages.

And now that has been said, I’ll tell you some news:

My chronic fatigue syndrome has improved.

I’m not better, but I am better than I was six months ago. I might improve more over the next six months. I might not. I don’t know.

I am still not well enough to drive, catch a bus or find employment. But I have more energy and fewer migraines. I can help around the house. And, more relevant for you, I can concentrate better and for longer, meaning I can write and draw more.

Maybe I’ll never be well enough work as a librarian like I had planned and studied for before I got sick. But there’s more to me than my university degree and plenty of other things out there. Maybe I could be a professional writer/illustrator.

Which brings me to something else that I want to say but could never get the lead up right (and still can’t):

All this—Silence Killed the Dinosaurs, you guys—saved me.

Maybe that’s a soppy, silly thing to say on the internet, but I don’t care. It’s true. Probably you didn’t mean to. Probably you didn’t even notice. It’s still true. You saved me and it means everything.

I was so sick that I barely left the house. I ached all over all the time. I was too tired to think. On bad days I spent the entire day lying down. On really bad days I would not eat food or drink water until my partner returned from work in the evening because I was unable to stand and go to the kitchen.

But I wrote and I drew. Not always a lot. Not always well. Not at all on bad days. But I never stopped, even when it felt hopeless.

And you guys.

I little while back I wrote about the awkward conversations I have about not ‘doing’ anything. It was written to be entertaining, and I like to think it was, but it didn’t come from an entertaining place. Chronic fatigue syndrome had been getting me down. I felt like I was achieving nothing and that I was worthless.

But then I got heaps of comments from you guys telling me that of course I do something—I do this.

The idea needed some time to simmer. It didn’t just tip me into a new way of thinking and a new way of doing things, but I thought about it a lot over the last couple of months. And then when I visited New Zealand I filled out my occupation on those customs cards. You do two; one for the country you leave before you get on the plane and another for the country you are going to while you are on the plane. Somewhere in the air things clicked into place. I left Australia unemployed, but I arrived in New Zealand a writer.

Putting it down in words like that was weirdly hard to do—especially as there weren’t enough little boxes to fit /illustrator—but I was brave and I did it.

I consider my life saved.

And now I’m going to go do some scary things with it, like putting my work out there and finding new ways to challenge myself creatively. Please hang around while I do it. We’ll tell jokes and I’ll draw dinosaurs. It’ll be fun, I promise.

The last thing I wanted to say was just this:

Thank you.

extinction comic

22 thoughts on “Patreon, the future and feelings

  1. Great uplifting all-around post… I’ve thought about looking into some funding myself. I wish I were in a better position to fund people like you that I enjoy… but I haven’t figured out my own funding yet, for like necessities and stuff! One day… I hope to be able to give back though.

  2. Your post are so hilarious always that this is a news to me! You are a wonderful illustrator and All your illustration are kick ass!
    And this post has best one coz Dino is kicking using cricket bat ( as I would like to believe )! Yay! All the best.

  3. I’m so glad your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome seems to be alleviating. I don’t suffer from it, but can definitely relate to the depression you mention. Creating work like your blog and hilarious comic strips can be really cathartic – especially when it can potentially help someone else out there who’s felt similar. The Pride and Prejudice Spiders definitely bring a smile to my face.
    Congratulations on getting on Patreon! Do you think you’d ever create a picture-book of your comic strips?
    Oh, and your banner kicks meteor ass.

    1. Thank you! Especially for the banner comment. I’m glad you liked the Austenified spiders. I always meant to revisit them, but never quite got around to it. Maybe I will yet.

      I don’t currently have a plan to make book of comics. That kind of thing has seemed so far out of my reach that I haven’t given it much serious thought. But I would love to. So maybe, if things work out.

  4. If you do any books, I will buy a copy of each one. That is a promise. I love your work.

    And I am glad you are feeling better. Here are hopes for continued improvement.

  5. I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better! Woo Hoo! Your Patreon banner is awesome, and I see the “clever girl” shirt made an appearance. :D

    As soon as I get some extra funds of my own I’m totally becoming a Patron. Your writing and drawing has definitely helped me deal with my own Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now if only we could permanently smack CFS off the planet with a cricket bat too.

  6. You are a writer and artist already! And you certainly made my life sweeter by having a place to laugh and cry and share the experience of having ME/CFS (Or whatever the heck they call it now days). I’m proud to support you in your new endeavor!

    1. Thanks! I’ll keep it in mind! But there’s nothing right now. Silence Killed the Dinosaurs could not reasonably be classed as sci fi or horror. Although I do write other things, I have nothing complete (or remotely close to being complete) just yet.

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