On hiatuses and the stress of producing paid content.

So it’s been a while.

When I shut this blog down last year, I had wanted to do so with a grand send-off, a farewell, and a series of excellent articles. But things didn’t go that way. I was in a bad way when I posted my last update and simply couldn’t bring myself to write a proper explanation for the downfall of the blog, or why things ended the way they did. Over a year later, however, I feel it’s important that I explain myself and delve a little into what happened.

The first part is focusing on Patreon.

I first published my Patreon after losing my job and having my financial aid revoked, leaving my unable to pay for my classes. I ended up taking a quarter off school to look for work, and used the funds I got from Patreon to keep me afloat. For a while, this was good. I was able to put forward my passion for writing and get paid at the same time.

But then school happened. And it was good for a while, but I found it difficult to balance school, work, and my blog. The updates slowed, but I still tried to keep a stiff upper lip about it.

After I graduated, I had hoped to use my writing to springboard into a writing career. But things weren’t working out. A series of events in my life corroded my self-esteem, and my writing just didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. A lot of my articles just didn’t hit with the same intensity as my earlier writing, and it felt like they were making smaller and smaller splashes each time.

And then there was Patreon.

The downside of producing paid content that people send money for each and every week is that it places some expectations on you. Not only did I feel pressured to make new and interesting articles each and every week, but I convinced myself that I needed to make articles that my patrons wanted to read.

This is where I made a mistake.

My heaviest of hitters hit hard because I was writing about things I was passionate about. In trying to think about what people would like, rather than what I wanted to write about, I severely limited the topics of my articles. To make matters worse, I let patrons decide on articles, and thus had to come up with multiple choices for article topics. This tied my hands even further, as I would sometimes give an option that I didn’t feel nearly as passionate about.

In retrospect, most of my patrons at the time would have been fine with my continuing to write about whatever I wanted. But I was running with blinders on and didn’t consider what was actually best for my blog.

Then, there’s the art.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to draw comics. My early exposure to manga convinced me I was destined to make manga, and I continued on focusing on that until my teenage years. A few bad experiences convinced me art just wasn’t for me, and I left it in favor of writing.

In late 2016, I rediscovered an interest in art, and while my attempts were comically bad, I kept at it. Eventually I carved a little niche for myself, and I’ve been refining that ever since.

But I put too much on my plate.

Between art, my blog, and starting a retail job in early 2017, I stretched myself too thin. I was under extreme stress and anxiety, and took joy in virtually nothing, feeling that I owed it to my patrons to write. But writing caused my stress to get worse, and it all spiraled out.

Eventually, I just petered out. I didn’t even have the energy to post a proper farewell. I haven’t been able to bear even looking at this blog since then.

Until now.

If you follow me on twitter, you know I still have a lot to say. Too much, in fact, for twitter to handle. And with my art and opinions vying for space, I feel that it only makes sense to re-open this avenue for writing. So it lives, once again.

Things will be different this time, however. There will be no Patreon, no update schedule, no obligations. Articles will be posted when I have an opinion I wanna write about, and the time and energy to do it justice. To this end, I have removed all Patreon links from older articles and will likely be redesigning the site in the near future.

To wrap this up, I would like to take an opportunity to thank Steven Hopkins, who not only supported the blog through thick and thin, but has also been incredibly supportive of me even after I stopped writing. A truly awesome friend, I would not have gotten nearly this far without him. So thank you for years of support and encouragement, from the bottom of my heart.

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