As I’d hoped, the holiday season was an exceedingly pleasant time for me. And it helped me hone in on precisely what I want to do, how I want to live, in 2019.
I’ll use Instagram a bit more, but not that much more, to share photos and keep in touch with certain people.
I will update my main website, logospilgrim.com, once or twice a month.
I’ll focus my online time on Patreon, as I wrote in my previous blog post.
I decided to make the physical material I send out to second and third tier members as simple as possible (though third tier members also get copies of everything I publish, and exclusive items): a monthly copy of my newsletter Quiet Times, and a copy of my zine Stay Home Vagabond, which I have simplified (shorter, artwork on the cover, handwritten, photocopied content, colored paper cover that’s easier to fold than cardboard). Creating, and mailing, physical content is quite time and energy consuming, and after I sent the last batch of zines, I was exhausted and felt overwhelmed at the mere thought of doing it again and again and again (for an increasing number of people!). The logical and practical solution was to simplify the zines, which are important to me and which I very much want to send to my Patreon members. I firmly believe in the importance of material creations, of physical products. And I have nice handwriting.
I recently gave my Patreon account a new look. The other thing I’ll be doing on Patreon in 2019: first tier members will have access to some of my blog posts, photos, and online essays, second tier members will have access to more of them, and third tier members to all of them. On occasion, a post will be accessible to members and non-members.
The Patreon model appeals to me tremendously. What I do is, indeed, worthy of support and remuneration.
The Internet evolved (if one may put it that way) into something that spouts the following harmful message: content must be free, unless it originates from a mega-wealthy giant corporation. Of course you need to pay to see a film and so on, but not if the film, the artwork, the text, and so on, was created by a “minor” person with little influence/funds/power etc.
Hence the heft of platforms like Twitter, Faceborg, and others. The whole idea is to profit from the efforts of users, who offer everything, or practically everything, they post for free: their ideas, thoughts, lives, moments, art, writing, creativity, their selves… Like hamsters on a wheel, they give these platforms life and momentum: the energy of users fuels advertisement-driven algorithms designed to keep users running on their wheels, going nowhere, while the platforms, who demand free content, gorge themselves on the spoils, on the lifeblood of users who are lulled into believing that virtual is better, that their lives, their identities, their creations, their relationships, are only worth something if they’re dumped into the all-consuming electronic stream. The “likes” are bait designed to hook users and give a spark of pleasure and reassurance to their brain. “Here’s your Monopoly money, you’re someone now! Have some Coke.”
As Tom Hodgkinson, the founder of the brilliant publication The Idler, puts it,
We are true believers in the “pay to subscribe” business model rather than the “free but you become a target for advertising” approach. Paradoxically, getting it for free leads to slavery where paying for it leads to freedom.
Tom, incidentally, wrote an excellent article about Faceborg, which you can read here: With friends like these…
And then, there’s the tyranny of electronic devices drawing us into an omnipresent virtual “reality”—you must always be available, always “on,” always answering, always listening, never “missing” anything. Pay attention to those alert sounds, pitiful serf. Your blood is drained away, and you begin nourishing yourself with the insubstantial feeds that scroll by without ever stopping. You become an addict, a drone, a slave. You’re flawed if you don’t keep up. You’re uncaring, defective, defunct.
Absent. As though you didn’t exist.
This is foolishness, and I won’t have it.
This year, I’ll write more books, starting with Masterful; I’m getting back to work on it this week. Then, there will be more. And I’ll write about what delights me. I’ll write short books in my rambling Beat poet way, and a number of them will only be available to patrons. Their support gives me vitality, resources, and encouragement. For less than the price of a cup of coffee a month, members have access to my work: that’s not too much to ask. Yes, I will have at least that much nerve. And I too support fellow creators there—it delights me to do so.
Patreon has given me a great deal of verve and confidence, more so than almost anything else since I began independently publishing my work. 2018 was my first year having a Patreon account; in 2019, I’m ready to make it into something marvelous.
I love to be alone, and I love to communicate. I resolve this paradox by writing. Writing is my activity, my voice, my lifeforce. And I value it, more so than I ever have. I value myself. I enjoy writing, but it also demands much of me, without even factoring in the depleting trivialities and stresses of daily life.
This year, apart from my writing, I’ll focus on playing the violin; reading tarot; making macramé (I stopped after certain incredibly intense and life-changing events took place, and I’ve only just begun to get my bearings back); reading; photography; creating art; enjoying my toy collection; enjoying my life how and where I choose. I’ll frequent local businesses, drink hot apple cider at vibrant nearby cafés, savor the silence at the local library, stroll down the main street with my backpack and notebook.
I feel good. Strong. I make decisions based on my needs, preferences, and aptitudes. I choose my life. I choose myself. It’s a good place to be.