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Bloggers on Patreon

I’ve contributed to several Patreon accounts over the years, mostly relating to podcasts. Recently, I found a link to an account that offered essays and journals entries behind the paywall. I wasn’t sure what to make of this. This writer wasn’t a published author or even a popular online blogger, it was just someone who wrote for fun. She had put together some self-published books and wanted to discuss her fascination with a 90’s TV show that interested me.

A handful of her essays were made free and after reading the first one, which mentioned an exploration of the before mentioned TV show and it’s similarities with our modern society, I was intrigued to read more. I couldn’t quite tell if the rest were behind the pay wall, but for a $1.50 I decided to take the leap.

It’s strange paying for online writing in such a way. These posts were essentially the type of thing that people give away for free on blogs. The author valued her writing more than free, and well… I guess I couldn’t blame her. $1.50 is a very reasonable amount and way cheaper than a magazine or novel. I’d be okay with paying a lot of the bloggers I enjoy $1.50 a month.

Once I subscribed, I noticed the hinted at article was not posted yet and it had been almost a month. I sent a quick message over and she apologized and promised it would be out within the week. A couple of days later, it was posted and I found this satisfying.

Blogging/writing online a lot of the time feels like you are talking into a void. Sure, the comments help, but for some reason I guess I felt heard. Maybe it’s because I was paying for the opportunity to feel heard. Did I elevate the importance of her writing as well as my comment by paying? Did her actual response and follow through make me feel appreciated? Would I have felt this way had she had several hundred or thousand followers where my voice was more likely to be lost in the masses?

I think what impressed me the most about this interaction was that it felt a little bit like the small internet that once was. Folks who created and weren’t trying to sale something, and micro-communities that popped up because of it. It’s quite rewarding and even invigorating to participate in such a community. I’m almost nostalgic already for that short time period when the pandemic first started, and folks turned to blogging and creating. For a few months there, it was wonderful to see so many new and old voices discussing their lives, struggles, and fears. Of course, as the world opened back up, those blogs were mostly abandoned and now it’s just us hobbyists who continue to write.

I guess this experience poses the question, “What is the value of a blog?” and “What price do we put on our writing?”

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