A little experiment: Sharing the love at Patreon

So, here’s an interesting thing – I have a favour to ask. Would you be willing to be part of an experiment with me?

Back in September, I shared how I was moving most, if not all, my spontaneous creative work to Patreon. It’s why I’ve been so quiet here since.

A small number of people followed me over there, and I’ve been posting fairly regularly – new songs, impromptu jams, an unfinished novel, prompted poetry – you know, that sort of thing…

I’d like to get more people there but I came across something really, really ANNOYING about Patreon’s functionality.

Put simply, it’s REALLY difficult to find artists on Patreon, unless they’re already successful.

The flip-side of this is that it’s nearly impossible for an artist to find patrons on Patreon! Basically, you have to build audience elsewhere, and get them to Patreon to pay you.

[Patreon then reaps the reward of your hard work through their fee]

Sigh… Such is the way of things in the arts on the internet.

Still, it got me thinking – and the idea for my little experiment began to form.

Here it is in a nutshell:

For every 5 patrons I have at Patreon, I will ask the community to tell me 3 undiscovered artists who I can, in turn, sponsor on Patreon.

Basically, each one of my patrons will actually be sponsoring 1.6 artists just by sponsoring me at Patreon

[8 artists sponsored by 5 Patrons]

Though, of course, in reality it’s me sponsoring the extra 3.

[and yes, passing on 60% of my sponsorship]

My self-interest is simply to be able to afford to keep making music, writing books, and offering them to the world – but to be able to do that while also helping others do the same is just amazing.

So, here’s my question: Are you willing to be part of my experiment?

If so, all you need to do is sponsor me at Patreon – here are the per-month levels:

  • $1 – No reward – just for those who want to help me do what I do
  • $1 – Music Fan – you receive a physical and digital copy of any new CD I release
  • $2 – Avid Reader – you will receive a hard- or e-copy of any new novel I release
  • $10 – SUPERFAN! – you will receive physical and digital copies of any new CD or Novel I release, and private invitation to special events online and face-to-face

And, of course, you can choose to pay more than those subscription levels, but the amounts above are the minimum to get going.

So what say you? Are you willing to help me help you help my sisters and brothers in art?

Sponsor me at Patreon

Some things for you to ignore

Because right now, in all honesty, I’m tired of self-promotion and trying to persuade you to read/listen/enjoy anything I’ve put into the world.

So go ahead, please ignore…

Novels
Records
Poetry
Live Music
iOS Apps

Yes, but you have to have a pigeon-hole…

I’ve been called many things

[some of them nice, some not so much]

but the term I keep hearing is renaissance man which, according to dictionary.com means:

noun
1. a cultured man of the Renaissance who was knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of fields.

2. (sometimes lowercase) a present-day man who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.

Seeing as how I can’t claim Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo among my contemporaries, I guess I must be number 2

[hehehehe… he said number 2…]

I don’t know that my knowledge or proficiency in any field is profound

[that’d be up to others to judge]

I generally think of myself as still being like I was when I was young: just plain  interested in everything that catches my interest. Which is generally good enough for me, and gets me to this body of artistic and professional work that I love so much.

Then I hear something like I heard last night.

Apparently, I was almost passed over for a solo show because

I need someone acoustic, he just does electric

Wait… What?!!

Did this not happen?

Or this?

It bugged me. It really did. Then I realized, I have the exact same reaction when people say they’re looking for a band but didn’t consider me. Even though this happens:

And this:

I can’t blame people – it can be tough for me to keep track of all the things I get up to.

And, of course, we live in a passive ‘push’ world, where everyone who wants to share anything has to compete against information overload. In this push world, I can build my audience here, and over at Facebook and only reach less than 10% of that audience per post.

And, unlike the world the internet talking heads rhapsodize, very few people share things onward

[those that do are a rare, and generous, gift]

So I have to repeat myself.

Again.

And again.

And again.

As someone who gets really twitchy about too much self-promotion, it’s exhausting to keep folk aware of what’s going on; constantly running the self-perceived risk of boring people with repetition.

I’ve been going through that this week with the release of Writers Flow – Music For Writing. The umpteenth post in the umpteenth direction and I feel like someone’s out there just grinding their teeth

Sheesh! Can’t Tuckwood just give it a rest with all his self-promotion?!!

But the truth is, I can’t, because I haven’t even mentioned:

  • Escalation
  • Family Rules
  • Karaoke Criminals
  • Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies?
  • Garbled Glittering Glamours
  • Grope
  • Writers Unblocked
  • We Are Story
  • mySetlist
  • myOrgDev
  • View Beyond LLC

and a shit-load of other stuff. If I don’t mention them, no-one else will. If I’m not in your face, telling you about my stuff NO ONE ELSE IS.

Exhausting.

Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to do one thing, to sit in one pigeon-hole – wouldn’t it be easier to just have to sell yourself as

the best [fill in the blank] in the world

then I really think about what that would feel like, the constraints, the constriction. I’ll take my exhaustion over that sensation any day.

Though, this morning, I wish there was some easy way to point out all the pigeon-holes I sit in at once.

I wish there was a Zagat’s guide for Vince.

I really do.

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

Time to catch up

If you’ve ever wanted to catch-up on my novels and CDs, now is the best time to do so!

For the next two weeks, the combo pack (4 novels/2 CDs) will be priced at just $50 – buying the items individually would cost in the region of $130!

This offer is only available at my Bandcamp merchandise page.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

It’s been five years…

Well, it seems that Christmas Eve is here again – the tree is up, prezzies underneath, food ready for the cooking – and I’m looking forward to time spent in love with my beautiful ladies.

Today is special for me in another way, though. Five years ago today was my last day worked at Pfizer, my last day employed by anyone other than myself, my last day of that corporate shape I inhabited for nearly 20 years

[though it would take a further 10 months of detox to complete that particular journey]

and it’s got me kind of reflective on who, what, where, when, how and why…

These five years have passed very quickly – a reflection, I think, of my will to live my portfolio life. I’d always pictured myself as a plate spinner, all those plates on top of their poles, and me dancing from one to the next, giving it a little spin to keep the momentum up; to make sure nothing crashed to the ground.

That’s pretty much how life works now, and I know it would drive some people crazy trying to keep so many things going; for me, it’s my natural state. I get bored otherwise

[and there are few things worse than finding me in a slump]

Five years…

I’ve got stuff done for sure, and know I’ll get more stuff done in the years to come. But when I think of the last five years, it’s less about work and more about who I’ve become

[and continue to become]

  • A son thankful to still have his parents around, and for the solid ground that his sister and brother provide
  • A father mesmerized by his daughters’ journey through life
  • A husband who continues to be amazed by the beauty and soul of his wife
  • A martial artist living his black-belt principles in all he does
  • A musician who still finds the wonder in wire and wood, melody and harmonics
  • A lover in the widest sense of the word, blessed by everyone he knows and cares for

And my corporate shape? To him, I say “thank you”. For getting me here. For protecting me enough that I didn’t get subsumed. For never forgetting that I had a choice, that I always knew I was making a compromise.  Though he’s five years in the rear-view mirror, I can still see him

[and feel him every once in a while, mostly when working with clients who look and sound so similar]

I don’t fear him any more, nor judge him to harshly. I don’t resent stolen time, nor wish I could go back and try again. He is who I was then, not who I am now, nor who I will be five years from now.

And that’s why life is so cool.

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

Thursday Insight – Interesting times indeed

Those following along at home will know that I’ve been fairly quiet of late

[aside from lots of posts linking songs and videos]

There’s a good reason of course: this artistic  life doesn’t keep the roof over our heads, nor food on the table and, frankly, I needed to get some paying work. Which I did. But to do so, I took a very structured choice to put all

[pure]

creative projects on hold. I couldn’t give myself fully to growing my business while also diving deep into the pool. Neither effort would be successful – and, while my soul needs creativity to be successful, a LOT more rides upon my ability to put food on the table. It was a weird time all right, and I can’t say I fully enjoyed the sensation of constraining my creative energies.

But it is what it is

[and I still played the guitar throughout!]

Business done, and can now turn my attention back to those projects that have been lingering:

  • Grope – the record progress well, some vocals to retrack and mixing, but it’s sounding pretty much as I wanted it to.
  • Vincent Tuckwood Band – I’ve recorded and performed my original music in a band setting as Monkey68 for a number of years. With the release of Sparse, and my solo work under my own name, beginning to get some traction, like my recent public access television appearance:

    it doesn’t make sense to maintain two separate brands – so Monkey68 will be retained for more esoteric recording excursions, but the band will now be under my own name.

  • RUFUS – this novel was about 30,000 words in when I put things on hold, I like what I have, and Rufus (and his journey) is pretty cool, though I admit I have some story arcs to refine before I can take it much further, not least of which is the presence of a very dangerous, yet passive suite of bad guys – they’re bad all right, it’s just that a lot of it’s under cover – I have to figure them out before I can go much further.
  • ASYLUM – originally a short film project (that got to about 1/5 of its funding target via KickStarter), I always knew that Sol’s journey was more than the short film, and over the last few months, the expanded story has been tickling at me – too early to share specifics, but I have begun mapping out the book. Like ESCALATION, I believe it’s going to be a quick write. One thing I do know is the title of the novel, which won’t be Asylum, but I’m not sharing it just yet

[yes, I am a real tease]

It’s interesting to dive back into these pools, and their welcome embrace. Like many artists, I wish I could do so without the constraints of considering where the next buck is coming from, but I’ve managed

[so far]

to balance things out. For a long time now, I’ve been putting faith into building a body of work that folk can dive into  when they become interested. With 4 novels, a handful of screenplays, a poetry collection and one record out, that faith is beginning to feel justified now. With what’s coming it’ll feel even more justified.

Interesting times indeed!

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

Thursday Insight – When the writing isn’t writing

I was working on the new novel

[RUFUS – coming up on 29,000 words as of this morning, just entered act 2]

this morning and had a total falling-through-the-page session.

I was  lost in the conversation between Rufus and Mac, where much of what’s been confusing Rufus in act 1 is made clear. What fun; writing as fluidity, and finally releasing the pressure I’d been building up for over 200 pages

[of my draft, at least]

Anyone who writes, whether fiction or otherwise, has experienced this level of flow, or at least I hope so

[and, if not, have you considered Writers Unblocked?]

When I was writing Escalation, I adopted for the first time a practice of limiting my writing on the book to a daily quota – in productivity terms, it worked very well, with the first draft being written in a little over four months. In sanity terms, it worked exceptionally well, no block, no doubt, just the sheer joy of the writing.

My current practice is to write one word and then the next, with a commitment to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day.

Now, that may not sound like much, but if I were a machine, it would bring one of my novels from idea to finished draft in around 3 months; more than acceptable!

If I go over the 1,000, I don’t beat myself up, but I have developed a near muscle-memory ability to notice this and wind down soon thereafter – It leaves me fulfilled but not burnt out, so maybe its a simple protective mechanism?

Today, when I finished writing my quota, I was reflecting on how the writing feels; that time-line of 3 months for a book, and how for a screen-play my expectations would be totally different. Not only is the type of writing different – in my view, novels encompass past, present, future and alternate universes in time and space, while screenplays may draw upon those factors but stay so very present-tense in the writing – but I also think the process is fundamentally different.

You see, my expectation and experience of screen-writing, tell me that the first draft is done QUICKLY – I’m talking a matter of days, if not hours. Very, very different from  my novels. But where my books come out at least 90% of where they end up after review and editing

[and, in Escalation’s case, it was >98% done on that first draft]

I know that screenplays take multiple, multiple re-drafts.

The closest metaphor I’ve got for myself is that writing novels is like planting, nurturing and growing a garden – it becomes what it will be under these typing green fingers. A screenplay, though, is like bonsai – a first crude cut that kind-of-sort-of has the potential to be the perfect shape of something much larger than itself – the bonsai artist works in minute detail on the specific, with an eye to its relation to the whole.

That’s what screen-writing is for me, bonsai – which is why my experience of writing the two different formats is so different experientially. I rarely fall through the page while working on screenplays, though there are moments of joy when a page of dialogue suddenly contracts to one sentence, or a look from one character, or a symbolic image, which is as perfect as a tiny, clipped branch. Those moments can be very satisfying, though there is much work and focus to get them.

Do I prefer either format? I don’t think so, not really. So long as the story is compulsive enough, and fits the format I’m in, I’m a happy boy.

Right now, RUFUS is moving forward, and our itinerant songster with an unexpected mission to fulfill is happy to let me walk his path.

And, as ever, that’s good enough for me!

Love-Peace-Trust,

Vince Sig 131x89