This post originally appeared on my Patreon account.
Are you good at keeping promises? Because I’m not.
Let me re-phrase: I’m not good at keeping some promises. If I’m supposed to show up for something at a certain time, there’s a good chance I’ll be there. If someone needs me to do something for them, there’s a good chance I’ll do it.
Our culture taught us children to never make promises that we couldn’t keep, because if we DID make said promise, we would be under a life-or-death obligation to keep it.
Broken promises makes for a great title of problematic pop songs with lyrics like, “oh, why did you leave? You promised you would stay, I hate now and forever, blah.”
That’s how we’re trained to think about how we interact with other people. Somehow, we have allowed some silly word to control our whole lives. But here’s my issue with promises: promises don’t allow for much change. Because, and here’s the real doozy, things change. People change. Situations change. Life takes unexpected turns, emotions are fickle and fleeting.
Someone promised you eternal love but broke up with you anyway? So what? That happens. Be glad of it, because odds are they broke up with you because they either didn’t love you anymore because SURPRISE, feelings change, or they’re dealing with their own shit and didn’t want to drag you into it. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Have a good cry, eat some ice cream, watch your favorite movie, and get on with your life.
Wouldn’t you rather be free to find someone else who’s passions and feeling align with yours than be stuck with someone who’s become a complete stranger?
Over the past year or so, I’ve been struggling to come up with ways to “engage my audiences,” “build up my social media following,” and “strengthen my brand image.” One of the ways to do that, according to the internet, is to go out of your way to make other people happy. Lay down at their feet, give them what they want. Meet your deadlines, constantly come up with more things for them to consume and engage with so you don’t become old news.
I tried that. Guess what? It’s totally freaking exhausting and I had to stop because burnout is a real thing and I had it bad.
So here I am, messing around with a Patreon account, reading blog posts about how to be a successful Patreon creator. According to other people, one way to do that is by making promises and then keeping them. Well, guess what I’m really bad at when it comes to creativity?
Sometimes I don’t have the energy for things. Sometimes I run out of ideas. Sometimes I get sick of doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes I take really long breaks and then come back with a whole new idea in mind. Maybe that’s fickle, maybe it’s why my twitter following stays at about 3.4k and why I have yet to reach anywhere near that many people on Instagram. Maybe that’s why my website is quiet, why I had to call it quits on freelance writing.
But I will promise you this right here and now: I will always, always be honest. I will tell you how I feel and why I think I feel that way, I will tell you what I am doing and what I am not doing. I will always and forever be a real person, not just some content creator who spews out generic BS because they have to. I will create things that are genuine, meaningful and true. I promise I will write stories from my very own heart.
That’s why I haven’t set up any tiers yet here, why I haven’t gone above and beyond to talk about all the things that are coming. I don’t know what’s coming, and I don’t want to make any specific promises because I don’t want to limit myself and my own creative energies in having to try to rise to meet them.
So here I am, internet. I’m a writer who talks about real shit using magical settings and themes, who knows her own mind, who wants to form real connections with those who chose to follow her. If you would like to support me, go right on ahead – I thank you for it and will come up with something to reward you at some point. But if you’re just along for the ride? You’re welcome to take a seat.