An Awkward Request Ahead of the Holidays

An Awkward Request Ahead of the Holidays November 14, 2023


An unappetizing plate of Thanksgiving dinner with a close-up of lumps of mashed potatoes, cranberries, vegetables and stuffing
image via Pixabay

Hey folks,

I really, really hate posting the tip jar boilerplate, even more than you hate reading it. I cringe so hard when writing it that it takes longer than any other posts I write. try to write one only every three months or so and then post it on social media every day or so without thinking too much about it. It’s just that we’re in an awful jam so I have to write out a special one.

I looked back at my old posts and I had to do this last November as well. November is just a very lean time and it’s the moment before the craziness of the holiday season starts.

I don’t get paid for this blog except for a three-digit check every month or two for clicks in the United States. I get paid in random amounts at random times: for my book royalties, and for writing articles for a real newspaper lately, and for other writing projects I’ve been working on that I’ll let you know about soon. I still rely heavily on the tip jar and subscribed patrons who pay me a little or a lot at the same time every month, and those have been slowly building up, and I am extremely grateful.  But with algorithms changing all over social media and especially on crazy Twitter/X, I never know how many people are seeing the blog anymore and it’s adding to the instability. I never know exactly what I’m going to make from month to month. Everything goes great except when it doesn’t. The past couple of months have been the best time of Adrienne’s life now that she’s in middle school, and extremely challenging for me as she brings back bugs and viruses and I get sick, and my chronic illness clobbers me with fatigue for getting sick, so my plan of looking for part-time work in Steubenville is on hold just now.

The cost of living went up with the inflation the past couple of years and even though I’m making more than I used to, I can’t keep up with it.  We never did get the final repairs for Serendipity and pretty soon it will be too cold for Jimmy to work on cars outside his house all day long. I need a repairman to find the reason the dryer won’t heat up so we can stop wasting money at the laundromat every other day. I have had to borrow help from friends and put off paying them back way more often than I’d like to talk about.

Just at this moment, Adrienne keeps reminding me how excited she is for a great big Thanksgiving dinner followed by Christmas, while I smile and nod and worry because I have to mail a rent check postmarked on the fifteenth and there’s about fifty bucks in the checking account.

So I am awkwardly passing the hat for some more regular tippers, especially for the middle of the month when we have to pay rent, and I am asking those who can’t give regularly to remember me when they can, and I am profusely thanking the tippers I do have who have gotten me this far. Thank you for appreciating my work. If you are the kind of person who puts five or twenty dollars in the tip jar when you notice it, you’ve really helped me and you do not need to feel guilty about this post or feel like you should give me more when you can’t. Also, thank you so much to the people who can’t afford to leave me a tip at all but who keep reading and commenting and sharing my work, all of which boosts my standing in the mysterious social media algorithms and is the reason I stay alive.  You are great.

In order to leave me a tip, go to the donate page here and click on the bright yellow button, and PayPal will walk you through the rest. It says “donate” but they’re not charitable donations, they’re just tips and I pay taxes on them like tips. I realize that a lot of content creators have a Buy Me a Coffee page and a link to their Venmo or whatever as well, I’m working on getting those things ready for prime time, but right now I have the PayPal button. Thanks for understanding.

And now I’ll stop cringing about having to write this, and go back to writing that’s worth your time!





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