To be honest, I am not quite sure what other words I have to say.
Over 1000 downloads. So many beautiful, kind emails and tweets. A 4.8-star Goodreads rating and endlessly gorgeous reviews. My expectations for Heaven or This have been blown out of the water. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
This book is a compilation of months of tears, laughter, thoughts, dreams, frustrations, wonders. I had had only moderate hopes for it - but seeing the incredible response, I'm in awe. That Heaven or This struck a chord with so many of you, and brought you light to cast upon the darkness of this week, is the greatest outcome I ever could have hoped for. I adore you.
Many have asked, though, why the deluxe edition of Heaven or This exists. And today I thought I might answer the questions floating through my inbox.
Why must you charge for the book? What's wrong with having just a free chapbook? Are you selling out? I loved the regular edition, but I don't want to pay for the deluxe edition.
Questions such as these pop up often. And my answer is always the same:
Art has value. Art has value. Art has value. Art has value.
Let me elaborate.
A few words that you lovelies have used to describe my pieces, in Heaven or This and otherwise: "gorgeous", "vibrant", "full of warmth", "achingly real".
These words make my heart sing. They mean so much to me; I cannot emphasise enough how lucky I feel whenever I hear them.
But alas: kind words will not pay Six Impossible Things' hosting fees. Not Half Mystic's printing and shipping fees. Kind words will not materialise into currency to pay the beautiful artist who painted the cover of Heaven or This.
In a future hurtling towards me far too quickly, kind words will not keep the lights on or a roof over my head. They will not pay for the groceries.
Kind words mean everything to me, but kind words are not enough.
And I believe that my poetry, my art, has worth beyond kind words.
Art has value. I put out poetry for free on a regular basis - but my loves, this is not my prerogative. Rather, it is my gift. I have no obligation to do this - but I do it because I adore it, because there is nothing I would rather be doing. When I share poetry with you for free, consider it a present. Consider it me, looking in your eyes, saying: I have created this for you, and no one else.
Sharing poetry for free is a conscious choice. And charging money for poetry is just the same.
I believe firmly that my art - that all art - deserves to be paid for. It is valuable. It is worth a small fee per month. I have supported, and am supporting, so many artists through crowdfunding sites - because no matter how much art that they share with me for free, this does nothing to lessen the fact that their art has always been a gift.
We use our time, our energy, our resources, our emotions to create beautiful things. How can there not be worth in that? How can there not be monetary value?
My friends, when I ask you to support me on Patreon, I am asking you to turn your kind words into the assurance that you know. You realise that this art is worth something. If you are financially able and truly do mean what you say in your lovely, lovely compliments - then I request that you choose to vote with your wallet. To show that you appreciate the value in art. To share your support.
To be clear - Patreon support is not a donation, but a conscious contribution to the world of poetry, an affirmation that art has inherent value. My pieces are gifts. They deserve to be paid for. They are worthy of a cup of coffee, or five gumballs, or a dollar store shopping spree, per month.
And in return for your patronage...
Imagine waking up to soft, brightly-lit poems. To pieces that spill over with beauty - or, as one reader says of Heaven or This' deluxe edition, "soft and wild ... melancholy and slowly joyful".
Imagine seeing a poet's process from the unravelled beginning to the tightly packaged end. Imagine glimpsing the art far beyond what is unveiled on launch day - seeing, first hand, the dedication & inspiration & stories behind each and every piece. It is, as another reader puts it, "otherworldly".
Imagine the trilling thrill, the joy of creation. Imagine being the only one to know of these projects I hint at on social media. Imagine knowing these rose-gold secrets, once clammed up so tightly and now - open to you. As a third reader says, the experience is "fascinating and incredible ... you're a powerful young writer and I'm always enthralled (and inspired!) by how you work".
Art has value. Art has value. Art has value.
Art has value beyond kind words.
Patreon support is only $5/month, stuffed full of magic. Click "become a patron" to show the worth of art. To begin the journey.