About money, etc.

I wanted to take a minute or two — this won’t be a short post, so be forewarned — to explain a lot of my recent “hustling, money- grubbing” tenor here and elsewhere. I am usually pretty embarrassed by talking about this and I’m not a big believer in the reverence people have lately for “hustle culture” or “the grind” so having to do it is really hard for me.

Read on, if you’re interested…

Right now, I’m working a fair amount in my usual “day job” as a freelance trainer/facilitator etc. And it appears — fingers crossed — that there’s for the first time in a while a lot of continued, prospective work ahead.

When it’s good, the money is good but not great. When it’s terrible — and it’s been mostly terrible for a while — it’s terrifying that things get as bad as they do.  I did get some recent grant money that helped to pull us out of the hole for the most part, but I am desperate about not getting there again. And if another car emergency or something happened, it would SUCK.

By creating workshops and pushing lately for new Patreon subscribers I’m trying to build some more sustainable side income that will help build a cushion to fall onto.

I’m also trying to find out what works before the next slow season for my contracting work, which is usually a brief stint in mid summer and a more sustained one from the end of November to February/March.
Because of vacations, companies tend not to book sessions in the summer, and the holidays and end of the fiscal year concerns make the second slow season more serious. ( I did no work in that field from mid-November till March this year. It HURT. Still recovering, slowly.)

Add in the increasing amount of time I have to give to family issues. Mom is 95, mobility and hearing are terrible, and has moderate dementia. My sister has moved in with her and has her own health issues; of late I’ve been spending time there 3-5 days a week, sometimes more. I run my training session via Zoom from there as one way of ensuring I’m around pretty often. It’s 20 miles one way so gas has added an expense i’m not used to having since I’ve been working from home for years before this.

I really don’t get much time or energy to go out to readings, and I’m usually “Zoomed-out” by night so even online readings are sometimes too much.  Frankly, the stress is killing me. I’ve got other longstanding health issues too, of course, which I’m leaving off of this post beyond saying that.

So…when I post about workshops coming up, ask people to join Patreon, put out Venmo and PayPal requests, etc., to try and raise $, it’s not greed. It’s fear driving that. It’s pain and the like. And it’s a desire to not just ask but to give something back to those who donate or contribute.

I hate doing it. Hate it. I would prefer to just do my job, write, and make music. But…

I think that’s enough. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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