Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Running A Business As A Creator

From Patreon:

When I got to PatreCon— Patreon’s first conference for creators— I’d hit a wall in my career. My novel trilogy had just been rejected by publishers. Not because it wasn’t good, but because almost no one wanted to commit until all three volumes were finished. Which meant I’d just spent three years writing for free, and was looking at two more years of doing the same.

I arrived at PatreCon feeling pretty helpless. The first night of the conference, we got a tour of Patreon headquarters. As soon as we started walking around, I felt better, though I couldn’t say exactly why. I just felt like I’d come to a safe space...

In talking to other creators, I realized that everyone had stories like mine. Everyone had hit a wall—realizing that even if they were talented, worked hard, and did everything “right,” the game was rigged against them. In fact, that’s how musician Jack Conte came up with Patreon in the first place: he’d once spent $10,000 of his own money building a set for a music video, only to see a meager $200 in ad revenue from YouTube.

My fellow creators were wellsprings of ideas and experiences. And during the conference, through many a workshop, talk, and quiet conversation, I scribbled down four things I had to remember.

1. Artists must be entrepreneurs. Full stop.

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