A message for Patreon supporters
Perhaps the first un-fundraising email ever
Hello supporters of At The End Of the Day,
This message is especially for you because you’re a patron of this newsletter and podcast. You believed in this project enough to put your dollars into it. And for that, I’m especially grateful.
To get right into my message today, I am sending this because:
I want to give you the biggest thank you ever
To let you know I’m stopping my Patreon
Keep reading and I’ll walk you through why.
Your support was bigger than money…
Every week, for the first two years of the pandemic, I tossed an email out into the world. Not only did you read and respond, you put your money into it. Do you know how much a danish costs these days? I just bought one for my personal danish-eating machine (read: child), so I know everything is expensive.
There is so much in life competing for your money. To me, your patronage was more than money. It was a confirmation that there are people out there who subscribe, not just to a newsletter, but to the reasons why I write.
I started At The End Of the Day because:
I believe information is more important now than ever
I know the emotional baggage is huge – keeping up on news is depressing and it is confusing. On top of that, the way we get our news, through social media, skews our sense of what people around us think and feel, through an echo chamber effect
But the money really mattered
When you signed up with monthly support, you helped pay for an editor (a lifeline – every writer needs an editor!), and a podcast producer (all hail the people who make us sound good!). Other costs include web development, design help and the internet doodads you need to run a newsletter and podcast.
I’ll be very transparent and say that I’ve loved this work but there has never been enough to pay me. That’s okay because I have my paid work. This is what the young people call a side hustle. This one didn’t pay me in dollars but it did enrich my life in other ways.
I’m very proud of our little team. We created a space for reflection in a hyper-amped, upside-down, socially-isolated pandemic. We created an independent podcast that continues to have a life of its own (I will have something fun and exciting to tell you about soon).
And I could only do that with your help, compensating people for their work with the money you pooled through the Patreon.
Patreon bills you on the first day of the month. The next payment will bill on Tuesday, November 1st. I’m inviting you to cancel your subscription.
I will be shutting down my Patreon before the end of the year.
I am still writing my newsletter. For this fall and winter, it will be at a monthly cadence. However, my plans for 2023 are in the air. I take your payment seriously as a contract, and because I can’t tell you exactly what you’re buying next year, I’m inviting you to cancel now.
I’m not shutting the whole thing down yet because I’m mindful of what people have told me: That this Patreon isn’t about buying a product so much as it’s about supporting a perspective (and the fact that it’s my own, informed by people I’ve interviewed, is one that I’ll forever find dizzyingly delightful – thank you).
My outstanding costs include that I’m migrating my newsletter from Substack to an archived site (details, details) and I need help to do that. Plus, the aforementioned internet doodads.
The Patreon was originally started in the spring of 2021 to raise the money to pay a podcast producer. And we did it!
Will we make a Season 2? Honestly, I’m not sure. It will depend on a few factors but most importantly, if we do go ahead, it will be with sponsorship money. (Do you have a marketing budget and want to throw it behind ATEOD podcast? My subs keep growing and the open rate on my newsletter is 60% — I know. I’m thrilled with it, too. Hit me up!).
And what about the newsletter? Great question. I will never stop writing. But the newsletter is changing, as I am, as the winds blow, as my life changes, and while I am winding down the Patreon, the newsletter won’t end. It’s still my connection to you and vice versa.
So yes, this may be the first email you’ve ever gotten to say, “Cancel your payment! Or I’ll cancel it for you!” But as I’ve mentioned before, the monetization aspect of this project has always been experimental. (If you are a professional fundraiser reading this, you are probably experiencing major cringe, lol. I’m sorry! But this is the way I’m doing this).
I’m leaving it up to you whether you’d like to cancel it now or let me shut it down for you, which will happen anyway, before the end of the year.
What I’ve learned
News is tough to process. But life is also beautiful.
Our relationships are how we can metabolize everything ugly in the world and turn it into actions that push back, empower, beautify, comfort and connect.
After these few years of getting to know you through the newsletter and processing the news this way, I feel more strongly than ever about what we need most: We need person-to-person friendships of mutual respect, ones in which we can openly share and explore opinions.
Many of us don’t have those relationships in our lives. Loneliness is an epidemic. But I’m hopeful that tech-enabled connections, like this newsletter, and the fact that I can write it to you directly, are one way forward.
We need each other. We don’t even have to be in the same room to feel support and community and friendship.
I’m a little obsessed with figuring out ways that I can inject those feelings of connectedness into all the little daily tasks of my work.
Thank you for being a part of it and for connecting with me the whole way through.
Here’s a link for you to update your Patreon.
Remember I will be updating it soon if you don’t get to it yourself (insert all-powerful, evil cartoon laugh). And remember that I am eternally grateful for your support, which was always about more than money.