The image above only peripherally relates to today’s post. But I think these cats facing off against each other kind of embody some of what I’ve been experiencing over the last several months. Let me explain.
I first started writing Eclectic Ink (It was called Fiction in 50 at the time.) on August 22, 2020. That’s two years and seven months ago. Since then, I’ve published a lot of stories here. A conservative estimate would be 550.
I love writing, and I love sharing my stories with people who enjoy them. It brings me so much pleasure. But part of the reason I’ve been able to devote so much time to creating for you (now including the images that accompany my stories) is that I’ve had a disability pension that has supported me.
I’m turning sixty-five in a few months. A month before that happens, I will lose my disability coverage and will then have to begin living on the pensions the government will provide. It’s not enough.
In two and a half years, I’ve built up only 221 subscribers, 14 of whom are paid. It’s tough for fiction writers to make money through a newsletter unless they’re already famous. I know a few who make okay money, but none who do really well.
A monthly subscription costs $5.00 per month. A yearly subscription breaks down to $4.00 per month. One of my subscribers is a founding member, which breaks down to about $8.00 per month. That’s before Substack and Stripe both take their cuts. I make coffee money.
I’m working on creating other income streams, but there’s a lot of front-loaded work and it’s very time consuming. It’s going to take time to see any income from this.
Writing Eclectic Ink is also time consuming. There aren’t enough hours in the day. As I try to juggle everything, my mental health is suffering, and I find myself dreading sitting down to write. Writing has always been what fills my soul. To lose the joy of this is crushing. I’ve been here before.
The cure in the past has been to acknowledge that there is more on my plate than I can handle. That is most certainly true now. I cannot stop working toward increasing my income. Eclectic Ink is not going to be that source of income.
I considered, briefly, shutting the publication down. But I know I’ll regret that decision. I do love writing, and I do love all of my subscribers, paid and free. So, for now, I’ve come to a difficult decision.
Nothing will change for paid subscribers. I will continue to publish stories for you on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Free stories will only go out on Sundays. I’ll still be writing three times a week, but I hope that will relieve enough pressure that I’ll be able to juggle both the newsletter and building a sustainable income source.
The ride so far with all of you has been wonderful. Thank you for being here, and I hope you’ll stick around for whatever comes next.
You are an amazing writer and source of inspiration, Dascha. I love your stories and your art. But it sounds like you are doing the right thing. Take care of your mental health. I had to scale my publishing schedule back a bit as well and it was the right decision for my own mental health.
I wish you all the best! 🙏
Self care is vital. Sending hope for another source of sustainable income. A balance of doing what feeds your soul and something that feeds your body. A perception change, an opening of other gifts you have to offer that will maintain not drain. You are one of the most creative people I know. I trust the answer is within. Blessings.