Friday, January 9, 2015

Finances update, discussing other types of insecurities

I think, perhaps, that I have reached the point where I should just drop all sense of shame and beg for money.  Then again, I have doubts as to whether or not it would work anyway.

So, the state of things:
  • Repairs, replacement, backing up data, and getting the replacement under warranty: $711.48
  • Dentist appointment when cavity was discovered: $200 even
  • Drilling cavity: unknown, bill has not come yet
  • A utility bill somehow got overlooked for multiple months, now I owe: 138.95
  • The internet, the thing which I require to continue blogging and how I pay all my bills: $159.80
  • Textbooks for a new semester: No fucking clue, probably between one and two hundred.
Now not all of it has to be paid right this second so I'm not in frantic panic mode.  Some of it has been paid which has merely left me with almost zero in other funds as I face the remaining three weeks of the month.

In particular:
  • The utility was paid off.  It's just $100 more than I expected and so my budget for the month, insofar as I have one, is screwed.
  • The internet bill isn't due yet, but I've never quite been able to make sense of when it is due.  It just spends months accumulating (no interest charged, no late fees) and then, seemingly out of nowhere, announces that the time to pay has rolled around again.  I've yet to be able to divine a pattern for when the time to pay rolls around.
  • The 711.48 need not be paid off in any hurry.  I could just make the minimum payment and end up spending 400ish dollars more and taking about 4 years to pay the damn thing off.
So it's not all doom and gloom.  But it feels like it is.  $1210.23 plus however much fixing a cavity costs plus however much my books will cost.  (And, down the road, tuition.)

So I look at that twelve hundred dollars and despair.

So, I guess, I am begging for money.  Please help me out.

But at the same time, I feel kind of worthless lately.  In the past month I've done very little fiction.  Two fragments of Skewed Slightly to the Left, two fragments on non-Noah arks, one bit of Being more than a Simulacrum, one bit of a talkative person versus bad guys with guns, and someone yelling, "Sanctuary!"

I'm pretty sure I used to be more prolific.

I worry that I've lost most of what appeal that I've had in the past.  Don't get me wrong, I've read every comment and I cherish every one.  I know that there are people who still find what I write to be of value.  I cannot begin to describe how much I appreciate you or how much I love seeing that someone has commented.

But there are also lurkers.  And when it comes to them all I have are traffic stats, and those show a blog in decline.  Clearly what I'm doing isn't as pleasing as it once was to some segment of my audience.

So I find myself sort of torn.  On the one hand, I really want to solicit donations and somehow cajole readers into giving them.  On the other hand, I can't really argue that I deserve such.  I'm not producing as much content as I once did, and what content I do produce doesn't seem as popular as what I once made.

On the third hand, I give everything away for free.  So it has been, so it will always be.  If you have to pay to get something from me, it won't be published here.  Ideally it'll be published in a book and what I'll say here is, "Go buy my book, it has a great story you can't find online," or something like that.  So, given that I give everything away for free, why should I expect people to suddenly pay me on account of having a bad month billing wise.

Zaphod has run out of hands, but there is another.

Hand number four: I recently looked over my paypal account, for as long as I have had one with an eye toward donations.  It really put what people have done for me into perspective.  I've been given more than I can possibly claim to have deserved.  So asking for more seems... yeah.

Three hands tend to say that I shouldn't even ask.  But the mere existence of this post should indicate that I'm going to return to the first hand.  I look at that $1,210.23, I wonder about the costs yet to be quantified, and I fear the rest of winter.  My savings have been wiped out.  Again.  That means that when I run out of oil I'll be unprepared for the expense.  Again.  Thankfully I've got about half a tank, so there is time, but it doesn't change the fact that it makes that first hand really tempting.

Thus I again beg for money.  Please, if you can spare it (and ONLY in that case) send something my way.  My donate button is always open. 


  1. You don't deserve economic insecurity.

    I wish I had the funds to help, but I don't. :(

  2. Hmm, does your blog record rss subscribers? I still read and enjoy your posts but it's from an app where it's not convenient to leave comments. I'll try to lurk less. Sorry about your current situation :((( Will drop in something, good luck to you.

    1. Hmm, does your blog record rss subscribers?

      I think so, but everything is through the blogger interface which is sort of ... opaque. So it's never completely clear where the numbers are coming from.

      I'll try to lurk less.

      I'd like that. That said, if it's not convenient then don't feel compelled or anything.

    2. Hmm, does your blog record rss subscribers?

      I was thinking along the same lines, but I took a different angle on it. Using an RSS feed means only showing up when there's something new to read, which means a blog posting less often will get fewer hits even if the average hits-per-post remains the same. I think that average would be a better measure of whether the blog traffic is in decline.