I started this blog in February 2013 for a few reasons, but, honestly, the biggest one was boredom. My health won’t allow me to be employed full-time, and I discovered after about a month of getting married and moving in with him that I needed something to do besides read books, play video games, and surf the internet. I’d blogged before (anyone remember Xanga?) and had started reading blogs like Sarah Moon’s and Elizabeth Esther’s and Dianna Anderson’s and Rachel Held Evan’s, and figured– I can do that. It seems like fun.
I never in a million years expected what happened. The first day I got more than fifty visitors Handsome came home to me in the fetal position because I was so overwhelmed. Fifty people read my blog that day. I didn’t know what to do with that. But, by the end of the year I’d gotten a quarter of a million hits and it was more than a little mind boggling.
To this day I’m still a little confused as to why y’all keep showing up to read what I have to say three times a week, but I am so incredibly grateful. I’ve said this before, but I really do think of this space as a community. Over the past few years I feel like I’ve really gotten to know some of you, and consider you colleagues. Some days, knowing that you’re here is why I drag myself out of bed. Knowing that I can count on you to deal with the occasional jackass helps, too.
I’m eternally interested in what you have to say, and you have taught me so much. Your investment here, in this community, is why I’m hoping that you might consider becoming a Patron.
I heard about Patreon last year, and the concept intrigued me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it– the idea of a “tip jar” or asking for money made me a little nervous– but I appreciated that someone(s) had taken the time to create a platform like it. But, I’ve decided to go ahead and create a “Patreon campaign,” as they call it, for a few reasons.
The first, and biggest, is that I’m moving to a self-hosted blog! Exciting! (Well, to me, anyway). Hopefully in the next two to three month samanthapfield.com will be up and running, and I could not be happier about it. Having my own domain name helps with professionalism and credibility, and I get to have a logo and other fancy stuff. However, hosting your own blog costs a little bit, and I’d like to keep ads minimal and unobtrusive– which is where Patreon comes in. $30 a month would cover all my self-hosting costs.
Having support through Patreon would also make it possible for me to do things like go to conferences. I was invited to attend the Faith and Culture Writers Conference last year, but I couldn’t go because it was in Portland and just the plane ticket was out of our budget. I’d also be able to put out a free e-book (like on how complementarian theology is really just the rationalizations of abusers wrapped up in pretty paper), and I think having material like that freely accessible could be a really good thing.
One of the more important reasons, though, is that it would allow me to stop pitching my best writing ideas to other blogs and magazines. I could keep all my best work here where it hasn’t been put through another editor’s vision, which can be a neutral experience to something downright infuriating. For example, I wrote a piece for Relevant last year, and they took anything “controversial” out of it, which made it weak and insipid. I hated what they did to it, but I had no control over what got posted. Being confident that I can keep my own blog running means I won’t have to worry about that so much anymore.
Anyway, I set up the Patron where it’s per month, and you can commit to any amount you feel like– even just a dollar. You can find the campaign here, and it would be incredible if you shared it around wherever you feel comfortable doing so.
As an aside: Patreon has a “rewards” program where, if you pledge “X” amount per month I can offer a reward. Except, I have no idea what to even offer– so, give me some ideas! What sorts of things would you like that you don’t already see around here?