A YA author called Stacey Jay set up a Kickstarter to fund a new book. She said that she wanted to raise production costs and living costs to enable her to write full-time. People got angry. She has disabled comments on her blog, finished the Kickstarter and is apparently taking some downtime. If I was her, you would find me sitting next to a crate of Prosecco, shaking and trying to pierce the corks with straws to get that shit into me faster.
So is it OK to ask people to meet your living costs while you produce art?
I think sure. You’re only asking. You’re not compelling anyone to give money. If they’d rather not, they can just. . . not.
I am lucky to be able to afford the production of the novel I’m releasing, and I am in a position to spend my free time working on it. In Ireland, our Arts Council issues grants to artists to enable them to work full-time at their art for limited periods (at least they did – I haven’t checked for up-to-date info on this because I’ll bet you my last penny that they wouldn’t fund a sequel to my sex worker erotica. Which I can’t blame them for, because I wrote the thing to be as good as it could be, but the project was never envisioned as high art).
It is not nice to think, though, that if I wasn’t in that fortunate position and if I sought out a service like Kickstarter, that I could face that kind of backlash simply for asking for a thing people could choose to give me, or not.
Nice girls don’t ask, seemingly. Well, fuck that.