: I do not have enough work to cover expenses and my ability to focus on multiple projects is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Hi there. My name is Erin Steiner. I’m trying to raise money to cover expenses for the next couple of months while I try to help you all make sense out of the increasingly chaotic mess that is our government, impeachment(s) happening within it, and work with my doctor to get my mental health back on track (as on track as it can be, anyway).
Here’s the long version (or you can skip ahead to the plan and the rewards info):
I adopted the politics and policy beats during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. The goal was to inform and analyze in a way that readers would find entertaining…and, okay, I wanted them to understand the policies at play behind all of the shouting. After the election I turned my attention to the administration that took over the White House and did my best to keep up with all of their shenanigans so that people who voted for them could understand why the rest of us were freaking out so hard.
It didn’t take long for the administration to spin so far out of control that keeping up with them was near impossible, especially when I had to do it around my freelance writing/editing schedule and school.
I’m currently a student at Penn State, majoring in Law & Society. Okay, technically I’m a student on hiatus for the fall term because it turns out I couldn’t quite swing the tuition in time to start classes. But hey, that just meant there was more time to churn out freelance stuff and keep up with all of the Trumpian hoopla that has exploded all over our government, right?
You’d think, but you’d be wrong.
As Trumplandia has gotten more intense and chaotic and life has gotten more expensive, freelance work has been slowing down. This always happens at this time of the year. I’m still doing as many projects as I can, but it’s not nearly enough to cover the bills on a good day and it’s even worse now that my brain chemistry has gone wonky again. This is the part where we take a minute to talk about brain weasels.
I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in 2015 and started on a medication regimen right away. For the most part, the medication did its job and I was able to wrangle my brain weasels successfully without hampering my productivity.
I’m not exactly sure when my meds stopped working. My doctor and I have adjusted my dosage level but it’s clear that I need to switch to something new. Doing that involves multiple trips to the doctor, a referral to a psychiatrist, testing, all sorts of time and energy consuming stuff.
So. What does this have to do with you? THE PLAN
I need to prioritize if I’m going to make it through the rest of the year. What I’d like to do is focus on two things for the months of November and December.
1. My Mental Health
2. My Political Writing
In order to do this, I need help.
Professionally what I’d like to do is focus on being awesome for the couple of regular clients I have right now and put the rest of my work energy toward building a portfolio of current political/policy writing that I can use to help bolster my marketability next year when the clients are hiring again. (And, yes, build that Patreon some of you have been after me to start for years.)
Personally, I’d like to have the freedom to be able to schedule doctor’s appointments and tests and give whatever meds we try a chance to really work so that I can be a productive member of society again.
To accomplish these goals, I need to find a way to pay for my bills over the next couple of months. This is where I’m hoping you can come in. THE MATH
In order to stay financially in the black through the end of 2019, I figure I need to raise $2500. Obviously, a percentage of that (I figure it will be around 4%) will go toward GoFundMe fees. The rest will cover the rent for my storage unit, my car, gas, and insurance payments, and my phone bill, with a bit of a cushion in case of emergencies or expenses that pop up (like changing the oil in my car, which I forgot about until just now). Here’s how it all breaks down:
Obviously, since it’s the end of October, this is going to be a rolling fundraiser. That’s one of the perks of using GoFundMe—I don’t have to have a definite deadline. If I can get $300 by the end of Halloween (that’s today!) I’ll be able to jump into the work 11/1 and start showing you some progress toward my goals. The more I bring in up front, the more of the project will be committed to the books for those who might want to wait a bit before investing/donating. THE WORK
If I actually reach my goal, here is what I can promise you:
Tweet threads of all of the rallies, Congressional hearings, floor debates, official speeches and pressers I can get access to.
Consolidation Blog Posts for those of you who don’t want to deal with Twitter
3x week Political/Policy Blog Posts through the end of 2019
2x week Personal Blog Posts through the end of 2019
However many Videos get commissioned YOU CAN GET STUFF!
I don’t want you to just give me money. I want you to get something in return. When I’ve done fundraisers in the past, I’ve had good luck with offering rewards like doodles, haikus, etc. I’d like to do some of that again, but I’d also like to involve you in my writing/publishing process as much as possible. I’d like you to feel more like investors than donors. What does that look like? REWARDS
3 x 5 B & W Doodles
Electronic delivery: $5
USPS delivery: $7
Haikus (electronic delivery)
Written & Illustrated $10
Haikus (USPS delivery)
Written & Illustrated $12
Snail Mail Letter $5
Monthly Snail Mail Letter (November, December, January) $10 (Limit 10)
Investments (each comes with a bio and a link to a site/cause of your choosing)
Blog Post Sponsorship: $50 (Limit 30)
Blog Post Commission (topic of your choosing, though I’m retaining the right to veto): $100 (Limit 15)
Video Blog Post Commission (5 minutes max) $200 (Limit 6) FULFILLMENT
Everything will be mailed by 12/31/2019 (except for the January monthly snail mail letter, which will be mailed by 1/10/2020)
Finally: THANK YOU for reading all of this! Thank you for any help you can spare to send me. The world is literally on fire right now and you choosing to support me when there are so many others who are in worse predicaments is humbling and I will be forever grateful.
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!