THE ART AND TERROR OF CROWDFUNDING

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Send All Hate Mail On Postcards: Olde Smiddy is an actual member of the Smith bloodline. One day, Smiths may come back into vogue.

By Olde Smiddy

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Crowdfunding is not a new phenomenon. Historically, artists have successfully inspired benefactors to help them realise their work. The Internet (already sounds like a tacky and strangely dated spectacle) has proven a slick base for creative community platforms like Pozible and Kickstarter to stimulate such alternative finance models. The basics required are a project initiator; individuals who support the project; and a moderating organisation.

And a spoonful of terror.

I am using Pozible to crowdfund my book The Vanishing Acts Almanac. At the time of writing I still have 18 days to reach my target, with 65% of finance pledged. That equates to 35% more terror to come. If the target is not met, the book does not get published.

Why choose crowdfunding? Well, for those readers who are a little dubious, crowdfunding is a legitimate way for artists to make that significant first step for projects and get their work into the public forum. From there the potential is significant. The Vanishing Acts Almanac previously existed as a pitch proposal for film, but producers kept asking me: “Can we read the actual almanac?” Which is an entirely reasonable question.

So I wrote The Vanishing Acts Almanac.

Then I researched self-publication, made acquaintances with a truly moody calculator, and built my crowdfunding site around the premise of the book and the promise of sharing the realisation of The Vanishing Acts Almanac with my family, friends, frenemies, and interested strangers.

60 days to raise the finance began with the click of a Return key.

And the terror was made real. Crowdfunding is taxing both on time and energy. You must to be regularly promoting the campaign, while not destroying relationships. Courtesy becomes a science. There is much social media eye-soreness. Much fingertip deflation from banging at a pitiless keyboard in pursuit of a dream.

The obvious doubts about whether the funds will be raised are ever present. And then there is the truly awful suspicion that your project may not even be good enough. That smarmy ratfink usually visits around 3am. Randomly. Because that is what a spoonful of terror is good at. Keeping you so mindful, that your mind feels, well, way too full thanks very much.

However, the experience is for the most part a positively exhilarating one. People are astounding. I have been left smitten and teary at times by incredible encouragement, generosity and kindness. And it is through this kindness that I have adapted Nietzsche’s amor fati (to love fate) to also incorporate amor terrorem, and whisk that spoonful of terror into my heart and provide it with a little terrifying sleeping bag, a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Because it is the terror that keeps you focussed as much as anything else.

And for me that is another 18 days with my spoonful, and the support of the handsome people who have got behind my crowdfunding ride.

Search for The Vanishing Acts Almanac on pozible.com

 

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