#267: Commons-Unlocking, Quarterturn

Thanks to all of you who’ve responded to my previous letter (  Keep it coming. One thing that’s become clear, almost immediately, is this: no paywall on these Sunday letters. One of the main reasons to have memberships in the first place is to fund stuff I’m already doing and giving away for free. As Tim Carmody writes in “Unlocking the Commons”:

Fans support the person and the work. But it’s not a transaction, a fee for service. It’s a contribution that benefits everyone. Free-riders aren’t just welcome; free-riding is the point. […] As a consumer, your first thought is to your own benefit. As a patron, it’s to the good of your beneficiary. Likewise, as an artisan supported by patronage, you tend to think more about what’s best for your patrons and audience than you do yourself.

To throw it back to last week’s metaphor, I’d rather you, my potential supporters, be patrons than consumers. I’d rather us both think more about communities, beneficiaries, ecosystems! than pure transactional value or immediate personal benefit. It’s in this selective environment that, I believe, I’ll create my best and most nourishing work.

So: Sunday will stay Sunday; it’ll come, free-to-all, once a week.

With that out of the way, I do see the benefit of a more-occasional newsletter. So I’ve set up a new list, alongside this one. If you want to take a break from this here newsletter but don’t want to miss out on big news about books and projects, you can unsubscribe from Sunday and sign up for my more occasional newsletter. I’ll be sending it out once a Michigan season (as in, quarter turn around the sun, get it? GET IT??)

My more-textural mantra for Quarterturn: Fewer in frequency, broader in perspective, still in rhythm. (When I’ll send it each season, though, will be a surprise.)

That’s all for this week. Once again, if you have thoughts about patronage, memberships, and/or want to share your experiences supporting writers and artists you know, just hit reply.