There’s a wonderful story about the author Harper Lee, or more specifically, her friends. She struggled for years in NYC working as an Eastern Airlines ticket agent. She had the talent and a literary agent, but she was forced to spend her energy trying to make ends meet, forgoing precious writing time. Then friends of hers gave her a year’s wages with the note: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” She quit the airline and devoted herself to writing. Within a year, she had the first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Inspired by that story, I’ve just launched an IndieGogo/Fractured Atlas fundraising campaign in the hopes of funding a sabbatical year, or at least some part of a year, to devote full time to writing my memoir, How to Draw a Nekkid Man.
Momentum’s been building for this book since my first Moth appearance in December 2010. The story’s been broadcast on the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, downloaded by a quarter million people on The Moth podcast, and performed at the 15th Annual New York International Fringe Festival. Two critical things happened during that run: 1) I am now represented by a leading theater agent, who is helping bring the show back to the stage, summer 2013; and 2) a prominent literary agent attended the show and thinks the play will make an important book. I am currently working with her on the first stages of the manuscript.
The good news is I live in the NH woods, where it is quiet and there are few distractions, an ideal environment for a writer. The bad news is I live in the NH woods, where it is quiet and there are few distractions, a less than ideal environment for supplementing an artist’s income. Since moving here 13 years ago, I’ve held nearly a dozen part-time jobs including the typist for the local newspaper (where I typed the bowling scores and school lunches — a hoot), an art school gallery director, and most recently, as a personal assistant to dear friends.
I’m hoping you’ll continue the legacy of Harper Lee’s friends, and help give me the time I need to write and finish this book, carrying its resonant message beyond radio, stage and podcast.
My overhead is incredibly low, but the expenses still mount. My target goal is $16,000, which will cover my expenses through June 2013. Your tax-deductible contributions will cover:
- Studio expenses: electric, heat, phone, Internet, office supplies
- Travel expenses: monthly NYC meetings with agents
- Technological expenses: upgrades/training for social media and marketing, critical to building my audience
- Artist fees: necessary to meet other conventional living expenses
There are many ways for you to participate: sponsor a paragraph, sponsor a page, sponsor a chapter, and, if you’re really excited, sponsor the book! The tax deductions are a plus; the perks, one of a kind.
People are hungry for this story because audiences recognize both the desire and struggle to rediscover their creative voice, take risks, and create their own identity. The story more than entertains – it validates, encourages and inspires.
Two years ago, my creative enterprise I Will Be Good Productions raised more than $15,000 to bring the stage version of the story to NYC, Nantucket and Tampa. I am hopeful the book version of the story will generate the same donor enthusiasm!
Now, I’m not saying that like Harper Lee, I’ll win the Pulitzer Prize, but I am an excellent writer, with major momentum and a prominent literary agent (and theater agent) who believes in me. Please help me make the most of this terrific opportunity. Thank you!