A lot of you have probably been expecting this, but the time has come to accept that what is, is. At the end of March, I’ll be shuttering the #merrickhasissues Patreon project.
Just over a month ago I spontaneously adopted a puppy, in that someone abandoned a puppy who needed some urgent medical care and I decided that I was going to help that puppy and welcome it into my life. While I knew I did not have the money that would be needed, I was confident in my ability to utilize social media to crowdfund enough to cover her immediate medical needs. And, I did! It worked! And sweet little Irma is prancing happily down the road to recovery. (So, if you were involved in that, thanks a bajillion.)
The whole experience really brought into focus that I am still capable of being an engaging person in online realms, something that I feel I’ve lost touch with. I had people reading the pupdates (via GoFundMe) tell me that they’ve never read any of my longer-format writing, which surprised me but yeah, that makes sense. I was vaguely offended that they were surprised that I’m actually a good writer, but I won’t get into that right now. Anyway, it made me realize that, as Internet culture has shifted focus to visual storytelling, to sound bites and limited character status updates with graphic backgrounds and 15-second video loops, my attempts to adapt to the changing media have meant that I’ve moved away from the written word, which has always been my favourite.
Public speaking is easy for me because I have a nice voice. Video is easy for me because I’m conventionally attractive. And when I say “easy for me” what I really mean is that other people like it when I engage in those things. I’ve been attempting to utilize the things other people like about me, instead of being the me that I like. I think my patrons here have gotten to experience more of that side of me than the general public has, which has the unfortunate effect of skewing public perceptions of who I am. Merrick is pretty and has a nice voice; who knew she could actually write! *eye roll* Well it’s time to fix that. It’s time to start writing again. (And taking photos again, tbh.) But unfortunately, I’m not sure that publishing via Patreon—where my focus is narrowed to a specific subject and stored behind a paywall—is what I should be doing right now.
We try, we fall, we get back up again, we try again. I’ve always been the type to reach too far knowing my grasp might fall short because I like pushing my own capabilities. It’s how I learn and it’s why I didn’t graduate high school with a perfect GPA but still knowing I’m capable of taking on a world that wasn’t tailor made for my success.
So, on to the next thing. I hesitate to say that #merrickhasissues is OVER over, but I have definitely needed absence from it to truly understand what I want to be doing (and not just what other people want from it, or think it should be). My Instagram account has been transitioning away from comics and back to snippets of my personal life (and not a comics persona), and if/when I start things up again I’ll make a dedicated IG account for the project… if Instagram is even still The Thing people are using. And to be honest, I continuously wonder if working in the comics industry is the right path for me. I’m certainly not going to pull up stakes and start down a new road anytime soon, but it’s a good thing for me to be aware of. Perhaps this project would find better footing if I was approaching it from the perspective of a hobbyist, and not a retailer? Who knows and there’s no point in speculating for the time being.
I’ve been reworking my website in my spare time, which is a daunting task. I have no idea what it’s final form or purpose will be, save a catch-all of my digital traces from the past… decade… ish. There’s nothing there yet but it is located at merrickmonroe.com; right now merrickhasissues.com just points to this Patreon but it’ll redirect elsewhere eventually. I do miss blogging. Maybe there will be some of that? The concept seems like an odd flavour on my tongue in this current digital era, but the style of eyeglasses my mom wore in the 80s is now being worn by kids half my age and those woven plastic chokers have been back for a couple years now so who the hell knows where any of this is going anyway. But I do know I’m shite at “brief updates” and perhaps simply having that outlet—even if I make no attempts to drive readers to the page—will be a positive thing for me. Perhaps I’ll figure out some of my shit.
This goodbye post has been sponsored by Get Your Shit Together 2018. It’s 2018; is *your* shit together? Maybe it’s time.