Thanks!

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Sometimes I wonder what to write, but not today. This one is easy.

My blog gets about 1,037 visitors per day. Some of the visitors read what’s here, some of the visitors take the extra step to comment, and some of the visitors take what is much, much more than an “extra step.” They send me $2.99 a month and become subscribers.

What do subscribers get that no one else gets? In terms of content, services, or other tangible things … well, nothing.

But it is the subscribers who keep me going.

People who fiction do pretty much the same thing, whether they’re great, good, mediocre, or terrible. We channel the vagaries inside our heads, the strangeness of our daily lives, and the wonders of existence into words.

I don’t know why I do it, but I do know this: When people, the vast majority of whom are strangers, send me $2.99 each month to thank me for my efforts, everything I do and write feels worthwhile. Is it strange that satisfaction and self-worth are so cheap? Not to me, because it’s not cheap at all. Rather, it’s an act of incredible kindness and generosity.

Plus, $2.99 fits squarely inside my “money value matrix.” When people are talking about whether “x” amount of money is “worth it,” I always ask this question. “Would I bend over to pick it up if it was lying on the sidewalk?” Since I would pick up even a penny if it was lying on the sidewalk, $2.99 is a whole $2.98 more than my minimum estimation of “Is it worth it?”

The other side of the satisfaction I get from your contribution is obligation. It’s a bit of a challenge at times to crank out 1,000 words on a daily basis, more or less limited to the topic of “Cycling in the South Bay,” and to make sure that in each post there are no glaring misspellings or egregious grammatical bloopers that rouse the ire of Billy Stone. In fact, the challenge is at times so great that I’m tempted to just say “Fugg it” and be done with the whole thing.

But I don’t, and that’s because of you, who send me your monthly $2.99. That money means something to you, and you earned it somehow, and you went through the horrible experience of interfacing with PayPal to set up your subscription.

That money means something to me, too. It means that you value what I do. You value it more than one of these, the same as one of these, but slightly less than one of these. And what makes your contribution even more meaningful to me is that you give it when you could simply keep reading for free.

And finally, your gift makes my lifelong dream real by turning me into what I’ve always wanted to be: A professional writer.

Thank you.

Seth

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