Just wrote a long letter to a family friend asking for advice on raising a small bit of money to keep me afloat until I can finish Stikki.me. Now it’s 3 am and I’m sitting here, spooked, and hoping the power company will let me make payments before shutting off the lights.
I’ve thought about going the Kickstarter/IndieGoGo route again the way I did with Dbasr, but I feel weird about it. I haven’t abandoned Dbasr, not by a long shot, but it was just too much work for me to do by myself without having enough money to pay the bills. All the code is sitting there waiting to get picked up again. I started playing with Stikki as a way to earn money to work on Dbasr, and that’s still very much the plan. But I’m afraid people just think I took the money and did nothing with it — which is, of course, not true. I’ve busted my ass on Dbasr, the way I’ve busted ass on Stikki. I am grateful for the support I got. It just wasn’t enough to devote myself full-time to finishing that project yet.
I feel really guilty about that, actually. But you can ask my wife – there were times I worked on Dbasr for literally twenty-four hours straight without sleep, and I do almost the same with Stikki. But I’m not a trust fund kid and I don’t have any financial reserves. When the bills come due, I have to stop working on these things and find paying work, and it’s hard to balance paying and personal work, especially when you’re just married. When I was 21 I probably could have just done an eight hour gig and then holed up and written code until I passed out, but I can’t do that now. I barely sleep as it is; I usually go to bed around four or five am and wake up around ten thirty. And I think Rosalie enjoys it when I occasionally pop my head up and actually interact with her and acknowledge her existence, instead of simply staring at the laptop and muttering darkly about APIs and MVC framework. She also enjoys it when I take showers and shave instead of rolling out of bed and onto the computer.
(In fact, I think the combination of poor hygiene, the stream of swearing about apparent gibberish like “JOIN queries” and “consumer keys” and the straggly beard makes me resemble nothing so much as a random crazy street person, except I have a laptop instead of a shopping cart. Which is no good for Rosalie’s nerves, I know.)
I just keep hoping if I work and work and work I’ll get Stikki finished and money will start coming in. But the last two weeks have fucked me. I couldn’t work, thanks to first the anxiety attacks and then the Xanax zombiedom from trying to chemically defuse the anxiety attacks. I don’t have any money left. I’ve been eyeing my guitars, trying to figure out if I could pawn them for enough to pay the power bills. (Short answer: no. They’re not exactly high-end musical instruments.) I need to work on the two paying projects I’ve got right now basically for sixteen hours a day until the end of the month to barely cover our rent. Which also does my anxiety problem no good, nor does it particularly please my wife.
The worst thing about all of this is that I am absolutely, utterly convinced that I can make Stikki profitable enough to be happy. I’ve done the math, and unless I am staggeringly stupid I can earn enough from advertising to pay the bills within just a couple of months. I can see the Promised Land, where you don’t sit up at three am worrying about bills. I just can’t reach it.
Feel free to ignore this, by the way, and if I sound like I’m whining, well, yeah, I probably am. I’m just tired, and I need help and I don’t know where to find it or even how to ask.
I’m going to go to bed and try to finish the last Harry Potter novel now.