Tentative Steps

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it." - Leo Rosten

I created this site back in October 2010. It started out as a fun hobby, posting the (very) occasional blurb about stuff I was interested in. In the last two-plus years it has grown from a side hobby to something much more.

Rather than posting once or twice a month, I now write every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. I write during downtime at my day job. In the evenings, after my wife and son have gone to bed, I sit down in a comfy chair with some sort of drink and I write. Even on days when I don't post anything, I'm still writing behind the scenes.

It appears that I've finally stumbled onto my life's passion, and because of this, I've had an idea burning at the back of my mind for a while. Perhaps it's time to think about turning Unretrofied into a full-time job. Or at least taking steps toward it.

The idea of doing such a thing both excites and frightens me.

The Why

I'm at a point in my life where I need a change, career-wise. I've been working at my current job for over four years, and while it's not a bad gig, there's no challenge anymore. I can't remember the last time I learned anything new from this job, and I'm still in the same exact position as when I started. On top of that, the nature of my job keeps me away from my family a lot more than it should.

I've long dreamed of having a career based on my creative work, rather than stepping into an office and performing monotonous duties all day. All of my "real" jobs to date have entailed some sort of customer service. In the last 6 or 7 years, I've spent most of my waking hours trying to make customers/end-users happy, rather than doing what I want and allowing my creative mind to flourish. Not very satisfying.

My most creatively-fulfilling moments are when I'm taking photos and writing articles. I have doubts about going professional with my photography, and therefore it will remain a fun hobby for now, but writing is something I think about all the time. I think about it before going to sleep, when I wake up, and every moment in-between.

Before rediscovering my love for writing, it had been many years since I'd felt compelled to master a new skill or seek a drastic new direction in my life, but now I've got the itch, and I'm determined to make my goal a reality.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I'm not the type to leave my stable job and leap into the unknown like this. But I'm tired of letting fear rule my life, and my gut keeps telling me that I'm making the right choice. The only choice.

Luckily, I have a supportive wife who understands how much this dream means to me, and she has urged me to pursue it. You only live once, after all.

The How

This is where you, the reader, come in. If I'm going to do this thing I'm going to need your help, which is why today I'm making membership subscriptions available to anyone interested in supporting the site.

There are two options:

  • Monthly — Just $3 a month. As Shawn Blanc puts it, it's "like a good cup of coffee."
  • Annual — $30 a year. Same benefits as the monthly subscription, but you save $6.

I'm still working out the details pertaining to members-only perks and such, and I promise that I'll announce something special in due time, but for now the membership is simply a means of directly supporting my writing.

I want to stress right now that this is not some sort of scheme where you have to pay to view my articles or get access to a full-content RSS feed or anything like that. Unretrofied is and will remain a free web site.

My hope is that, if enough of you find it in your hearts to part with a few of your hard-earned dollars each month, I can eventually devote myself to Unretrofied full-time and still support my family. It costs only a small amount to you but helps me so much.

If you read this and choose not to subscribe, that's okay! I'm still glad to have you as a reader. Nobody should feel pressured into this thing, it's simply an option for people who enjoy supporting independent creators. I already do the same for a dozen other writers myself.

All I ask is that you consider it. It would mean the world to me.