I’ve been wanting to change up this blog for years. Getting more personal online is uncomfortable. Having more privacy yet retaining the audience I’ve built is the goal. Getting paid is ideal.
I’ve looked at Patreon and discarded it so many times in the last few years. There’s Substack, which almost persuaded me. But, in the end, it’s still a digital blog, same form and format, just with a little money thrown in. There’s nothing substantially different between it and my free Tweeting, or my free-to-read posts here. I am stuck with my working-class mindset: value must be given to the paying customer. It’s an honest mindset, even if somewhat limiting.
Then a side project I was developing took shape and I realized it would suit Amanda perfectly, instead. What am I if not a writer? Do I not claim I’m an artist, too? I should write, and create with writing.
In the spirit of contrariness, which has inspired most life choices, I have gone headlong the opposite direction from current, popular wisdom.
When people throw everyone online for “transparency,” that is the time to go private. When all communication is moved online, it’s time to move off.
This comes from my stated desire to make money from my blogging, the rediscovered need to be creative without staring at a screen all day, and the pleasure of intimacy within certain boundaries, familiar to many sex workers. I earn a steady income from my blogging, which my creditors also enjoy — with more-inspired, regular writing to a smaller, appreciative audience.
Yes, someone whose normal handwriting really does look like shorthand has taken up the dip pen, found some nibs that work, and is developing something legible (and I aspire to real beauty, with enough practice). It’s creative. It’s what I’ve been dying for for years.
This is art, and approaching it as art is the way my handwriting becomes something more. As does my writing. I compose very differently when the ink literally flows from my pen than when typing on a keyboard. Key clicks are cheaper than dirt. Ink and 100% cotton paper? Very expensive and exquisitely thoughtful. There is no waste, I make few mistakes. Strange how not having a Delete key does that. (Pay no mind to my blotchy practice sheets, you know, those times when the ink really did flow from my pen.)
There won’t be 20K-word letters, my hands can’t take it. Expect a medium-length letter, 500-1K words, maybe all the way up to 2K if I really have the spare time.
The essays I’ve planned are all things I’ve wanted to discuss for a long time, but hesitate to make them public and Googleable. Pen to paper is not that.
I plan on producing some handwritten and updated editions of existing blog posts, perhaps quotes from my books or Tweets, things that aren’t personalized, serialized or brand-new. These pieces will be more affordable than the letters, and not in such limited quantities. My hope is some of these pieces are framed, perhaps put in a scrapbook, or something of that nature. Sex workers do love their physical, personal libraries.
The blog here will be much more surface, and less personal than it has been. If you want to read what I have to say, the real thought-pieces, the substantial and personal things I sometimes share, you must purchase a letter. If you want to be my pen-pal, for real, now you can.
Not going to do the letters indefinitely. A year, perhaps two. And then I’ll probably have said everything I want to say as Amanda. The letters are as close to a memoir as I’ll ever get. I really don’t have the ego required for a full-blown autobiography.
Private pen-pals will last as long as they last. Mostly I’ll let those relationships fizzle out on their own, likely after I’ve thoroughly offended all my pals.
Letters will never be repeated, or reposted on the blog or anywhere else. They’re real-world communication. Made once, consumed only in one manner by the person who receives them, not accurately reproducible by any means. My imperfect hand means nothing will be the same twice. Low effort wabi sabi.
Letters are folded properly, sealed with wax and a custom stamp, created for my personal theme of 2021. The letter will be inside the mailing envelope. So basically, you get a plain, addressed envelope, open it to reveal another plain, protective envelope, and inside there is your letter.
I have gold and purple wax, and various colors of satin ribbon. You can even choose your basic paper types: opaque or transparent. You get to choose wax color, ribbon color, and paper-type because I’m feeling generous and want you to enjoy the way your letter is presented.
Quantities are limited; both the current topical issue and number of pen-pals I’ll allow. I expect to produce a new issue every 4-6 weeks and I’m already behind in rolling this out, the February issue will go on sale starting the 9th.
Actual purchasing information and email notification of issues for sale is on my other website1. You pay via Square, my payment processor. The options are all explained on my sales page. I suggest reading it thoroughly. All questions should be answered, and there are helpful photos, as well.
I’m curious how quickly some idiot manages to screw this all up.
To recap: continuing to read the thought-pieces many enjoy means buying the topical letter. Being my pen-pal means purchasing private correspondence.
I love writing with a dip pen; and making $money$. I’m a brain-damaged hooker with artsy-fartsy flair. An entertainer for 20 years, I’m offering a new form of entertainment for you. Nothing bigger than that.
By next week I expect to see hundreds of escorts offering calligraphy and handwritten letters. I know of only one who currently offers handwritten correspondence. As usual, the unoriginal herd should pay me royalties because money is flattery. Imitation is neither flattering nor money!
1This blog theme, while lovely for blogging, is limited in being able to create unique pages, and I do not wish to waste my time right now redesigning this entire thing, that’s coming later this spring. I’m working on other deadlines at the moment.