Discover more from Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
A Call For Help, A Call For Community
Sometimes, Vulnerability Is The Thing
If there’s one thing this Signal Fire has never been short on, it is vulnerability. Since its birth, I’ve wanted it to be a place of absolute and unrestrained open vulnerability, and a place of truth, even when those truths are hard ones. I can’t say much about the nature of success or how to define it, but I can say this: Both of those goals have always been met. Today, I’m sticking my neck out again, only this time it is to ask for your help, and it’s to explain why I am asking for it.
Just like most other crowd-funded websites making their way on the internets, the vast majority of you beautiful readers of this Signal Fire do not pay for it. I promise you, I get it. Money for everyone is tight right now, inflation is high, and it probably feels like adding another subscription to your life is the very last thing you want to do. I’ve tried my best to help on this front, and for the paywall that does exist, I charge the absolute minimum that Substack allows on their platform, which shakes out to $5 a month or $55 a year. Currently, about 5% of ALL Signal Fire readers are paid subscribers, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Today, I am humbly asking you to help me make that percentage grow. And I want to explain why. I’ll do my best, and I’ll probably get emotional, but whatever, I always do. Here’s why:
I Value This Work
The simple fact is, I work my silly ass off on this place, this community, and it truly is the biggest labor of love of my life. I pour more heart, soul, time, and energy into every single Signal Fire newsletter than you’d ever believe. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about the writing, planning, researching, responding to comments, emails, direct messages, and trying to figure out ways to enrich this place further. Fact is, there are almost 7,500 of you that find value here, you must, as you keep reading, keep reaching out, keep coming back, and keep humbling me with the kindest words about how something I’ve written has helped them, soothed them, inspired them, or changed their life in some tiny (or huge) way. I’ll never stop being thankful for this.
Problem is, time is money, and that’s the stupidest part of life in this economic climate, and in order for me to have the time I need to actually work on this place, I have to find a way to make it financially sustainable. I am so glad Substack has created a system where those of you who are able to help support this work financially, can do so simply, and that it instantly shows me that what I’m doing is of value to you.
I Gotta Eat
Full transparency here: Things haven’t been easy since the pandemic for anyone, but we’re included in that anyone. Sarah and I lost literally every single job for 3 years as traveling wedding photographers when the pandemic hit, an industry that got decimated alongside many others. This Signal Fire was born as an attempt to quite literally feed my family during that time. The amount of time I spend on this Signal Fire means it’s less time I have to do the other things that I need to do to support my family, and the closer I get to having to do things that do not creatively or meaningfully fulfill me in order to make ends meet. My biggest fear is not having the time or space to maintain this place.
My goal is to get more of you wonderful souls to hop behind that little paywall, in order to make those ends meet, but more than that, to be able to pour even more energy and love and insight and useful work back into this place. It lets me donate more money and more custom work to non-profits every time someone signs up, it puts my autistic mind at ease that I’m failing those that love me, which is silly, but again, true. Finally, though, and this is the biggest reason (personally and I mean this honestly) I want more of you to join us:
This Community Is BEAUTIFUL
Truth is, this IS the biggest reason I want more of you here to join us as paid subscribers. When you’re a paid subscriber, it gives you full access to commenting, and discussions, and CHAT on the App, and direct access to not only me, but to the entire community of Light Chasers spread out across the world that have truly become family. The support I’ve seen first-hand has been mind-blowing and humbling and absolutely stunning. I’ve seen people show up for each other, strangers before this, through divorces, through medical diagnosis, through creative feedback on their artistic output, and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever watched spring forth out of the seeds I’ve planted. This community is gorgeous, and I really do think that more than a “subscription fee,” that $5/month is just like a janitorial fee to keeping the coolest nightclub/therapy session/bookclub/creative writing course clean and maintained. It quite simply, keeps the lights on.
So, for those of you still on the fence about signing up, I’ll let you know what you get for doing so below, but more than that, I just want to say that it supports me, it says that after 13 years of just giving every single thing I’ve ever written away for free, there’s value in it, and value worth paying for. It means the world, it really does. Here’s what ya get on top of that great karma:
What Comes With Paid Subscriptions?
The Signal Fire weekly deep-dive essay you’re used to getting. Speaking of, I’m working on picking the best day of the week for it, currently it’s Sunday, but I have heard this is not the best day for many of you. So, if you’ve got a second, go here and let me know what day you prefer.
Weekly Writing Prompt called “Kindling” where we all get to write, share our work, and respond to one another. Instant feedback on YOUR work from me, and from everyone else here. It’s amazing, silly, and gets wildly out of hand sometimes.
The Matchbook post of my favorite things I’ve found that week/month, filled with links, songs, and videos.
LIVE Zoom Hangouts that I have officially figured out how to do! All you paid subscribers, be on the lookout this week for a post about exactly this. Fun shit ahead.
FULL Community access with extremely like-minded light chasers who are ready to engage, interact, probably flirt, and make you feel better.
FULL Archive of all older posts filled with all the wisdom you can possibly handle.
Random extra goodies that change from time to time, as well as a discount in my Chasers shop that’s always there. Always.
Oof. This was the hardest Signal Fire I have ever had to write, as I am shit at asking for help, I feel terrible asking for it, especially when it’s of the financial variety. However, I really do believe that I need to be better about 1) celebrating and being proud of my own value and encouraging others to do the same thing in their creative fields and b) admitting that it’s really, really hard consistently giving away all I make for free for literally 15 years, and to still feel like I’m struggling at the end of it. Sorry, I told you I’d get emotional.
So, again, if you’re not able to do so, please know that I 100304034030% understand. I hate money, I know it is tight for SO MANY PEOPLE, and so as part of that, I wanted to make a pledge: For every 50 paid yearly subscribers I get, I will be giving away 5 FREE signups to those that cannot afford it for whatever reason. I’d love for this to go to students, or those who are either unemployed or really up against it financially, but I’ll never ever ask you the “why” for why you would like a free membership. Here’s the Signal Fire Scholarship Form for that.
At any rate, I just wanted to close by saying Thank You, to all of you, for being a part of this place, for allowing me to write the work that makes my whole heart sing. Thank you for following me all these years, for finding value here, and for even POSSIBLY thinking about helping support me on this path.
Here’s how to sign up, if you’re ready to do so:
Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Be good. I Love ya.