We've got to create the culture that we want to enjoy, and that means backing those willing to put themselves out there. While that does mean spreading the word, ultimately it comes down to putting either your money or your skin where your mouth is. I understand if you're having to pinch your pennies, but if you can't put your money down then you can find a way to contribute otherwise; I can write, so I'm putting skin down instead and throwing my hat into the ring. Below is an excerpt of what I put out on my writing blog last Friday.
I'm taking a big step today. Today I launch my first crowd-funding campaign for my debut novel.
Head on over to my Freestartr page today, where you will find the campaign page live and awaiting your pledge of support. I don't have much to offer in terms of backer awards, as one would expect of someone starting out; I can't become someone that can do that sort of thing down the road if you don't trust me to deliver on my modest offerings now.
So what do I offer you?
If you haven't been keeping up, this is my #StarWarsNotStarWars AND my #AGundamForUs contributions, something I'm writing with as much inspiration from the East and the West, from the Pulps as from Medieval and Ancient epics, and played straight and sincere. If you want a hero that John Carter would be proud of, come put your money down for my space knight-errant and his adventures in a galaxy full of wonder and peril. No ponderous, plodding, bloated door-stoppers here: just slim, lithe page-turners like E.E. Smith and Robert E. Howard used to write.
I promise you Action! Romance! Giant Robot Combat! Space battleships pounding each other in engagements full of passion and valor, villains whose evil will make you love to hate them, and a heroine who is every bit the Deja Thoris to my John Carter, my Clarissa MacDougal to my Kimbal Kinneson. Some may not make it to the end, but nihilism and despair have no place in Galactic Christendom, so you'll find no such rob-the-reader endings here.
We've got a good core of solid folks now willing and able to produce the stuff we want to see; just look at the Contributors. We've also got Autarch Entertainment and The RPG Pundit making new non-pozzed gaming stuff for the tabletop RPG world, taking the same "Regress Harder!" ethic to tabletop gaming (where the same problem goes on there).
We're making more of our own outlets, starting with the magazines and podcasts (as those are easiest to do with a small team), but if we're going to succeed then we need to learn how to work better together as well as to bring some more players on to the team (as it were) to properly force-multiply our efforts. Remember that the strategy is "Fork and Replace", and the latter part in particular means working to build up clean institutions to be ready with the diseased ones collapse. That won't happen if you don't back those putting skin in the game now.
If you want the culture of hope, courage, and tenacity--especially under severe adversity--to revive and thrive tomorrow, then you need to water the seeds being sown and cultivated today. There's no other way to see it happen. Passivity is not an option.