My problem with computer money

The idea keeps coming up, and I keep declining / passing it off. Let me explain why.

It’s been suggested several times by online WoW friends from giving me money to starting a Kickstarter to get me a new computer. Mostly since August would be this toaster’s 5th birthday, and it wasn’t exactly a stellar gaming choice to begin with.

I’m honored and even tempted but still heavily resistant to this idea.

I was brought up that I pay for my own things but share stuff I have with good friends/family. My family at reunions in restaurants argues over not who won’t pay the check, but who will. They even try to snipe the waiter before anyone else in the family can request the check first, and then when it gets settled by talking it over, there’s one paying “winner” and the rest are grudgy faces of “you shouldn’t have to.”

This even bleeds into WoW. I don’t have buttloads of gold: I used to consider a toon with 5k gold to be “rich” and often had only about 2k on the raiding toon herself. I was gifted with the gold of a leaving-WoW friend at Christmas, so now I have much more, but I still wouldn’t be able to just buy a motorcycle or a Vial of the Sands off the AH whenever I wanted. I had to pool to get the vendor-bought parts for my warlock’s motorcycle, and farm the rest. I definitely couldn’t buy my way up a profession’s leveling.

But I farm a lot, mostly for fun. I go solo old 5mans, so I have lots of cloth and enchanting materials. I hear someone is leveling enchanting or tailoring in my guild, and if I can catch them before they drop thousands of gold on leveling it, I go through my bank and hand them a few mails of enchanting materials or bolts of cloth. I don’t really mind. It builds back up pretty quickly for me when I’m not using it.

It’s a rarity when my toons share mats or gold, because it’s my thing where I pay for my own shit, even on a toon-by-toon basis. Emergency? Sure, maybe I’ll mail a bit of gold over. Non-emergency? I grind it out, whether gold by dailies or old content clears, or mats by grinding the drops myself.

So I’m resistant to accepting $$$ for a new computer, because it’s my thing where I pay for my own shit.

There’s also the problem of what a Kickstarter is really for.

Kickstarter is for creative things. While building a computer might be a little creative, finding all the parts to go together, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t comply. Kickstarter specifically says:

No “fund my life” projects. Examples include projects to pay tuition or bills, go on vacation, or buy a new camera.

That’s what a new gaming computer would be. So no Kickstarting anything.

I also had issues of what I would do for the Kickstarter pledge rewards, if I even could kickstart it. What can I do well? Write? You want me to write for you? I mean, I love writing, and I love reading, but c’mon, really? One-off guest posts for $$, that just seems thoroughly wrong to me. I realize that’s exactly what I’m doing for WoW Insider — writing for $$ — but a business built for it is different than personally controlled blogs.

I can draw a little bit, but I’m not even close to even an amateur artist with drawing books. I have drawing books I had since before puberty, but haven’t really played around with them since. I really only use my drawing skills whenever a birthday or a holiday comes around and I feel like the store cards are hollow and empty in their greetings (so I make my own). And I just feel like offering that would be a slight to other & better artists who actually try to live off producing actual, great art.

I’m slow on getting a job because I’m slow on dealing with most of my own problems. You don’t really need to know what those problems are and though I wrote for a good few paragraphs on the subject just now, they’re all deleted because I feel like this is neither the blog for it nor the time.

To put it shortly: if I could write all day for a living, that would be fantastic. Even though I have my troubles just doing Blood Pact, it’s a challenge I like to fight against. Writing gets me to forget my fears and exhaustion and self-hatred and anxieties, at least for a little while. It’s almost a drug that makes you more productive, y’know? (That can’t be right. I must be kidding myself.) Even when I’m being a perfectionist and wringing my mental hands over the keyboard at the latest “I’m not sure it’s cool enough” post, there’s the deadline that makes me hit the publish button. Or there’s Cynwise, whether the actual Cynwise or the God of First Drafts Cynwise in my head, telling me to fuck the anxiety and hit publish already.

But that probably won’t happen — the living off writing gig — not even in the really long run of being old with white hair. I don’t think I’m that gifted, and I’m not sure if I can be that talented in time for it to matter.

So I’m stuck trying to stick myself into a job that I’ll probably hate a lot just so I can build a ~$1000 computer so I can do the things I love. And it’s summer in a college town. Being an adult sucks.

It’s nice that people want to hand me money to build a computer, but I really feel like I can’t accept it.

Sorry.

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My problem with computer money

4 thoughts on “My problem with computer money

  1. Wow… and here I thought I was just teasing you on twitter. You must get this a lot.

    I understand your approach though. I’m thankful I have peers in our generation that still have that mindset. Oddly I also do the same thing in WoW. It’s why I have so many alts… so I can have a crafter network and not have to buy a bunch of stuff on the AH. It helps remove me from the server economy so I can just enjoy all aspects of the game (from farming to running dungeons).

  2. I firmly approve of your perspective and respect it a lot. It bugs me when people beg for donations/gifts from friends for something like WoW subscriptions or a new computer (when they DO have a working one, I suppose it might be diff if yours suddenly exploded or something). It just seems so…undignified.

    It’s a little better if you’re doing something to earn it, and it’s not just donations, I suppose. Hard to do with writing though? Unless they’re short fiction about people’s characters or something. I’d find it hard to accept this “job” though, for the same reasons as you’ve listed.

    Anyway just a short comment saying “I AGREE” and, good luck finding the job and being able to get a new comp. 🙂 Something you COULD do, when you get some funds, is appeal to Twitter/your online friends and get advice on where to get an economic choice / perhaps build your own! That I could see being quite beneficial. 😀

  3. elkagorasa says:

    We are unfortunately some of our own harshest critics. You can’t disregard that you DO have a paying writing job (and lots of followers here). Spinning that into your livelihood may not be feasible now, but don’t give up on a dream just because it sounds out of reach..

    Personally, I cannot afford $1000 for a new PC either. I am all in favor of the refurb specials over at newegg, where I can get last year’s PC (i.e. not mac) for $400. Recycle my monitor, put in a dash more memory and I triple my processing power (from my 7 year old PC). Baby steps.

  4. Being an adult really does suck. Making adult choices and decisions…makes me want to go back and beat the crap out of emotional teen eluna who couldn’t wait to grow up!

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