Howdy, Pioneers. After some careful thought, I’ve decided to suspend the Westward project indefinitely. Here’s why:
Over six months, Westward’s Patreon campaign succeeded in raising less than half of its baseline “sustainable” benchmark. Much of what it has raised is thanks to a couple especially generous patrons who are carrying too much of the burden. While statistics seem to indicate that readership is as high as it ever was, it has remained flat over the past six months. Additionally, reader interaction is minimal, suggesting that the story isn’t particularly engaging. Philosophically, I’m opposed to propping up failing systems, regardless of how much effort has gone into creating them. Westward as it currently exists has failed, so it’s time to try something new.
Here are some answers to other questions you may have:
What about Westward’s Patrons?
As of May 26, all existing patronage has been cancelled. I would like to humbly thank everyone who donated toward the vision of Westward and kept it going for six more months.
Will Westward ever resume production?
Anything’s possible. If popular demand suggests that a re-relaunch is viable, or if I get a new and irresistible idea for revisiting it, Westward may indeed continue someday.
Will Westward still be readable?
Yes, for the foreseeable future, Westward’s archive will still be available.
What are you doing next?
I’ll be devoting my creative energy to exploring and developing new projects. Because having a regular creative outlet is hugely important for me, the end goal will almost certainly be a new, ongoing narrative. My Patreon account will remain active; there you’ll be able to watch, influence and support the development of future projects. My current goal is to have decided on my next long-term project by January 2016. In the meantime, I’ll be posting sketches, concepts, outlines and other creative tidbits as I explore the possibilities.
To everyone who has supported Westward, I am deeply and truly grateful. I hope you’ll continue to be involved in what comes next!