John Donner

is creating a travelogue (maybe a memoir and novel too)

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I have been convicted by Proverbs 23:23 and Matthew 10:8 and as such everything I create will always and immediately be available via my free wordpress blog. The patreon box defaults to the lowest reward tier amount but you can put in any amount you want! I am still planning on doing everything described here. Consider this page an advanced "feel free to donate if you feel led to" kind of a thing. I'm leaving the reward tiers merely as "suggestions" but again, EVERYTHING will be freely available. 

I'm at a unique juncture in life where I have the means and motivation to travel around and ask people what it is that's driving them. As of 1/1/2015, I'll be traveling around the United States, primarily via Amtrak and primarily staying in hostels. In my experience, people on a train are much more open to conversation than people on planes (not that I haven't had a few good conversations with strangers on planes) and I'm intuiting that people in the hostel community are also open to conversation. In an era where people in my age group have dwindling chances at social interaction (unless you're the type to organize your social activities around drugs or alcohol, which I am not) and the odds of striking up a conversation with a random stranger seem to be less and less no matter your age, this strategy seems a decent way to exchange ideas.

International travel is something I intend, though it'll happen at hazy date in the future (no sooner than 6 months, probably closer to a year). I have, however, finally attained a passport in preparation for such a venture.

I intend to compose my thoughts daily - in that archaic, old-fashioned handwritten manner - and should you become a patron of mine you'd be able to read my travelogue as it happens. 

I'm assuming you've watched the video, but if you haven't, who am I and why should I charge you money to read my drivel? Well, something magical happens in the psychology of a person when one spends money on something. That person feels like he or she really needs to get his or her "money's worth" out of whatever it was that was purchased. This means one is much more likely to actually use the product (in this case, read the writing) than one would be were it a free gift.

The travelogue and what I am doing is going to happen regardless of patronage. Who I am and where I've been may help "sell" you on the idea but honestly, I'm not after the money. The "fee," if you will, just establishes you as a person who either cares enough to keep tabs on me, is interested enough in the idea and the journey, or someone who wants to read about long train rides and hostel stays interspersed with as much philosophy, metaphysics, theology, spirituality, religion, politics and other heady topics as possible.

That said, I'll be setting up a completely separate bank account for funds collected from patrons, which will only be used on things that make the content better for patrons. I'm not at a point yet where I'd need to dip into patron funds in order to get tickets or lodging or food or anything like that. Along those lines, I'll be looking into patron input for additional reward tiers and goals on improving content and content delivery. (What about a reward tier where I go out of my way to visit your city?)

I should mention that I'll also be finishing an undergrad degree and starting a master's degree while on the road, too. If there's any time left over, I've been kicking around the idea of finishing up a memoir I've been working on since 2006 and revisiting an idea I've had for a novel for a good long time.

This inventory is subject to change, but as of 1/1/2015 I plan on being armed with: a pen, some notebooks, 5-7 changes of casual clothing, a Chromebook (for school and planning each leg of the journey - transit routes, ticket reservations, hostel reservations, and also transcribing the handwritten travelogue into a form patrons can digest), my phone, a set of headphones, a Kindle Paperwhite, and assorted toiletries.

Here is where some selected samples of my writing (a few older pieces as well as transcribed, hand-written journal entries leading up to my actual departure itself) will be available for you to get a sense of my style. At some future point (let's say, April 2015), some older travelogue pieces may also be made publicly available to get a sense of what that writing is like. As a patron you would have full access to everything which means someone could feasibly pay the entry fee, download all the content, make a PDF and freely distribute it. I'm sure there are laws to protect me against such a thing but frankly I'm not petty enough to pursue them. I would ask that my patrons respect me enough to NOT do such a thing, but I do want people to be able to archive for personal use or figure out a way to get what I'm putting up to you in whatever format you like to read it in (such as eReaders and Kindles and so on). I don't have any experience DOING that just yet, but I tend to be a quick study.

Also, if you have only known me SINCE 2011, well, some of what I end up writing could very well offend, shock, surprise or otherwise completely change your perception of me. Most people who've met me in person would describe me as someone quiet who doesn't usually have much to say - it is because I understand the power of speech that I prefer to choose my words carefully. A spiritual father of mine would often say, as a teaching point, something along the lines of "if your thoughts were being broadcast to the world on a billboard right now, would you want to be known to be thinking them?" I do not always think right thoughts, but as a writer I tend (these days) more toward honesty and transparency than I do presenting myself as some kind of grand authority. Perhaps it will be helpful for others to see my thought process when it comes to certain things, though I know it will be shocking/offensive/surprising to others to see those same thoughts.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am involved with and, in some small capacity, representing The King's Church International, though, the writings I produce are not to be taken as specifically representative of that congregation. The writings are wholly and utterly my own, I have no editorial oversight or publishing review board or committee filtering what makes it "to print." My spiritual father and the senior pastor of The King's Church International, Jim Teak II, has no interest in censoring or controlling what I have to say. So that's that. (I have taken an effort to anonymize anyone's name - not just from the church but whoever I encounter in my daily life or write about - just as a precaution. If they're okay with being named then their names are not switched around.) Some writings from Jim you may consider checking out:

TL;DR - An epic road trip (sans car, plus train) across the country, visiting a new major city or area every week or so, daily travelogue updates with a focus on my lifelong passion to pursue the truth, I don't actually need your money and you may be shocked/offended/disappointed/nonplussed by the product you receive for the investment I'm asking you to pay for. (I have no money back guarantee because I have no guarantee of anything. I'm taking this day by day and planning no more than a month at a time, if that.) 

Recent posts by John Donner

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