Today we’d like to introduce you to JB Burrage.
Thanks for sharing your story with us JB. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Boy, this is about to be a long story. But here it goes. When I formed The JB Burrage Agency in 2017, I felt that I was going in a new direction with my work. I was looking forward to being a freelance writer, writing for various publications and working with clients looking for a new kind of written work. Even when I changed the name to Phoenix Endeavors to better reflect the direction I was going, I felt that it would be great.
Then I became dissatisfied and didn’t feel right about myself.
The thing I was missing was my own content to develop and promote. I realized that what I was doing was neglecting every reason I started writing as a serious business so long ago. I just didn’t feel right about what I was doing. I had to fix it. Don’t get me wrong, right now I’m writing for a great online magazine right now, bphope.com, the official site for BP Magazine; an online magazine that provides information and support for people with bipolar disorder and their loved ones, I contribute articles using my own personal experiences to tell my story and help other people. Writing for them has helped me create a platform and a sort of international following.
But I was missing writing my own creative work and having that control over it. Having control over my work has always been important to me, and it’s especially important now. We lived in a world where so-called experts and industry insiders are only looking to mass produce and manipulate creative work for profit, rather than for the true artistic value that it is. In return, the artist gets almost no financial reward and forced to deal with people that don’t really support their visions.
Money isn’t the number one goal for me. In fact, I hate the fact that we can’t survive without money because we need it to pay for basic things. But creating art takes time and requires money, and like any other person out there I got bills and I need to eat. So my thought process was to figure out how can I exercise full control of my work and vision, while still reaping the lion’s share of my work.
That’s when I found out about Patreon.com, a platform to release and develop all kinds of creative work, whether it’s writing project, theater, music, or film. I was very skeptical at first; I have a very hard time trusting people, businesses, and platforms; but when I saw how much support they provide and how the people have done well with the platform, I created The Mad Writer Project, LLC to manage my own platform on Patreon, also called The Mad Writer Project.
I realized with Patreon I can have that control of my work and vision that I wanted for so long and make as much money as I want because my company is marketing and promoting my work and business through various creative and out-of-the-box means. My company chooses who to work with on specific work or things are handled in-house.
With this company and model, I’m independent of the influences of those “experts” and the big dogs of the industry. If I want to work with them, I will. Otherwise, it’s all about me. I returned to the basics. The name The Mad Writer comes from the name of my blog on jbburrage.com, The Diary of a Mad Writer, in which that name comes from my intense ambitions in writing and to a smaller extent my battle with mental illness that I made public by writing for bphope.com.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This hasn’t been an easy road for me. Like all of the ventures in the writing and entertainment business in the 10+ years, I had plenty of roadblocks. As I just mentioned, I was very dissatisfied with the direction I was going with my business, The JB Burrage Agency/Phoenix Endeavors. Phoenix Endeavors was a corporation that I realized was too much of a burden for what I was operating, so I wanted to change business entities.
Because of a more established company with the same name registered in another state, I had to start a whole new company to avoid potential conflicts in trademarks. The beginning of 2018 was very tragic and depressing, and it hit me harder than I realized, It was a very long time since something took a toll on me so hard and drastically. I had to take a break from my business for a little while so I could process and accept what was happening; a new normal that this personal tragedy forced me to deal with and live.
However, out of everything that I’ve done, The Mad Writer Project is one of my easiest ones, even with the challenges I had to face to get to this point.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Mad Writer Project is a lot of things all rolled in one. It is a publishing company and performing arts company (The Mad Writer Project, LLC), with the performing arts and production aspect possibly happening sometime in 2019; I can’t say when before I’m currently working on some professional development that will help me with a lot of these projects, and I won’t be finished with these for a while.
As a publishing company, it publishes articles and short stories, and will also publish books that I’ll write and stage plays, which I will also license to people looking to produce them. As a performing arts company, it will produce stage plays and other stage performing events; all based on my work. Other products will be added as the company grows.
As a publisher, it will only publish my work. It will not accept submissions from other authors. It’s also a project, launched on the creative platform called Patreon. Almost all of my writing and media business will be on this platform, with the exception of my blog, The Diary of a Mad Writer, my work with bphope.com, and other work that I’m currently working on or will be hired to work on. It’s also a community, where people can contribute to the development of some of my work by providing input through comments and polls, as well as having monthly chat sessions where we’ll all get together to discuss my work and anything else.
Finally, it’s a brand. So to sum it up, it’s a company, a project, a community, and a brand, all in one.
What makes this business unique from others is that it’s a membership-only platform. To be able to see my work, whether it’s written work or videos, people have to sign up for a monthly membership plan. Patrons can cancel their membership, upgrade their membership, or downgrade at any time; however, certain levels have loyalty benefits. There are also goals that I would like to achieve with this project, all of them can be found on the project’s Patreon site.
What I’m proud of the most about this company is that I’m free to create any content I want, as long as they don’t violate certain conditions that Patreon has. I have full control of the direction of my work, including who to distribute them to and how I want to distribute them to. It’s as close to artistic freedom as you can get.
What were you like growing up?
I was a quiet kid growing up. I spent a lot of time to myself and writing. I was a very ambitious child, always wanting to travel and explore different things. I grew up in a small city in Mississippi named Meridian, and I knew that there was a bigger world than Meridian; I wanted to experience it. My fantasy was to live in the big city. I was an avid reader; some people considered me a nerd. I never had an interest in sports and only participated in a couple of school clubs.
My one of my biggest activities were JROTC, where I participated in some kind of drill event every year for the entire time in high school, and eventually, reach the rank of Cadet Major and was on the program’s staff. I also participated with my high school’s mock trial team, which forced me to deal with my fear of public speaking, as I either had to be a witness or a lawyer who had to make the closing statement.
After I graduated high school, I left for the Army, something I knew and worked hard to achieve since I was about 16. It gave me what I wanted, which was to travel, made me deal with the world in a way I never would’ve dealt with in Meridian, and force me to grow out of Meridian, Mississippi naive very quickly, as well as face many fears that I previously had.
- Bronze Membership: $1
- Silver Membership: $5
- Gold Membership: $15
- Address: 4813 Ridge Rd Suite 111 PMB 1041
Douglasville, GA 30134
- Website: https://jbburrage.com/
- Email: email@example.com