Prospects and Plans

I did a little maths (that’s British for math) on the way home from the hotel job this morning. I figured out I only need to earn an average of £35 per day to match what I make as a night-porter. This feels like an achievable goal, which is a relief because the job is becoming a lot more demanding than I’d hoped.

The job has it’s perks. I get to complete the tasks unsupervised, which is great because I often felt patronised by managers at other jobs. I much prefer to be left alone and trusted to do the work well. Also, if there isn’t going to be an event the next day and wasn’t one that day, all I need to do is change the dirty table cloths, relay the tables, take out the bottle bins and bathroom rubbish, and then wait 5 hours until it’s time to set up the breakfast buffet. Ideally, this five-hour gap would give me time to write, read and network. However, there have been a lot of events lately.

Last night, the last of the guests didn’t go to bed until 1 am. They left several dirty glasses, coffee cups and assorted rubbish that had to be cleared. The glasses and cutlery they’d used had to be washed so I could use them for table settings. I then had to rearrange the tables in two rooms, then lay them (only to discover I still didn’t have enough cutlery and glasses), bring several chairs in from another building on the property, and then set up the breakfast buffet.

I have to go back for another shift in seven hours, and I’m still hurting from last night’s physical labour. I know to some of you it may seem like I’m whining, and I am. I know this. Suffering is a part of life, but (to a certain extent) we get to choose how we want to suffer. I’d much rather struggle over plot points and character development or push myself to meet deadlines and exceed client expectations.

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In order to achieve this, I aim to generate enough freelance writing work to earn £40 per day, with a stretch goal of £50. I’ve already spoken with several potential clients, three of which have already sent me their drafts and outlines. I’m feeling good about this. The sooner I no longer need to work at that hotel the better.

There’s no shortage of writers that have had an idea and begun writing a story, only to get stuck and lose hope. Some of them don’t even consider themselves writers, but I’m sure they’d love to see their name on a book! I can make that happen. £25 per hour may seem expensive (and if it is you think of it like an eight-hour workday), but I can work on your story for just one or two hours per week if you like.

A ten-hour work week would be all it takes to make the hotel job unnecessary, which is great because, with having to sleep during the day and getting no time to write during my shift, I often only have a couple of usable hours in a day at most. My days off are often spent recovering from work and networking to try and gain more clients. Hopefully, this blog post should help with that too.

Speaking of blog posts, I setup a Fiverr.com gig to try and get more writing work. I used to write an article per day for free when I first started blogging for a geeky WordPress site. I’d much rather get paid for it! One article per day would be enough to be able to quit the hotel job and write full-time. If you have a blog that needs articles, I’m your man!

Prices are negotiable, especially if I can get my name out there instead of ghost-writing, but my priority at the moment isn’t self-promotion. It’s getting enough money coming in to make working in a ‘regular job’ completely unnecessary. I’m a writer. That’s all I want to do.

This post, by the way, is what a ‘short’ article would look like. I can make it shorter if you want, but as you can see, it’s a little more than 500 words 😉

Have a great day 🙂

 

The New Plan – Operation Freelance!

After talking it over with a very smart friend I’ve decided to offer blog articles for £100 each, and £50 each for short ones.

I’m offering Ghostwriting and Co-Author services too. If you have a great story idea but don’t think that you could do it justice, then I can help. You may even have started writing it yourself and got stuck. You can hire me as a Ghostwriter, in which case the book has your name on it, and you get to keep the royalties, but you pay me for my time upfront. Or, you can let me take a Co-Author credit, both names are on the cover, we split the royalties 50-50, and it costs you nothing.

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I’m hoping to build up a client list as quickly as possible. I need to be a full-time writer. I’m going nuts. I’ve been trying to build my profile, and my reputation. Take my time. Do this right. Work wherever I can to survive while I make myself look great online. The problem is that the job I’m doing for money is taking all my time, energy and motivation.

I didn’t realize when I started working nights how lonely and depressing it would get. I needed some time to think, but now I’m ready to rejoin the world. I could just get another shitty job doing bar-work, retail or call centre customer service, but I really don’t want to have to. I want to write. It’s all I want to do, and I’m good at it.

I got my start as a blogger writing geek-culture articles for a WordPress-based website. The articles I’ve written for them seem to have gone, but I saved a few of my favourites and re-blogged them on Games ‘n’ Geekery. A geeky website of my own I created using all the skills I learned while working for them, and a few tricks I’ve picked up since.

They didn’t pay me anything, but the experience was invaluable. I learned how to use WordPress, how to make a good-looking blog article, and that I could churn out an original 500-1000 word article, including research, links, pictures and video, every single day.

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I used what they taught me to create this blog, and others. The Hermes925 serialized story that I’ve been posting to this website attracted the attention of Tod Foley, who recruited me for the UbiquiCity project. The writer team would video conference online to talk about our ideas and world-build together, then we each wrote a short story that fit into the world we created. My short story, and the others, are now available on Amazon as part of the UbiquiCity anthology. The accompanying RPG sourcebook will be out soon. It was a fun project. 🙂

I got the opportunity to ghost-write a story for someone, and that was fun too, but the client put the project on hold before I saw a penny for the work I did. I definitely learned a lesson there, but it put me off the idea of ghost-writing for a while.

I submitted a short story or two to contests and publications that offered a cash prize or payment if you were accepted, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that writing short stories for submission, especially if they don’t get accepted. Too much time and effort, for not enough guaranteed reward. If I write a good short story, I want some guarantee I’m going to get paid for it, and I certainly didn’t want to have to pay someone to publish it.

It’s about that time I got distracted by the Creative Writers group. It had only 32 members left, no admin at all. It occurred to me that I could test some of the things I’d learned about social media management and audience building, and also create the kind of supportive community I wanted to find. The group now has over seventeen thousand members.

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I even created an opportunity for group members. I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing’ kind of person. I learn best when it’s a necessary means to accomplish a desired outcome. In hindsight the Monolith project was probably a little too ambitious, but that was kind of the idea. Set the bar high and see if I could pull it off. I didn’t, but I learned a lot along the way.

The idea was to create a series of large anthologies, containing well-written stories, all conforming to the same theme. There would be no charge to submit and we would review the stories as they were submitted. That way we wouldn’t have to try and deal with a huge pile all at once after the submission deadline, and the writers would get feedback right away instead of having to wait. This also gave them an opportunity to try and improve their submission and try again.

We ended up with a lot of great stories, and a lot that could have been good if the writers had been willing to improve them. The project became a logistical nightmare, even with help from other admins in the group, and so the project was abandoned. However, I decided to test self-publishing anyway with one of the short-stories I had written. It sold pretty well for a short story, and I’m currently writing a longer story, hopefully a novel, inspired by the short story. It’s called The Haunted Story.

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It’s taking longer to write than I wanted though. I enjoy writing stories, but they’re harder than blog articles. I have several work-in-progress story-lines that I will to turn into books. A few of the ideas have already been mentioned in this blog. I know I can manage my time better, and be able to spend more time and energy writing my stories, if I can write full-time. The night porter job is an inefficient use of my time and wastes my creativity.

I could replace the hotel job by securing enough clients to write an article a day, just like I used to do. I’m a good writer, as you can see from this blog and my published stories. I’m more than happy to negotiate, especially if I can gain something else besides money, like cover-art, editing, or marketing.

I can do blogging, and it comes easily to me, but I’d prefer to write a book with you. I know from the previous experience that I write better and faster when I’m working for someone, and it gives me something to look forward to each day. Unlike my current job. At this point I’d welcome any opportunity to write for a living really.

So, want to write a book with me? If you don’t have any ideas, I can help with that too. I’m aware that some people just want to see a book on the shelves with their name on the cover. I can arrange that. I can also go to the opposite extreme and help you polish up and revise a story that you’ve mostly written already (and that wouldn’t cost as much). It’d be much more fun to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a great story together, but I’m flexible.

Please email me: antonym.copeland@gmail.com or leave me a comment if you have any questions, advice for new freelancers, or a project for me. Whether you’re a fellow writer with too much on your plate, a website manager that needs more content, or just someone that wants their name on a book, I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day 🙂

 

Making Steps in the Write Direction!

I have another Patron! I’m now up to $5 per month on Patreon.com! Woohoo! That’s about £4.08 closer to my goal!

I’m finding it a little frustrating how difficult it is to get going. I may have blogged about it a little before, but it’s still true. Despite being self-employed and able to work whenever I please, I still seem to find it particularly difficult to get writing on a Monday.  I’ve had plenty of sleep and I’m still so tired. I need to get on with it. Get the blog post finished and write more of my Project Ubi short story (which has to be completed and polished by the end of the month). I will make it up in the week as usual, but it leaves me feeling like I’m in catch-up mode all week.

I’m not sure what to even write here because everything I think of sounds like I’m whining, yet again, about not having enough income. I’m beginning to feel guilty about asking, but even guiltier for continuing to live with my Grandparents without being able to help with the bills. I know that they are feeling the financial pressure because they ask me very politely whether I’m looking for a job. My reflex reaction has become, “I have a job, I’m a Writer!”

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I’m considering doing it, taking a second job, part-time, to bring some money into the household. I already know that this will cut into my writing time. I need to keep up with Hermes925 and finish my Project Ubi story. Anything else I’m working on can wait, including the SciFan story, but I need be sure I still have the time for Hermes925 and Project Ubi.

I’d much rather write. I know from experience that I’m a terrible employee. I like to impress my boss by doing a good job, and I expect to rewarded for it by being trusted to continue doing a good job. If my numbers are going down I will take action, if I need help I’ll come get it. Give me the data, I’m clever. If you choose to sit me down and explain what the numbers mean and then break down an over-simplified strategy to improve those numbers, I’m going to be thinking ‘Shut up and let me go do it then!’ the whole time.

Need a salesperson you can just ignore? Perfect. I’m your guy. If you feel the need to constantly coach your employees, anything beyond “You did really well yesterday!” or “Can you bring your stats back up for me?” will be a waste of my productive time. You also have to be okay with me writing at my desk, or folding paper dragons, or fiddling with toys. My brain builds worlds in its spare time, sometimes I’m going to need to use focusing strategies, like preventing myself from getting bored, to be able to complete the simple tasks I’ve been assigned.

I’m going to try applying to places that interest me. If I don’t like the job, or the product, I know I won’t be able to keep working there with a smile on my face, knowing that I could be using the time I’m wasting working for someone else to write instead. I need money, but minimum wage isn’t enough to put up with being over-managed, underutilised and bored.

If you are a prospective employer, this is what you need to know. I will work my arse off for you if you let me do it my way. I understand that training will be necessary and that some rules are a legal requirement or a safety measure. I’m not going to do anything stupid, reckless or dangerous. I will make mistakes along the way, but I learn from those mistakes. Trust me to know how to maximise my productivity and that I will satisfy my own thirst for knowledge and advancement, and you will not regret it.

I should put that on my Indeed profile!

All I really want to do is write. It makes me happy, and my brain hum. I just want to be able to sustain myself without my Grandparent’s help, and preferably to give them something back. I know if I take a job, I won’t find one that will let me write, or allow me to self-manage. It will be a job like any other. I’ll hate it, and I’ll rebel in silly little ways, like letting my numbers drop because I can’t find it in myself to care.

It won’t be the end to the stories, even if the hours are longer than I wanted and I’m too tired to do anything else. I’ll just quit the job and go back to writing! The writing comes first. It is my life, my career, my chosen profession, and there’s not an overbearing and/or incompetent boss on the planet that can keep me from it for any amount of money.

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So, in summary, I either need to attract enough paid subscribers with my writing to make the issue of finding a second job unnecessary, or I need to find a company that sells something interesting (fun gadgets, gaming computers and games, tabletop games, comics, geeky or gothic fashion, spooky household decorations, vampires, aliens and robots) and will let me do my job (in sales, customer service, marketing, management, product demonstrations, voice acting, writing, role-playing or games-mastering) without having to listen to time-consuming and pointless interruptions.

Personally, I think the former is more likely. However, if you do think you have a job for a difficult but driven employee like me, here’s the link to my CV/Resume.

You can help by either becoming a patron on http://www.patreon.com/antonym_copeland or clicking on of the poorly designed images below (I put them together myself). Every paying subscriber gets personal emails including updates on all the projects I’ve worked on that week. The more you pay, though more additional perks and entitlements you earn.

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Thank you for reading, and have a great day! 🙂

 

Here We Go!

The great experiment in life/work balance has begun! Let’s see if I can juggle all the flaming torches life will throw at me.

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My limited amount of money I have been using to get by is running out. At the time of writing I have only £90 left. This is partly due to a great weekend I had catching up with friends. As I mentioned in New Beginnings, I was invited to see a live band. It was a lot of fun. I won’t say much about the band itself at this point, though they have been invited to check out this website. If they approve, then I will write them a review article.

It was rather last minute, but I enjoyed myself. The main event, the one I’d been planning with friends and had a Facebook event too, was last night. In addition to old friends from my home town Barrow and my college town Lancaster, I also invited a new friend. We’ve been talking on Facebook and she’s friends with people I used to hang out with in Lancaster.

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To my delight she came, even though none of the Lancaster crew could, and we hit it off well. I can’t wait to see her again, but this is where it gets problematic. I still have no income. My website still doesn’t have the traffic necessary to make any money. Though hopefully that could change soon. I have a friend that offered to help improve the website. I’m looking forward to see what she does with it.

I’d already decided before yesterday that I would dedicate today to looking for a job, which is good because I clearly need to do so. I won’t be eligible for Jobseekers allowance (it’s a little like welfare benefit in the US) for another few days since you have to prove that you’ve been back in the UK for at least 3 months and haven’t worked at all. It’s been almost 3 months, but I’ve been told that in order to be able to claim jobseekers allowance you need to be able to prove that you’re spending 35+ hours a week looking for work.

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I’m only looking for a part time job. Just so I can afford to make improvements to my website, save up the money I’ll need for self-publication, occasionally take a trip to Lancaster to see my new darling, and maybe indulge in a hobby or two. I don’t want to take too much time away from my writing. So to that end I think I’ll skip the process of applying for jobseekers allowance and just get a job! Easier said than done? Maybe, but I’m motivated!

I’m updating my CV (that’s a resume Americans) and uploaded it to Indeed.com and a few other sites. I’ve even made a CV page on this blog that I’ll be sharing on LinkedIn and Facebook. Later I’m going to work on a one-page printable version of my CV so that I can drop into places and hand them a copy. I may even check out Craigslist. If you happen to be an employer looking for someone skilled in customer service, creative writing, or pouring a pint, then please contact me.

I’d better get on with it. Have a great day 🙂