So Much to Do!

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Not just here, but on the Patreon page also. I’m trying to get into a regular writing routine, but it’s been difficult while I’ve been distracted by various worries.

My chief recurring worry seems to be money, and I know I’m not alone in this. Most of my followers and fans are fellow writers and bloggers. Every single one on you reading this article is struggling to generate a stable income also. I’d like to think that if this were not the case, my own writing skills would have convinced at least some of you that I’m worth the investment by now.

Instead of begging then, I’m going to try and help you, anyway I can, and hope that karma takes care of me. I’ve been trying to build an audience the way I’ve been told works by other successful authors. Posting my writing publicly to get the word out and promote my talents, an sharing those posts via social media to reach an even wider audience.

I know that this method will take about 2-3 years to generate a decent income this way, and the first time I tried it with the Hermes925 story I focused mostly on Facebook and didn’t really give it time to germinate before getting distracted and switched the Patreon campaign to an anthology project.

Dead Letter Eyes
Do you ever feel like something is watching?

 

This time around I’m trying to stick to my guns and continue to update the Patreon page as I work on The Haunted Story, and to share those posts on multiple sites, including Reddit. I’m still trying to figure Reddit out, but I’m hoping that if I keep sharing the content, someone will see it and share it. If any of you successfully use Reddit and know some good horror/crime genre subreddits I can get some traction on, I’d appreciate it.

In the meantime I’m also doing things the hard way. Participating in writers groups on Facebook and keeping a particularly watchful eye out for people looking for writers. Doing this has gotten me a few gigs. A couple of them were ghostwriting gigs. In each case I try to do a good job hoping that they will give me more work and/or recommend me to others.

Currently I’m working on a psycho-killer investigation story for a client. He’s asked for a script for a podcast show. He wants three episodes and each episode is supposed to be 45 minutes long, but he’s only paid me enough for 3000 words, which will probably take all of 30 minutes to perform. I’m hoping he’ll like what I write, but that I’ll also be able to convince him that the story has a lot of room for development and is worth putting more money into.

I need to keep up on this blog, the facebook groups, the Patreon page, and curate the posts on the other social media pages too if I’m going to successfully build my audience and continue to generate short-term freelance work and long-term passion projects. Part of the marketing has to be face-to-face. Word of mouth is still the best way to get yourself known, and a personal conversation is still the best way to get people to like you.

I’ve also been trying to make some friends in the area for the sake of my own mental health, and I’m doing so fully aware that I’m not only looking for people that I can hang out with, I’m also looking for people that would appreciate my writing style and either help me find a wider audience, or become patrons themselves. If my friends are also fans, they’re more likely me to encourage me to write more, rather than distract me from it.

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I should probably update the Games and Geekery blog too!!

I’ve increased my chances of finding both by organising a monthly meeting for local geeks and gamers. The first meeting took place earlier this month, and it was very successful. We had a lot of fun together and they’re already asking me to make it bi-weekly instead of monthly! One of my new friends has already helped me edit The Haunted Story: Investigation!

So I’ll have to keep ‘Games & Geekery in Kidwelly‘ going, along with making time to spend with my new friends. My hope is that I’ll end up with so much to do that I’ll end up with a solid schedule. It’s a lot easier to let a project drag on unfinished if you have all the time in the world to write it and nothing else going on all week. I’ll be more motivated to get writing if I only have set times slots available for each project.

As you may know, I’m also doing odd-jobs to help supplement my writing income. So far it’s mostly been gardening jobs, though I did get to help someone with their computer this week! Doing a little physical work helps to keep me fit, gets me out of the house, lets me help people in the local community, and I get paid for it. It doesn’t help with my writing goals directly, but it does help me to eat while I work on the writing.

Tomorrow night I have a trial shift at a local pub. The hourly rate would be less than I make from the odd-jobs, but it would give me the opportunity to meet more locals who may be interested in hiring me for odd-jobs! Some of them might even be readers! I’m also going to bring a notebook so that if it’s dead, I can get some more writing done!

The really funny thing is though, if I could get paid for running my Facebook RP groups, The City of Gate and The N-Viron Network, I probably wouldn’t bother with the rest! I love running those games. I get to tell my stories to an audience eager for the next part, and they respond by commenting as a character in the story! They often come up with solutions to scenarios I didn’t expect, and make the ongoing story more interesting. It’s awesome!

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Designed by Heather Montgomery, aka Ann Snizek. She also design the Dead Letter cover.

One of my new friends has suggested I create premium versions, subscription only. It’s a thought that might be worth exploring. Especially if I get more players. If any of you know of any suitable sites for hosting such a thing, I’d love to hear it. I’d also need to know how to find an audience, or it’ll be a total ghost town. I can just ‘Field of Dreams’ it. People need to know it exists and how to find it, and I need to be targeting the people that would care about fantasy roleplay gaming.

If I had mastered social media marketing already, I wouldn’t still be struggling though. I know how it works in theory, but I have trouble putting it into practice. Especially when it come to videos. I’m something of an introvert and I don’t actually like doing videos, plus the quality is crappy because I don’t have good lighting, a decent webcam, or a good microphone. My crappy videos are unlikely to get any traction among the the thousands of beautifully edited masterpieces on YouTube.

Something will happen if I keep working at it. I’ll just keep putting myself out there and eventually I’ll catch the attention of someone who likes my work and has the means, knowledge and resources to help me make my dreams a reality. I just hope it’s soon. I really don’t like that my Dad is having to support my Mum and I. My sister is bringing in an income at least, but she’s moving out soon. I’d love to be able to catch Dad if he falls. Right now I can’t

I realise that what I intended to be helpful suggestions didn’t end up as such. If you did find any of this useful please let me know. If you have any suggestions that would help me get more patrons, freelance gigs, or game players please let me know.

Thank you for reading my babble.

Have a great day 🙂

 

Real Magic

If you’ve been following me for a while you may already know that I believe in magic. For those that think I’m crazy, please let me explain.

Let’s start with the concepts that are the easiest to swallow. Helping others makes you feel better. Now, this could be explained as simple biochemistry. Helping others is beneficial to the mutual survival of our species, and our bodies reward us with a hit of dopamine for doing it.

It isn’t just other people though. It makes us feel good when we help animals, plants and we even get attached to objects. Why do we feel good when we get the old toaster working again? I think it’s because everything has a life of it’s own and, as a result, is affected by our positive or negative treatment of it. There’s even been experiments done that back up this belief.

I found this video in a short article that concludes that ’emanating positives vibes’ is the way to making the world a better place. That’s where my beliefs differ. I don’t think it’s enough to simply think happy thoughts. I think action is required to really make a positive change, however those actions go a lot more smoothly with a positive radiant attitude.

Basically, I believe that if you help people, people will help you. Not necessarily the same people though. There are plenty of people that will take everything you offer and give nothing back, and those people are not the kind of people that will help you achieve your life goals. However, there will be others that want to help you, and expect nothing in return. At least, they will if you’re a genuinely nice and helpful person. A smile can go a long way. It can do magic.

This feels like hogwash to a lot of people because sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try nothing ever seems to go right for us. I believe that’s because the magic doesn’t just work for you, but also for people that don’t believe in it. Your positivity needs to be strong enough to counter not only other’s negativity, but those whose positive actions interfere with your own.

The more people we have in our lives telling us we can’t do what we’ve set out to accomplish, the harder it is to reach our goals because we fighting against their negative opinion. In some cases the best thing to do is to cut them out of your life entirely and find a new group of people to associate with. Preferably those who are already doing what you wish to do so that you can learn from them how it can be done.

Finding those people and being accepted by them takes a little magic. Not just positive thinking, but positive and helpful action. Be willing to do something for them and expect nothing in return. Ask their opinions and listen to their answers, and let them help you if they want to. Things will start going your way.

Magic hand by ambitiousstudio454

So far I’m just covering the basics. Things that a lot of people, at some level at least, already know. What’s less obvious is that positive and negative energies aren’t the only forces that influence us and the people around us. Various emotions and feelings can be used to change our environment. Maybe you’ve already noticed this too if you’ve ever had a friend or loved one that uses emotional manipulation to get their own way.

You can choose to express calmness and reason to encourage those around you to also calm down and be reasonable. You can also make people stressed by snapping at people and raising your voice. Words, and the emotions they express, have power. Being aware of this helps you to recognise when your own feelings are being affected by the words and actions or others and allows you to regulate and control those feelings, and perhaps exert some of your own influence to bring their feelings inline with your own.

This is much easier on a one-to-one basis. Calming a group of angry and upset people can take a lot out of you, and may even seem impossible, but if you can talk one of them around, then they can help you influence the others. If you can use the opportunity to demonstrate how their emotional expression can affect the emotions of others, they will be better able to work together without any outbursts spiraling out of control.

You’ll see some people, particularly online where people are afforded a certain level of anonymity, say ‘Your reaction is not my responsibility’ after they’ve upset somebody. This is only true if that person is aware that their emotions can be influenced by the words, actions and other emotional expressions of others, and realises that what they’re feeling is a result of the manipulative and emotive word choices of the speaker. Most of the time people just react exactly as the speaker intended, and if they refuse to take responsibility for it then they’re lying to themselves.

Feelings can also be influenced by images, music and smells. That’s why a work of visual art, or a piece of music can make us feel moved. It’s also why aromatherapy can be helpful, and why the smell of certain foods can trigger an emotional response. All of these emotional triggers can be used to influence people and to make their lives better where you can, they can also be used to manipulate, control and bully people too, but that path is going to make you more enemies than it does allies.

Magic is real. It can turn an enemy into a friend. A hobby into a full time job. A hopeless existence into a dream come true. It takes work, persistence and a lot of luck, but I believe that once you start to realise the magic of influence and use it to the advantage of yourself and your loved ones, the luckier you’ll become. It’ll be drawn to you, like magic!

Feel free to discuss this in the comments below, and have a great day 🙂

If you’ve been following me for a while you may already know that I believe in magic. For those that think I’m crazy, please let me explain.

Let’s start with the concepts that are the easiest to swallow. Helping others makes you feel better. Now, this could be explained as simple biochemistry. Helping others is beneficial to the mutual survival of our species, and our bodies reward us with a hit of dopamine for doing it.

It isn’t just other people though. It makes us feel good when we help animals, plants and we even get attached to objects. Why do we feel good when we get the old toaster working again? I think it’s because everything has a life of it’s own and, as a result, is affected by our positive or negative treatment of it. There’s even been experiments done that back up this belief.

I found this video in a short article that concludes that ’emanating positives vibes’ is the way to making the world a better place. That’s where my beliefs differ. I don’t think it’s enough to simply think happy thoughts. I think action is required to really make a positive change, however those actions go a lot more smoothly with a positive radiant attitude.

Basically, I believe that if you help people, people will help you. Not necessarily the same people though. There are plenty of people that will take everything you offer and give nothing back, and those people are not the kind of people that will help you achieve your life goals. However, there will be others that want to help you, and expect nothing in return. At least, they will if you’re a genuinely nice and helpful person. A smile can go a long way. It can do magic.

This feels like hogwash to a lot of people because sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try nothing ever seems to go right for us. I believe that’s because the magic doesn’t just work for you, but also for people that don’t believe in it. Your positivity needs to be strong enough to counter not only other’s negativity, but those whose positive actions interfere with your own.

The more people we have in our lives telling us we can’t do what we’ve set out to accomplish, the harder it is to reach our goals because we fighting against their negative opinion. In some cases the best thing to do is to cut them out of your life entirely and find a new group of people to associate with. Preferably those who are already doing what you wish to do so that you can learn from them how it can be done.

Finding those people and being accepted by them takes a little magic. Not just positive thinking, but positive and helpful action. Be willing to do something for them and expect nothing in return. Ask their opinions and listen to their answers, and let them help you if they want to. Things will start going your way.

Magic hand by ambitiousstudio454

So far I’m just covering the basics. Things that a lot of people, at some level at least, already know. What’s less obvious is that positive and negative energies aren’t the only forces that influence us and the people around us. Various emotions and feelings can be used to change our environment. Maybe you’ve already noticed this too if you’ve ever had a friend or loved one that uses emotional manipulation to get their own way.

You can choose to express calmness and reason to encourage those around you to also calm down and be reasonable. You can also make people stressed by snapping at people and raising your voice. Words, and the emotions they express, have power. Being aware of this helps you to recognise when your own feelings are being affected by the words and actions or others and allows you to regulate and control those feelings, and perhaps exert some of your own influence to bring their feelings inline with your own.

This is much easier on a one-to-one basis. Calming a group of angry and upset people can take a lot out of you, and may even seem impossible, but if you can talk one of them around, then they can help you influence the others. If you can use the opportunity to demonstrate how their emotional expression can affect the emotions of others, they will be better able to work together without any outbursts spiraling out of control.

You’ll see some people, particularly online where people are afforded a certain level of anonymity, say ‘Your reaction is not my responsibility’ after they’ve upset somebody. This is only true if that person is aware that their emotions can be influenced by the words, actions and other emotional expressions of others, and realises that what they’re feeling is a result of the manipulative and emotive word choices of the speaker. Most of the time people just react exactly as the speaker intended, and if they refuse to take responsibility for it then they’re lying to themselves.

Feelings can also be influenced by images, music and smells. That’s why a work of visual art, or a piece of music can make us feel moved. It’s also why aromatherapy can be helpful, and why the smell of certain foods can trigger an emotional response. All of these emotional triggers can be used to influence people and to make their lives better where you can, they can also be used to manipulate, control and bully people too, but that path is going to make you more enemies than it does allies.

Magic is real. It can turn an enemy into a friend. A hobby into a full time job. A hopeless existence into a dream come true. It takes work, persistence and a lot of luck, but I believe that once you start to realise the magic of influence and use it to the advantage of yourself and your loved ones, the luckier you’ll become. It’ll be drawn to you, like magic!

Feel free to discuss this in the comments below, and have a great day 🙂

Finding the Upside

It’s been a week full of ups and downs. At the beginning of the week it dawned on me that the freelancer site, UpWork.com, needed my banking information so that I could receive any income I make through it. Then I realised that I hadn’t notified the bank of my change of address.

The bank allowed me to fill in the change of address online, but required me to print them out and hand-deliver them to my local branch. The nearest branch is in Carmarthen, about 10 miles away from Kidwelly. Luckily my parents had some errands to run there anyway. so I could just tag along.

After the banker had typed everything on the paper form into the computer and thrown the printed forms away (yep, that happened), we discovered that GAME was hiring. For those who don’t know, GAME is a store that sells new and used video games, gaming consoles, gaming accessories, merch and used mobile devices. It’s similar to GameStop in America.

I’ve worked for GAME in the past, in fact my first ever job was working for Electronics Boutique which later became GAME. I have fond memories of working there. I was delighted to discover that the position being offered was full-time. This meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about money. I could afford to move into the flat that I’ve had my eye on, and focus on writing my own stories instead of freelancing!

I applied for the job that night (Monday), and was offered an interview on Wednesday that would take place on Friday! It was all moving so quickly, I didn’t even print the extra ‘Odd-Job Antony‘ flyers that I had been planning on posting around town. It felt like everything was falling into place.

Then the day of the interview came. Everything was going well. I looked great. Dad and I got into Carmarthen early. We even had time to chat with a chap called Constantine who was selling ‘Big Issue’ magazines. He says he’ll email me about ghost-writing a book for him. We’ll see if it happens.

The interview did not go as well as I hoped. I think I sounded nervous. I should have done more research into upcoming games. However, the biggest disappointment was discovering that the job posting on the official GAME recruitment page was wrong. It wasn’t a full time position, just an eight hour contract. Nevertheless, some money coming in would be better than no money, so I still expressed an interest in the job. I may have been too eager. They said they would let me know yesterday. They didn’t.

Oh well, I’ll keep trying to find work. I have also applied for a full time position waiting tables at a local cafe, and a part-time job at Kidwelly Castle. I’m not going to give up there’s always more opportunities. On the plus side, not being able to find work means I get to spend more time with my family. I missed them a lot when I was in America and it’s been great being around them again.

I should probably just go with it. Accept and enjoy the fact that I’m living with my parents and use the time to write every day an work on my books. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, there’s no better time to focus on my writing. They’re not putting any pressure on me to provide an income and help them pay the bills or to move out, in fact they’ve told me the opposite. I can stay as long as I need to. After all, they’ve missed me too.

Dad gave me a model kit earlier in the week, so I built it yesterday. It’s a hydraulic arm and it was really fun to build. It was just as much fun to play with when it was done. Dad had it to give him something to do other than church stuff, but he’s so busy that he’s never gotten around to building it.

robot-arm.jpg
Pretty cool isn’t it?

When I was putting it together I dropped a piece or two. As anyone knows that has ever made anything from a kit, the bits that go flying off the sprue and go bouncing across the floor are the tiny bits that are really hard to find. When I found the bits I was very pleased with myself, and it occurred to me that at one time I would have continued to beat myself up for losing the item in the first place rather than enjoying the little victory.

In a way, not being able to get a job, any freelance work, or any odd-jobs either is also a good thing. It means I have no choice but to stay with my family and heal a little longer. It’s been a rough few years emotionally, and the unconditional love has been good for me. I should accept it as a gift.

In which case I should stop worrying about finding a job or finding my own place, and just write. That’s what I wanted to do anyway when I first moved back to the UK, but circumstances required me to earn an income. However those circumstances have changed. I don’t have to push myself so hard.

I think I’m still tying to prove that I’m capable of looking after myself. I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove it to, or why it’s so important. I do know that living with my parents and letting them take care of me is the opposite of being independent. However, being independent and successful is only really important if you’re trying to find a romantic partner. I’m in no hurry to get my heart stomped on again, so that’s out.

The main reason I’d still like to be successful though is to give something back. My sister and her fiance would like to have a home together, which they can’t until he manages to sell off his one bedroom farmhouse that isn’t big enough for my sister and her two daughters to live in. It would be nice to be able to throw money at the problem and fix it. My Dad is working way to hard and doesn’t feel like he’s doing what he set out to accomplish. Again, I’d love to throw money at the problem and fix it.

So maybe I should stop distracting myself trying to find a job that pays me now, and finish writing my stories so I can start building a fan base and earning royalties? If I remove the pressure to make money, maybe writing will become fun again and it’ll stop feeling like something I have to do.

Yep. I think that’ll be good.

Speaking of fun, I have a City of Gate update to write! Have a great day 🙂

Odd-Job Antony!

 

I have put the idea I had while writing ‘The Hunt Continues‘ into effect! I am now an odd-job man!

My first gig starts on Tuesday (unless another client asks me to work in Monday)! They’ve asked me to clean their sunroof, dig up some bushes, bag up the mulch on their flower bed, straighten up a leaning clothes-line pole and paint the bathroom. I won’t be able to get it all done in one day, and that’s fine by me. I’m really looking forward to it.

One of the things that seems to be missing from modern employment is a feeling of having actually accomplished something. Some jobs may have certain metrics you’re expected to reach, and if you do you’re expected to keep going. The job isn’t ever ‘done’. You don’t get to sit back and admire your handiwork. When you get up tomorrow, there will be more of the same repetitive work to do.

As an odd-jobber, I’ll be able to see my progress, check each job off as it’s completed, and then do something else! It’ll will also feel better to be doing something physical. We all know the health benefits of exercise, but it always seems so boring and purposeless. This way I’ll be walking to the client’s home and doing physical activity of some kind with a clearly defined objective.

Accomplishing things feels good. Helping people feels good. I may not make a ton of money, but that’s not what this is about. It’s about being the best me I can be and feeling good about myself. I also like writing, but I have a feeling that I’ll feel more motivated, energised and happy if I’m also doing something physical, helpful and productive.

If I can make enough to get by with odd-jobs, and possibly a local part-time job (if I can find one I like) to keep a roof over my head and pay for groceries, then everything I make from writing can be reinvested into marketing my books, improving my website, and investing in myself to become an even better writer. By the time I’m too old to work odd-jobs anymore, it is my hope that the passive income from royalties I will fund my retirement.

What I actually want is to start my own publishing business, but I’ll start with my own place and full belly and see how it goes from there! One of the ways that I might be able to generate additional income is by posting ads on this website, or by participating in affiliate marketing (in which case I’d be actively promoting certain products an services in an attempt to earn commission). I’d rather not to that.

I’d also rather not crowdfund. I’ve tried it before, but my heart wasn’t in it. Partly because I feel like I need to offer something tangible to feel like I’ve earned the money. Doing odd-jobs to raise the money I need to get by feels right. I’ve tried offering writing services too, and I’m still willing to do that, but it’s a very hard market to break into, with a lot of competition.

I’ve also seen websites earn income by offering ‘products’. Usually these take the form of a slick video course, a pdf format e-book, or a package that combines the two. Something like that may be interesting, though I’m thinking my ‘products’, if I ever do such a thing would probably be campaigns for role-play games like D&D, Pathfinder, ShadowRun, or even the upcoming UbiquiCity roleplay system. Perhaps. We’ll see.

One step at a time. I’m just excited. One thing I may do is set up a separate website just for the odd-jobs business. That might include ads and product reviews (ie. affiliate marketing) that would fit the home, gardening, decorating and DIY theme. I’ve already set up a Facebook page for Odd-Job Antony. It would help to have a website associated with it.

I’m going to look into that idea a little, and also research what I should be charging. The clients I’ll be working for on Tuesday asked me what the ‘going rate’ was for odd-jobs, and I realised I have absolutely no idea, so I’m going to research that a little too. I had been thinking that people can pay me (or barter with me) for whatever they think the work is worth, and what they can afford. It would help to have a basic idea of what others charge though.

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

 

Be You!

My Dad bought Blade Runner 2049 recently. My initial reaction was not enthusiastic. I had heard a lot of people online slamming the movie and expressing their disappointment in various ways. Many of these people consider themselves fans of the original Blade Runner movie. We watched it last night and to my happy surprise, it was awesome.

There’s not going to be any spoilers here. If you want to know how the story goes, you’ll have to watch it yourself. Just like the original Blade Runner (the Director’s Cut), the movie has a little more depth and requires more thought than other movies, but I like that. It keeps me engaged and interested. I can watch a lot of movies, even movies I really like, while browsing Facebook or playing Skyrim without missing any important details, but Blade Runner 2049 held my whole attention.

Star Trek: Discovery has also been slammed by the fans of it’s franchise. I admit it has a much darker, grittier feel than any previous Star Trek series, but I like that. I don’t really care which universe the show is based in. The very concept becomes irrelevant as the show goes on. People are free to dislike it if they want. I like it, and I hope there are enough others watching it to keep the show going, but otherwise the opinions of others is irrelevant to my own enjoyment. Not just for entertainment sources, but anything I choose to do.

I’m finding it increasingly important that I be true to myself, and judge things based on my own appreciation for it, rather than the general opinion of others. This often requires trial and error. Sometimes you won’t know how much you hate something until you try to do it. You also need to be conscious of the difference between disliking something because it’s hard/ new/ different, and feeling revolted by it because doing the thing is against your personal principles and self-image.

If something is out of your comfort zone it will be uncomfortable, but if you believe in what you’re doing you can push through the discomfort and do a good job at it. If, however, the very thought of struggling to do well at the task makes you feel like a crap human being, then you need to stop. Just to be self-considerate.

If it’s a movie or TV show you’re watching, this is easy. You can simply stop watching. You can rant about it on Facebook if you like, but you may want to consider that maybe it’s just not meant for you. Just because you dislike it doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it. If it’s a relationship, ending it can be hard, and the temptation to vent all over the internet can be very strong. Once again though, just because they’re wrong for you doesn’t mean that someone won’t appreciate them.

It’s because of this that I will no longer be saying anything bad about former relationships, ex-employers, or even products and services I haven’t particularly enjoyed. Just because they weren’t good for me doesn’t mean they won’t be good for someone. I’ll still talk about my feelings from time-to-time, but my intention is to express and analyse my own failings and learn from them. To grow from the experience instead of blaming my feelings on parties I have no control over.

With that in mind, I’m renewing my search for opportunities to write for money, or at least work somewhere I enjoy to keep a roof over my head while I write. I’d love to work for Games Workshop, and lucky for me their publishing division, The Black Library, is holding open submissions for short stories! While I work on making that dream a reality, I’m looking into other opportunities that will let me help people, or let me write.

Setting myself up as a Ghost Writer hasn’t borne any fruit yet, but I also haven’t been promoting myself much while I’m still settling into the area. I did have a couple of students that wanted me to write their essays for them, but I dislike writing essays and it feels wrong to me. If they pass their exams based on what I wrote, I’m basically helping them cheat. I’d feel a lot worse if they failed though.

You might be wondering why this principle doesn’t apply when writing fiction for someone that may or may not sell. Firstly, I love writing fiction and I do it well, so if you have trouble selling the book, talk to your marketing team! Secondly, what you do with the story after you’ve bought it from me is none of my business. It’s yours. I’d personally recommend keeping it as a one-off original unpublished piece that you can sell (with my name on it) after I’m famous and dead for a small fortune! Essays have no long-term investment potential.

Yes, I’m that sure of my writing ability that I think that my unpublished stories would be worth a lot of money after I’m gone. My family have been so loving and supportive of me. They deserve to be comfortable. I just need to get my books written, published and selling, then I can help get my nieces through University if they want to go or fund their creative/entrepreneurial enterprises if they don’t. I can also give my parents a comfortable retirement and make sure my sister is taken care of too.

I’d also still like to have the capital to start a business that supports writers by providing them with a living wage, benefits, in-house editors and proofreaders, publishing, and bonuses if their books sell well. It’s not going to be called ‘Creative Writers’ Press’ anymore (it’ll probably be called The Book Factory), but I still want to make it happen. Step one, raise the capital!

I used to try asking my subscribers to donate, but I know it doesn’t work. I’ll do it the hard way, by working a day job and writing for at least an hour every day. I have the help and support of a loving family, but the only person that can really change my life for the better is me.

Have a great day. 🙂

 

Being Self-Considerate

I haven’t done any writing this week. Except this blog article, the one I wrote last week, and a few scribbled notes for a short story submission, and also The City of Gate, but that’s just fun.

I’ve surprised myself by not feeling like crap for this. I had set myself a weekly plan to do at least an hours writing every day, with each day being a different project. I have not kept to this plan. However, I have moved to a new area, got myself a job (a better one), and arranged to move into my own place as of March 1st.

My normal reaction would be to beat myself up for not being able to complete my goals, but I realised that, if anyone else had just moved to a new area, I’d be pointing out that they need to give themselves time to adjust, and not be so hard on themselves. It seems only fair that I be as considerate to myself as I would to anyone else.

Maybe this is the wrong approach, and maybe I’ll never be a successful writer if I keep letting myself off the hook, but maybe I’ll find that I’ll find myself wanting to write more.  If I relax, I may find my imagination has the time and space it needs to work at it’s own pace.

It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t get into any kind of writing routine until after I move into my own place. After all, I’l have a separate office there. I won’t have my bedroom, office and play area crammed into the same space. I’ll have a better idea how to fit writing into my work schedule by then too.

I start the new job on Monday.

Wish me luck 🙂

The Book Factory

When I was running the Creative Writers group, I had an idyllic hopeful notion that it might evolve into a full-fledged business. I had dreams of an office building with the words ‘Creative Writers’ Press’ emblazoned on it. Those who work there would write for a living, with supervisors to keep them on task and accountable.

There’d also be in-house editors, cover-artists and proofreaders, and books that sell particularly well (the company would handle the marketing, but individual authors would be encouraged to brag about their latest book on social media also) would earn bonuses for the authors.

Even though my first attempt to find a group of like-minded individuals failed, the idea still persists. I wanted to start over. Create another group that would give writers the support and guidance they needed to keep writing. I’m currently reading a book called “How to be F**king Awesome” by Dan Meredith. I highly recommend it. In it, Dan mentions creating an accountability group, and that sounded like a fantastic idea.

Part of the problem was that Creative Writers got too big to handle, and drifted far from my original vision. I was unable to steer it back on course, and attempting to do so was frustrating, depressing, and spirit-crushing. So to avoid the same fate, The Book Factory will be a secret group, accessible by invitation only.

This will also (hopefully) prevent trolls, time-wasters and those that want to use the group purely to promote themselves from joining, or at least make it easier to spot them and remove them before they take over. If you’re out to prove that you’re the best writer ever and the only true expert in the group, you’re welcome to start your own group or fan page for yourself, but The Book Factory is not for you.

If you’re serious about writing, but find yourself procrastinating despite your best intentions (just like me) perhaps we can help each other out. Find me on Facebook and message me to join The Book Factory group. Hopefully we can start churning out books and making a living from it instead of playing Skyrim (or is that just me?).

MjollBearded.jpg
If you give Mjoll the Masque of Clavicus Vile and steel plate armor, you end up with this amusing combo. Nice beard Mjoll!

I play way too much. As I’ve mentioned in the previous article, I do believe that I’ll have better luck staying motivated and disciplined when I have a separate room for writing, away from my Xbox, and with my family around to keep my spirits up. It wouldn’t hurt to have some support from the online community too, and also help others to keep up with their writing.

I am pleased to say I have at least one story in print. A short story called ‘Murder Inc.’ in the “UbiquiCity” anthology. I had to replace my copy because a guest at the hotel I work at bought it from me. We had been talking about artificial intelligence, smart technology and dystopia masquerading as utopia. All of which are themes of both the UbiquiCity collection, and my own work-in-progress, Hermes925 (which I really need to finish).

I need to show my progress on my other WIPs too. So far they’re all hand-written, and I’ve gotten good feedback and encouragement in the past from posting the second draft on this website. In the meantime, I have a bag to pack, a room to organise, and lots of stories to write.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

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