Overcoming Obstacles

An article I wrote for Creative Writers’ Press.

Creative Writers' Blog

All kinds of things can get in the way when you’re trying to write, and I’m going to mention a few. The biggest obstacle for most of us though is writer’s block. It doesn’t seem to matter how many of the other issues we resolve, writer’s block always seems to be lurking around the corner, ready to pounce, right as our fingers are hovering over the keyboard, or our pen is about to touch the page.

All of these issues have been mentioned at least once in the Creative Writers group at least once. The first one I’m going to tackle is self-doubt. It’s doozy, and one that often disguises itself as various excuses. After you push through “I don’t have the time”, “I have to be available for my kids (or some other person-in-need)”, or “I’m always so tired after work” (all of which I will also talk about)…

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‘Monolith’ Will Be Great!

I’ve been working on a new project. Or rather developing one and seeing where it goes. The Creative Writers’ Group on Facebook is about to hit 3000 members, and I’ve built a website to allow the group members to submit short-stories for the ‘Monolith’ anthology. It looks rather spiffy and includes a blog.

This is actually my second blog post where I enthuse about the success that ‘Monolith’ is going to be. I feel like I’m going to actually apply my Business and Management college education, plus all the self education in Marketing, Entrepeneurship and Small Business to a project I genuinely care passionately about, and I feel really good about it.

The Unexpected Depth of a Facebook Quiz

This article I wrote for Games and Geekery might have fit better here.

Games and Geekery

Despite being so busy with my other projects that I’ve not posted on Games and Geekery in a while, I still find myself distracted by the world’s greatest procrastination tool, Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is also a great tool for networking, marketing and crowdsourcing ideas. Those quizzes though are usually a time-suck of the worst kind, offering no real substance except to massage your ego.

This one surprised me. “Who Are You In The Different Worlds?” gave me this result:


I was about to just close the window and make myself go back to writing Hermes925 when I realised that these three characters may not just be arbitrary choices. All of them are tragic heroes. They’re all orphans, a long way from their own people, and they don’t really fit it in.

Tarzan lost his parents when he was still a baby, their plane crashing in the jungle, he alone…

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8 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Writing – Part 1

I need to keep this advice in mind, and stop beating myself up.

The Uncensored Writer

There comes a time in every writer’s career where you will look back and realize just how inexperienced you were when you first started. It gets so bad that you start contemplating how hard it would be to build a time machine. Well that day finally came for me.

There are many things I wish I had told myself when I first started. Don’t fuck up your novel to the point of no return would be high up on that list… But I guess there are more practical things I could say. So why not dedicate a post to it? Besides, I’m sure the advice would be useful to you newbies out there!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

It’s Mentally Taxing

By the gods is writing an exhausting activity. Don’t get me wrong, writing is the best thing since sliced cheese, but by no means is it a walk…

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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!”


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.



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! 🙂


Subscription Buttons!

This morning I got up and made these subscription buttons. What do you think? I found all the images via Google search and added a link to each of the completed buttons to the appropriate Paypal subscription site. Please let me know if they don’t work.


They’re a little bigger that I wanted. I was hoping that I could fit all five images onto a single line, but I realise now that would make the words hard to read. I may have to tweak them a little more so that I can do what I intended, which is to have a small row of subscription buttons at the bottom of every article.

For now I want to make the ability to subscribe available. If for some reason clicking on the book of your choice doesn’t let you subscribe, here are the same links in list form:

Primary Subscription (£1 per month)

Preferred Subscription (£5 per month)

Premium Subscription (£10 per month)

Posh Subscription (£25 per month)

Preposterous Subscription (£50 per month)

I’m basically stealing this idea from Patreon.com, an American website that also allows you to become a paid subscriber. Since it’s based in America though, the subscription options are all in dollars. I’ve also been told that there’s a heavy tax automatically added to each transaction. If you’d rather deal in dollars then please feel free to go through Patreon.com instead. You’ll also find other artists, writers and other creative people to sponsor there.

So why should you subscribe? Besides the fact that you love me and want me to be happy? As a regular subscriber, you’d get automated emails to this website only. As a paid subscriber, the emails will come from me personally. Plus they’ll include links to the latest posts from this website, The Games and Geekery website, The City of Gate group, Hermes925, my Youtube channel videos, and any other projects I may be working on at the time.

So why pay more than just £1 a month if everyone paying gets the same? High level subscribers get preferential treatment. Your e-mails will come first. In addition, should you ever require my services as a writer, high paying subscriber’s requests will be prioritised. I’d be more than happy to put my own projects aside and write you a unique story featuring your favourite people and places, that will never be sold in stores, if you’re already paying me $50 per month

You don’t have to be a paid subscriber to be a client. We can always come to another arrangement.

I don’t have a lot of expenses right now, but I would still like to save up the cost of self-publishing, so that I can get Hermes925 (follow the link for the latest update) on the shelves as soon as possible. I also feed £25 per month into my smartphone, it would be nice to have that paid for. I’d also like to have a budget for the websites so that I can upgrade the look and layout, and also buy products to review on my Games and Geekery page.

I’ve also filed my divorce petition, which will put a £550 hole in my bank account once the check clears. I’m grateful it’s not more.

Please subscribe, and have a great day! 🙂


Your Own Personal Facebook (updated ) 

I haven’t felt like writing lately. Especially not on this page, my official Author page. The more I talk to people the less qualified I feel to write a realistic character. 

I really need to make myself write, but lately I’m spending a lot of time when I’m not working either hanging out with friends or watching shows and movies on my laptop. 

I’m not even writing in Games and Geekery . Even though I was very excited about working with my friends on the project. I still share lots of other people’s articles to the Games and Geekery Facebook page, but I’m not writing any original content. 

I’d feel more confident about being a writer if I got more feedback from my followers, but many feel like joining WordPress to be able to comment is too much of a hassle. 

I’m beginning to think that part of the attraction of writing when I was in America was so that I could communicate my thoughts and feelings with my friends and family in the UK. I worry that now that I’m in the UK, that source of motivation is gone. After all, I can now talk to my friends and family. 

It could be argued that I could still use it as a way to communicate with my friends in America. I think at best my friends in America feel hurt and betrayed that I chose to go back to the UK. At worst they were only friends with me as a joke, as light entertainment, and now that I’m gone they all laughing at me. 

Someone I considered my best friend was criticising me so much I decided to block him. To be fair I did ask people to critique my work, but he chose to cut into me instead. Again though, maybe he was hurt by me leaving and his feelings exaggerated his words. Perhaps I was also being oversensitive. It’s not the first time someone I thought was awesome turned out to be a jerk, and I may have assumed history was repeating when I should have been more sensitive to how my leaving had effected him. 

There are a few others that still make the odd comment on Facebook and share stuff with me. It would be unfair and inaccurate to say I don’t hear from any of them, but the ones I was closest too have been the least communicative. In hindsight this is probably because they were most upset by me leaving. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. 

I had hoped that they would have understood that coming home to the UK was necessary. Not only because my finances were so upside down that I would have ended up homeless within months, but also because I still felt like I had a ragged bleeding mess where my heart should be. This pain healed once I returned home. I feel whole again.

They’re entitled to their own feelings of course. It would be selfish and unreasonable to expect them to see things from my perspective, unless I’m willing to acknowledge theirs also. I did leave a mess in my wake. A mess I thought I had arranged to resolve itself, but it went wrong and I wasn’t there to fix it. I don’t believe I could have anyway. 

I’m considering using the fact that only WordPress members can comment on articles by creating another blog, and making all my friends (UK and US)  contributors so we can have our own private space online to talk amongst ourselves and share what’s going on in our lives. Like an online clubhouse. 

Even I think this is a ridiculous idea, but it illustrates my current mindset rather well. 

New idea. Feeling much better after a talk with a friend. What I want to do is still what I always wanted to do, which is write. I want to get paid for my writing and write. I need to make some money so I don’t have to keep working in a pub. 

I disliked my brief insight into trying to climb the corporate ladder. Most of those climbing are mostly bullshitting their way through it. They get away with it because most of those they bullshitting too are also bullshitting their way through it. 

But those poor sods buy books! On leadership, management, stress, motivation, marketing, self-promotion, personal development, organisation, and social networking. 

I could write the shit out of that stuff! Pull a Brian Griffin. I had considered something like this a while back. A motivational book based on role-playing games called Leveling Up, but I think I need to change my target audience.

Aim for the corporate guppies struggling to survive the shark pool in oversized shark pools and not realising that the sharks their swimming with are just other guppies in costume. 

Should be a lot easier than trying to write a story that resonates with people at a personal level .