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 🙂

 

I Should Be Writing

If you’re able to watch the video, please do. If you’re at work, or you reading this in bed while your partner is sleeping, or can’t have the volume on for some other reason, you can skip down and I will paraphrase what I mention in the video.

I should be writing, but I’m not quite certain which of my many projects I should tackle first. I’ve been neglecting my writing lately, and I’ve decided to make a real effort to get back into the habit of writing everyday, even if I’m tired. Which has been a big part of it.

Working at the Brown Cow can be exhausting. Even when it’s slow we’re supposed to keep busy, and I’m often so tired when I get a day off that I’d rather nap and veg out playing Skyrim. Skyrim is one of my favourite games ever and I’m having some fun with the Xbox One mods. I’m disappointed that I can’t get the Sheogorath follower mod to work though.

My Dad, who is doing very well in Kidwelly, told me on his last visit that I should write my story. My autobiography. I’m not so sure about this since I’ve always thought my own life wasn’t terribly interesting. I’m aware though that it’s just because I’m used to it that it seems boring and normal, whilst other people seem so interesting in comparison.

I’m going to skip over a bit here and get to the point. I think I’m going to give it a try, but I’m going to add my own twist on the classic format. It’ll be a branchpoint series. The first book will be as true as I can make it, from my perspective. My actual story. The sequels will be ‘what if’ scenarios.

The scenario that immediately leaps to mind when I imagine doing this is the night Monica called me up, at 3am, crying and apologising for sleeping with some other guy. At the time she hadn’t been back in the states that long, we hadn’t actually said we were exclusive. In fact I was surprised that she’d stayed in touch at all.

I think this was a defining moment in my life. I told her that it was okay, we never said we were exclusive. It’ll be alright, we’ll just be exclusive from now on. This meant I was mostly celibate during my remaining time at college and beyond. My only chance to get laid occurred when she or I could afford the flights and the time off to see each other. A rare event.

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What if, instead, I had told her we were done? That it was over? That I could never forgive her? This part is true, I never really forgave her for sleeping with someone else. The first sequel could explore what college life and beyond could have been like for me if I’d never committed myself to a monogamous long-distance relationship.

In addition to the auto-biography, I also need to work on Hermes925, Hermes360, Games and Geekery, a YouTube channel, and this blog too. Even though I’m feeling more motivated to write I’m still not going to be able to make time for them all every day, and work at the pub, and be able to recover from working at the pub, and make time with my new girlfriend too.

Laura, I believe, is part of the reason I’m feeling positive and motivated. The ‘staying single and focussing on writing’ plan was not working. I spent too much time moping. More writing will happen, just not as much as I’d like. At least not while I still have to work.

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I only work part time, and I live rent free with my Grandparents, which is really lucky. That means that out of the $200 or so a week I get from working at the pub, I can save $100 a week towards potential self-publishing costs and still have $100 for food and fun. If I could get some kind of sponsorship, or receive enough fan donations, I could write full time. There’d be a lot more writing and videos.

If you’d like to help, go to paypal.me/AntonyMCopeland and donate what you feel I deserve. If I can generate enough income this way then I can produce more writing, more videos and get my books on the shelves faster. If not then perhaps the articles and videos will draw enough attention for me to get a publishing deal and not need to self-publish anyway. So you can actually help by sharing my content too.

My Sister just challenged me to finish Hermes925 and have it published by the summer. Challenge accepted! I probably won’t actually succeed, but the deadline (even though it was a joke) while help keep me focussed. She’s right. I should finish Hermes925 first. With luck and determination I will have a book published by the end of the year.

This is all about making me a writer. So I’d better get some writing done.

My former stance against “Have a great day” was silly and depression induced. I’m bringing it back.

Have a great day! 🙂

 

 

Leveling Up

I feel like I don’t write enough lately. At least not in anyway that people can easily track. The life-work balance is, as predicted, tricky. I find that when I have a day off, I don’t want to write. As much as I love it, writing is work, and I just want to relax. Let my muscles recover from the hard week. Zone out while watching tv shows. Hang out with friends. Blow off steam.

In my last roughly written article “Your Own Personal Facebook” I mentioned an idea I had regarding writing a self-help book of some kind. It’s not really a new idea. I had thought about writing a self-help book a while back called “Leveling Up” intended to put advice like how to go about finding yourself, navigating social interactions, and reaching your career potential in terms that gamers would understand.

The slogan for the book, website and social media presence was going to be something like, ‘you can’t level up without gaining experience’. The idea that failure allows you to learn more than getting it right the first time was going to be a recurring theme. In many role-playing gaming systems, your character gains experience points during the adventure. When you have enough points you can level up, gain new permanent skills and bonuses.

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I love this analogy for life, as imperfect as it is. In real life we don’t suddenly find ourselves able to understand animals because we killed enough goblins. We can suddenly find ourselves able to use a computer system easily after having struggled with it for weeks though. There are other examples in which something that was once hard suddenly becomes easy. The first few weeks of working behind a bar again would leave me so tired and sore that I thought I’d do permanent injury to myself. Now it’s easier. It doesn’t wreck me like it did.

I’m definitely going to write this book, or something very like it. I’m so eager to do so that I didn’t want to go to work today. Except I still want to save up enough capital to self-publish if I have to. Plus I was hoping to bump into someone again. A professional ghostwriter. I was hoping to ask him about how he got into it. There’s lots of stuff online about becoming a ghostwriter, but most of it seems to be trying to sell you something. I would like to hear from someone who has successfully made a career out of writing, how they did it. I’ll let you know more if it ever comes to anything.

I did go to work. The front door to the pub was closed when I got there, so I went in through the kitchen. I told the first fellow member off staff I saw that the door was still locked. Then I proceeded to remove my coat and hoodie, clock in, find my fob, and head down to the bar. The door was still locked, but I checked behind the bar to see if anything needed taking care of there first. That’s when the owner came downstairs and saw the door was still locked.

He was not happy. Now bear in mind it was 11am. He’d been there since 6:30am, and yet it was my fault the door was still locked. He admitted that he had forgotten, but he expects anything that gets missed my him to be done by the person coming in at 11. If the door isn’t open then we can’t get customers, without customers we don’t stay in business. He told me that he didn’t understand why people don’t care that the pub stays in business, and expressed that he doesn’t want to pay people that don’t care about the business.

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I understand perfectly why he cares so deeply. This is his passion, his love. He has dedicated his life to making The Brown Cow Inn successful, and I admire him for that. I didn’t tell him that I would’ve gotten to the door myself. I have no way of proving it. I also didn’t tell him that I’m only there to earn a wage. I’ll do what needs to be done, but minimum wage isn’t enough to make me care. If the pub went bankrupt tomorrow, I would find another job.

There’s got to be a smarter way to earn money that isn’t so physically demanding and exhausting. At least I don’t feel like I’m doing anything unethical. I don’t need to lie to my customers, or convince them to pay for anything they can’t afford. I have done both those things for past employers.

If I can sacrifice a bit of my leisure time I can get Levelling Up written. I can use the money from selling it to keep me afloat while I write what I really want to write. The Hermes-Branchpoint series. Speaking of which, I think Hermes 911 will explore the legal system of the N•Viron centric society of earth, not follow around futuristic cops in the Alpha Prime colony.

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I’ve written some of Hermes 360 and some more of Hermes 925 too, I just haven’t published it digitally yet. I’m going to try and get that done this week. I’m also going to try and avoid feeling guilty if I end up doing something else. I haven’t spoken to my co-admin William about our Games and Geekery blog for weeks. It’s in dire need of new articles and a little TLC.

Anyway, I think I’ve been talking about writing long enough. I need to get it done. Or go to bed, because it’s midnight and I have to do another 11am-9pm shift tomorrow. I get an hour off from 4-5pm, but I probably won’t actually get to leave until after 10pm. It gets to be a long day.

 

Book Spotlight – Terminus

This isn’t one of mine. Terminus is the wonderful brainchild of Jaye Milius. A talented woman using Inkshares.com to try and promote and sell her book. At the time of writing she’s only 41 pre-orders away from getting her book published. You can pre-order an ebook copy for only $10, which is about £8. I urge you as a reader, perhaps even as a fellow writer, to show your support and put in your pre-order.

I see you need a little more convincing. Okay then. The core premise behind Terminus is that a new technological marvel has been developed that allows living people to communicate with the dead. In Jaye’s own words, “In a future where technology lets the living speak with the dead, the afterlife is big business. Families can be reunited, lost loves can be together again, aging rock stars can even play reunion shows with long dead bandmates… all for a price.”

As you can see from the video, the author has put a lot of work into the characters and is truly passionate about the subject matter. I particularly like the idea of Sully, the aging rocker performing a reunion tour with his dead band-mates. She’s posted several chapters, she says eleven in the video, but I haven’t checked. Go see for yourself, starting with the Prologue. Read and be hooked!

Still here? Fine! Here’s what some of the people who’ve read it already had to say about it:

Brilliantly written, Terminus drives you through a remarkable world – one where not only is death not the end, but where the dead and the living work together. Challenging, intriguing, and completely engaging, I highly recommend picking up this title.

Terminus has a truly interesting concept in which the characters can thrive and come to life. By creating a fully realized world, the author draws the reader in by directly establishing the world to the reader, which then allows the reader to fully engage with the imagery presented. I look forward to reading more.

How many thousands of stories have you heard of in which Speaking to the Dead is a central premise? I guarantee you’ve never seen one as creative and gripping as Jaye Milius’ “Terminus.” Her writing is a master-class of technique. Follow where she’s leading you, and enter a brilliantly imagined world where technology and spirituality intertwine, and where death is no longer the end of anything.

This is a premise I have never considered, artfully executed. It flows well, especially with as much explaining as it has to do. The pacing feels good, and it keeps my curiosity piqued without overwhelming me. Followed, in the hopes of learning more.

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Are you convinced yet? Good! Now go to Inkshares.com/books/terminus, put in your pre-order, and help get Terminus published. As I said earlier, she needs only 41 more pre-orders to make her dream a reality. What I didn’t mention earlier was that she only has 38 days left to do it! So in, addition to putting in a pre-order yourself, I have one more favour to ask. Tell all your friends and family to do the same! Share her Inkshares page on Facebook and Twitter! Pre-order additional copies for people with no internet access! Let’s make this happen!

Comment if you want, but if you really should be talking to Jaye. Have a great day!

 

Back on track

I’ve been spending too much time wallowing in self-pity and indulging in egocentricity. As a result I’m spending too much time on these blog articles and nowhere near enough time working on Hermes925. You may not see quite so many blog articles, but I’m still going to be writing every day. Of course if I have a particularly productive day, you might see both a new journal-style entry of the story, and a blog article too.

Today, for example, I’ve already got the next part of Hermes925 posted, and I’m already working on a blog article. This one. Do me a favour though, go read ‘Tanisha‘ and come back to this. If you haven’t read the story so far, read the other pages under the Hermes925 heading too. I want to hear what you think. You add your comments on those pages, or at the bottom of this post.

Did you read them yet? No? go read them. I’m serious. We can’t talk about it until you do. Go.

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Okay have you read them now? Okay good.

I want my protagonist, Jaime, to come across as well-meaning but naive. Raised by good parents, who were possibly just a touch over-protective. Is that how he seems to you? What, if anything, do you think would make it clearer that his worldview is more than a little rose-tinted?

Conversely, Tanisha’s worldview is jaded. She’s been exposed to the hardship of life outside the system since infancy. Her character will be explored further in future articles, but entirely from Jaime’s perspective. Again though, I’m happy to hear your opinion on what I might have done differently to make the contrast clearer.

Is the technology, the N•Viron, understandable? Do you fully grasp what it is that it can do and how deeply it’s ingrained in the culture? If so, please tell me what you think of it. I want to be sure I’m getting the point across. If you find the concept difficult to grasp, then please tell me what it is you find confusing, so that I can add clarification to the redraft.

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How about Arpies, do you know what they are? What about reclaimers? I only ask because it will be important to the rest of the story that these elements all make sense and fit together.

I’m really excited about the prospect of getting this book written and published. I’ve read more than a few ebooks and self-published books with poor descriptions, continuity errors, and even spelling and grammar mistakes. They’re great stories, but the errors tend to break up the narrative and take me out of it. I don’t want Hermes925 to do the same.

Thank you for your help and support.

Have a great day.