Back on the ‘Write’ Track

It’s been a good week. The client that hired me to ghostwrite some posts for his Cast Iron forum contacted me again to do three times as many comments for his new Reef Tank forum. I’ve only got ten of them written so far, but I’ll have the rest done by the end of the week.

If you happen to be a reefer yourself (yes, that’s really what reef tank hobbyists call themselves) by all means check the fledgling website out and supplement my ghostwritten comments with some genuine expertise. I knew nothing about the hobby when he asked me. I’ve had to watch a ton of YouTube videos and make lots of notes to get my head around it. It’s a pretty cool hobby.

Also, a local pub that’s been closed for a while is getting new owners. They announced on Facebook that they needed some help moving in, so I volunteered! They were really nice people and even gave me £30 for doing it! So I bought myself this:

DarkCrystalGame

I saw a post about it on Facebook and I had to get it. For those that don’t know, The Dark Crystal is one of the best fantasy movies of all time. Every character in the movie, as well as all the plants and animals, is a creation of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.  I’m really looking forward to playing it.

I’m keeping it sealed until I can do an unboxing video. Then after that, my family and I are going to play it. There’ll be a review article written on GamesNGeekery shortly after that. I haven’t been keeping it up to date, but maybe this will help me get back into the habit. Though it may end up just being and occasional whim rather than a regular thing because…

The best part of the week though was going to the Kidwelly Writers group. I was putting it off because the last writing group I was a little depressing. They didn’t seem to talk much about their own writing, or at all. The sessions involved doing writing exercises that the organiser got from a book.

The Kidwelly group, however, was awesome! They were very talkative and friendly, and they seem to actually have ambition! One of them already has a novel out called ‘Not Thomas’ and another of them is writing full-time, publishing his ‘Deathworlders’ series on Reddit. Apparently his fans insisted he set up a Patreon page so they could sponsor him. It took him three years, but now he doesn’t have to do anything but write.

It reassured me that it was possible to build up a full-time income just from writing stories. I had the right idea back when I was writing a new Hermes925 entry every week, but instead of sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, I should have been using Reddit! This is going to take some studying up because I’m not familiar with Reddit at all. In fact the few times I have checked it out it seems like a confusing mess of categories that I’m not even sure how to navigate. Yet.

I’ve already committed to making The Haunted Story: Investigation and Hermes925 into books (I promised the artist that made the book cover for The Haunted Story: Dead Letter that she could do the next few books as well), but maybe I can turn The War on Magic into a Reddit series after I’ve got the knack of Reddit and tweaked my Patreon page.

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.

hypnotoad

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.

ubi-ad-300-square

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.

FB_IMG_1492162261458

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.

Dead Letter cover

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 🙂

 

Untangling my Brain

I’ve never been a particularly organised person. My ex-wife was very organised, but try as she might she could never get any of the systems to stick. Everything goes on my desk in a jumbled pile. Looking at it now I have several notepads, a letter about self-assessment, a wireless keyboard that I don’t use (but might), notes for an FAQ article for Creative Writers that I never got around to writing, a top hat, grooming cream, pens, a string of lights that look like spiders, my razor, several hair-ties, my laptop, and my wallet. This is not the full list, I just wanted to give you an impression!

Several of the items don’t need to be there and should be put away, but then as soon as I need them again they end up back on the desk. It must have been infuriating to live with. I realized today, while trying to sleep off a stomach book, that my thoughts are just as messy. When I think about writing, I often end up with a confusing traffic jam of thoughts. Oddly enough this doesn’t seem to happen when I’m actually writing.

I keep saying I want to write for a living, but I will often sit procrastinated, thinking my conflicting ideas. It’s hard to express what goes on, because these thoughts often occur simultaneously, but it’s like this. An event requires a date, and a location and people that all have their own plans and conflicting appointments. My brain will think of multiple dates, situation, and personality types all at once, which is rather overwhelming.

The prospect of writing become horrible. Yet, as I said before, when I start writing it’s different. Especially when I’m writing this blog. The words just flow. Stories are harder, but I think I may spend too much time over thinking each part of the story instead of writing it. I’ll look at the last sentence I wrote and get lost in my conflicting and overlapping thoughts.

thoughts

There’s no reason why I can’t stay on top of everything though if I just ignored the brain mess and just wrote. There’s this blog, ‘Hermes925’, the Games n Geekery blog, ‘The Haunted Story’, and my pseudonym project (trying my hand at a genre that doesn’t fit the Antony M. Copeland brand)! That’s it!. I could do a bit more on each, every day and make a bigger impact on my future career.

I need to get more books out, and sell them. If I can get into a routine, I may be able to add ‘The War on Magic’ back into the mix, and possibly rewrite ‘The City of Gate’ as a fantasy novel. Of course, establishing a routine has never been my strong suit, but I have to at least try.

I’ve considered trying to get a job as a content writer or copywriter, but it doesn’t sound fun. Writing for White Dwarf magazine would have been fun, but they turned down my application (to be fair, I rushed it it my excitement). Most of these jobs would be elsewhere. There’s a lot of content writer jobs in London, and Games Workshop is in Nottingham. If I took a job like that it would have to pay well enough to afford a place to live, which is unlikely.

I have a pretty good set-up here until I can make enough from books to quit the hotel job and rent somewhere much cheaper than I could find in a large city. It took Candace three years to get her income up to five figures. It’s doable. I’d rather not spend anymore of my life than I have to at the hotel, but if I manage my time correctly, the time should fly by.

I’m just not looking forward to the meeting with the owner. However she’s yet to actually schedule anything, and she may not take the opportunity to yell at me like everyone says she will. If she does, I need to take it with a large dose of salt. The main part of the hotel is actually the house she grew up in. This is her pride and joy. She’s bound to be protective of it. I’m still not going to appreciate being yelled at though.

Maybe I should get the Patreon going again, but this time really use it. Post updates to the stories and links to the blogs. It may help me become an independent writer a little faster.

First, I should tidy my desk!

First Week at Whitewater

Despite my earlier concerns I’m enjoying working a second job at the Whitewater Hotel. I still feel like I’m desperately behind on my writing, but I’ll just have to prioritise, reorganise, and make good use of the time I’m not working at the hotel.

I’ve already met several interesting characters. One of whom we’ll call “Mr. Pubb”, on the off-chance that he’ll read this and not find it at least a little bit amusing. He’s a very smart man, works for a large pharmaceutical firm, and is used to talking to people that he’s intellectually superior too. He’s clearly used to reading people easily too. I’ve seen Mr Pubb guess, correctly, several interesting facts about my new coworkers. He tried to do the same to me, but he was wrong.

w1

Of course, each time he did I felt the need to correct him, so he knows a lot about me too. However, this worked in my favour as he found travelling engineers, designers, and other smart people to talk too. Each time Mr Pubb saw me he’d introduce me, some of the details of which I would once more feel compelled to correct. Either way, there are now a few more people that know I’m a Sci-Fi writer. One of the people Mr Pubb introduced me too I would be very interested in talking to again. We’ll see if he’s still in the hotel tonight, or if he contacts me.

I unfortunately also discovered that my dress shoes are not suitable for the job. In my first week I worked Thursday 3-11pm, Friday 7-11am and 6-11pm, and then Saturday 7am-3pm. Thankfully they let me stay in a spare room overnight, so I didn’t have to try and get the bus back home and still get there early the next day. However, by about 11am on Saturday my feet were hurting so badly I couldn’t think straight. I was limping with both feet. If there was going to be a moment when I learned to levitate, that would have been the ideal time.

I whined about it on facebook and got some great responses, including several useful foot exercises which allowed me to sleep that night. It was also repeatedly recommended that I get better shoes and much better inserts than the gel insoles I’m using now. To that end, I’ve already started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the mere £75 I need to get myself properly equipped for the job and prevent having to feel that agonising pain again. I’m not exaggerating. By my final hour of my shift, I was physically shaking from the pain. I put my feet up as soon as I could, but I still had to wait 45 minutes for the bus!

Speaking of buses, last night I worked from 6-11pm, and I don’t start today until 6pm again. However, I got done with work early and practically ran to catch a bus that I thought would be there at 10:45. I was wrong, but I sort of suspected I was. I remembered seeing a two hour gap between the return buses on the timetable, but I was nevertheless hopeful. It wasn’t a terribly cold night, but it was dark and by the time the bus almost drove right passed me (I had to wave my Lego Darth Vader Minifig light and my phone) I was feeling a chill.

710fukciivl-_sl1500_

What I didn’t know at all was that, instead of taking a route that would stop only 3 minutes from my Grandparent’s house (where I currently live), the closest it would come was a 15 minute walk. As I said it was dark, and when it started down a road I didn’t recognise, I wasn’t absolutely sure. Until I saw a landmark that I know comes after my regular stop. Luckily the bus driver made an unscheduled stop for me, only about ten minutes from home, but uphill, and I’m still wearing my crippling dress shoes. Luckily my feet weren’t hurting yet, but it was only a 4½ hour shift.

With the adjustment to the new scheduling, I didn’t get around to writing Hermes925 last month, and I was still shattered on Sunday. Though I still managed to update The City of Gate, it took me all day. For those that don’t know, The City of Gate is an RP group I run on Facebook. Do you like games like D&D or Vampire: The Masquerade? Would you like to control a character within a fantasy narrative? No rules, no dice, just story. Anything goes as long as you keep the story going. Bad things happen if you don’t make one comment per week, or if your character does something fatally stupid.

2016-07-08 21.05.22

I need to keep up with Hermes925, it’s a lot of fun to write at moment, though it is taking it’s time to come through. Every word seems to be taking great effort right now, not just writing new ones, but polishing up the older entries. There’s no great hurry on this, but I want to make sure they’re ready before they’re published elsewhere. The Ubiquicity story isn’t flowing easily right now either. However, I need to keep up with both.

Like I may have mentioned, Hermes925 is getting serialised in a pulp-fiction mag style e-zine called Diversions from Drudgery. The first issue is coming out next month. I will be sure to include a link on this website as soon as it’s available. There will no doubt be a blog article also.

Still, I wish I had the time to work on an audio version, perhaps even a YouTube video version, of Hermes925 for my friends that are blind or have other problems reading. I good do some blog articles that way too. I have a much better microphone now, so videos shouldn’t be mumbly anymore. I just need time to come up with a better video solution. The PC that can handle our DVD quality mic doesn’t have a camera, and my face would be mostly concealed by pop-screen anyway.

I’d like an illustration, or perhaps animation. Original music would be good too. We’d each get a cut of any profit we’d make from our YouTube collaboration. Perhaps I’ll even set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise some starter cash for the project. I don’t have the time right now though, and I probably won’t until I have enough Patreon subscribers to be able to quit working a second job.

If you’re interested in seeing Hermes925 as a YouTube series complete with animation and a musical theme, please contribute to my Patreon campaign for now. If you can’t though, that’s okay. I’ll raise the money eventually by working at The Whitewater Hotel, and the money I’ll make for the ezine, but it will just take longer. I’m still going need those shoes though! 😉

I also plan to rewrite the ghost story that was recently rejected. Thanks to a lot of great feedback, I’ve decided to include the original story in a larger narrative. This is going to take a lot more research into police procedures, locations, engineering, etc. For now, the ghost story and the faery story I’m working on will both have to wait until I can afford the time.

Before I forget to mention it; The Whitewater Hotel is hiring! If you’re looking for work and live in south Cumbria, give them a call!

If you have some objection to Patreon.com of GoFundMe.com, but still want to help I will accept either one-off donations or one of the subscription options below, via Paypal.primary-sml_btn  preferred-sml_btn  premium-sml_btn posh-sml_btn preposterous-sml_btn

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, and have a great day 🙂