ADHD Makes Adulting Harder Than It Should Be!

I’m juggling so many thoughts right now I don’t even know where to start, so I’m just going to start writing and see what happens.

I have ADHD. Almost everyone knows that this means I have trouble paying attention, but to say this is an oversimplification is an understatement. If I’m interested in something, not only do I have no trouble paying attention, I become hyper-focused. This can come in handy and help me get things done. Providing nothing breaks my focus.

That’s where it can be a problem. I’m rather easily distracted. Sometimes, I can provide myself with a controlled distraction. Like a fidget toy or a movie playing in the background. Something that can occupy my hyperactive mind without taking too much focus from my primary goal. It doesn’t always work though. Especially if I wasn’t particularly interested in the task to begin with.

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That’s the other not-so-fun part. I have no control over my hyper-focus. Sometimes something I’ve been really into before, doesn’t interest me at all another time. It can be really confusing. A good example of this is self-improvement books and books about living with ADHD. I will go through periods of reading books and listening to audiobooks to better myself and I’ll eagerly absorb every word they say, then suddenly I’ll pick up a book, or press play, and nothing will go in. This can be very frustrating. How can I control my ADHD when my ADHD won’t let me learn how?

Jobs are the hardest though. When I first start any new job, I’m generally fairly eager to learn everything there is to know about the job. Except when I tried car sales. I couldn’t get any product product info to stick because I just don’t care about cars. However, for the most part, I learned quickly and voraciously about how to do the job. I do well, and often hit my targets in the first couple of months. Then I get bored, because I know how to do it and I’m not interested anymore.

I have a few tricks to get around this. I fold origami at my desk, or fiddle with magnet puzzles, or Transformers (the ones with lots of steps). Most managers will consider these activities distracting and assume that they’re to blame for my low-productivity, when in fact it’s the only thing keeping me working at all.

That’s why I thought a writing career would be better. No bosses telling me how to do a job I already know how to do in my sleep. No trying to sell products that I don’t believe in. No boring. Or so I thought. It turns out that writing a story can get really boring. Especially if it’s a formulaic narrative that a client wants you to write because it hits all the bullet points that the marketing tells them it should.

Even the stories I’m writing for myself. If I already know how it ends, then trying to put it into detailed words that allow other people to see the direction the story takes can be a little tedious. Admittedly, I often find that the characters add interesting details to the narrative that I hadn’t originally anticipated, but getting to those ‘wow’ moments can be a slog. Then there’s re-writes! Sometimes I don’t want to write another word simply because, once I’ve finished, I need to rewrite the whole fucking thing to check for errors and tighten up the plot. Boring!!

I had these big ambitions of writing everyday, like it was my full-time job (because it would be). Being the next J. K. Rowling and living in luxury. In reality I sometime go for days without writing anything, and even then it’s only because of ‘The City of Gate‘ and ‘The N-Viron Network‘.

Speaking of which, I love writing those stories and if I could somehow make a living running those RP groups, I think I’d be in heaven. I’ve had the idea of selling merch, but I don’t think my audience much cares about ‘The City of Gate’ t-shirts and miniatures. The minis will be a particularly hard sell, just because they’re so expensive. Particularly if I want to make a profit selling them. More on that later.

At the moment I don’t make a lot of money. None, in fact, from the writing. I can, however, make up to about £120 per week doing odd-jobs. I like doing the odd-jobs. I get to help people, do something physical, get some fresh air, meet new people, and make a little money. Since I’m not a fully licensed and insured handyman, I only charge £10 per hour and generally only work in two hour shifts for each client. If I can work my way up to two clients per day, Monday thru Friday, I could make £800 per month.

This would be fine if the plan was still to stay with my parents for as long as I could, save up £1000 of ‘oh shit’ money, and then start working on getting a car and a place of my own. However, I now have a girlfriend. My parents house has no soundproofing whatsoever. If my parents are in the living room (directly above my room) I can hear everything they say and every footstep they take. There are occasions when my gf and I would like some privacy.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been looking into the cost of renting a flat. I’m pricing it up as if it was just me since, understandably, my gf doesn’t want to commit to moving in with me just yet. We’ve only been a couple for just over a month. Kidwelly, the town I live and work in, doesn’t have any one-bedroom flats available at the moment, according to my Google search results. However, the nearby city of Carmarthen has a few places available in the £300 – £400 per month range.

On top of that I’d need to pay council tax (about £60), utilities (included with some places but up to £120 on top otherwise), a monthly bus card so I can still do my odd-job gigs in Kidwelly and get around in general (£21, I think), handyman insurance so I can take gigs from the council or businesses (a little under £100), and food (both to cook at home and to grab on the go, about £280 per month). Altogether that’s £980 per month, which is way more than I can afford right now.

If I also take into account that there’s going to be additional surprise expenses, like new tools, dates, the occasional gift, a sudden pet, and it’s clear that I have to modify my plan. Hence why I’ve been seriously thinking about other ways I could make money, such as selling ‘The City of Gate’ merchandise.

I’ve designed some pretty awesome miniatures through a website called HeroForge. The ‘premium plastic’ versions of each mini cost £29.99 to 3D print (about £20), which is fairly reasonable for a custom-made miniature. The bit that makes me nervous is marking up the price so that I can make a profit.

Most of the books I’ve read on starting up a business point of that the biggest mistake new businesses make is undervaluing their product. They set the price too low, and end up making a loss when people ask for a discount. At least on of them recommended an 800% markup. That way you can offer them a 50% discount, it looks like they’re getting and amazing deal, and you’re still in profit.

If I did that then each mini would be $239.92, marked down to $119.96. In GBP that’s £159.95 marked down to £79.97 (roughly). Tell me honestly, as awesome as these minis are, would you pay nearly 80 quid for it, even if the ‘full price’ was £160?

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If so, that’s awesome, but I’m thinking that a $15 (£10) profit per mini is more reasonable. This would make the premium plastic versions $44.99 (about £30) and the standard plastic $34.99 (about 20). The difference being that the premium plastic is design to be paintable. People are still welcome to cut out the middleman and design their own HeroForge minis, but if they want the characters designed by me and the players of ‘The City of Gate’ then they can pay the extra.

I’m open to other ideas though. I’m even willing to consider going back to working full time if a) I can find full-time work in Carmarthen so I don’t have to commute so much and b) I can find a role that won’t bore me stupid within three months. I’d also still like to become a full-time writer, but I may have to get a better handle on my ADHD before I can seriously consider that a career.

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I have (finally) registered with a local doctor’s office. So soon I will get to see if a British Doctor will agree with my American Doctor about it being ADHD, or if it’s something else (I’ve noticed a few autistic behaviours, particularly when I’m stressed). Maybe there’s even some sort of benefit I’m eligible for.

I’m going to the Job Centre in Carmarthen tomorrow anyway for the next step in the process of Job-Seekers allowance. I looked into it because my Mother suggested it and found out that if I drop below 16 hours work a week, I can get a little help. It won’t be anywhere near enough to reach my monthly target, but it will help when the gardening gigs drop off and I’m begging people to let me hang shelves or organise their junk room.

I think that covers everything I’m stressing out about at the moment. Oh, wait! There’s also the fact that I have recently started a Games and Geekery group in Kidwelly, and that most of my friends and odd-job clients are in Kidwelly, so even if I did have a place of my own in Carmarthen, I’d still be spending most of my time in Kidwelly anyway!

I may need to think this through some more. Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated. I know there was something else I wanted to bring up, but it’s gone.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

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Time To Write

I know I’m not the only writer that has this problem. You get up ready to write, pull out your notebook and pen or turn on your computer (or both) determined to work on a story that you know has to get written. You know exactly what you intend to work on, but the words just refuse to come.

This is especially frustrating if you know that this is the only time you’ll get this week. The rest of your schedule is filled with prior commitments. Work, family. friends, other writing projects, classes, housework, etc. All vying for attention while the one thing you’re trying to pay attention to refuses to cooperate.

You may be trying to keep to a deadline, a schedule, or a promise, but you just can’t focus. You try to read over your notes, scan over the last thing you wrote, and get into the mindset of your characters. You find yourself just staring, your mind wandering to other worries.

Sometimes I can get around this by working on something else, or updating this blog. Other times I can post a question on Facebook to my fellow writers to figure out what direction I need to take the story in. Most of the time just forming the question is enough to get me going again.

Right now I’m supposed to be proofreading and editing the short story I’m working on for UbiquiCity, the RPG sourcebook I’m contributing to. I have already fixed a lot of it, but I know it needs more. I keep meaning to find the time to read over the stories that have been submitted by the other writers to make sure that my descriptions of the City are consistent, but I keep having the same problem I’m having with my own work. I’m just staring at the screen.

I have four days until the writers meet up again. One of those days I have to be out of the house for about 10 hours for my day job, and on another I’ll be doing the update for my Facebook RP group the City of Gate. I’ve had all month to do the rewrite and I’ve spent maybe 2 days actually doing it. The rest of the time I’ve been working, sleeping, doing not enough writing and spending too much time discussing a new project.

To be fair the new project is very exciting. A series of short-story anthologies called Monolith. The Creative Writers group is now up to 343 members (and probably more by the time you read this) and a lot of them are pumped about writing something for book one. I don’t expect each book to make much money, but the more books we publish, the more the royalties will add up.

Working on Monolith will also give me invaluable insight into self-publishing and allow me to make use of some of my accumulated knowledge on sales, marketing and entrepreneurship. At one point I thought I’d use these skills to attain a corporate position of some kind, or start my own business, but it feels right to apply it to creating a series of books instead.

If you think you might be interested in contributing a short story, please do. You can get more info about it on the pinned post of the Creative Writers group. Eventually there will be a dedicated website to go with the Facebook page I’ve made, but for now there’s a link at the top of this page for submissions. You have until June-August to get it in, so that should give you plenty of time to polish it up and make it awesome.

I should get back to the UbiquiCity story I’m supposed to be writing. If not, then I should at least be working on The War on Magic, City of Gate: Chronicles, Hermes925, or The Haunted Story. I may have too many writing projects!

If you happen to be someone that likes to invest in entrepreneurial new writers, you can do so either on my Patreon page, or by selecting one of the Paypal subscription options below. You’ll get updates on my writing projects and free copies of every book I’m published in if you do. Have a great day 🙂

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My Monday Motivation

I love alliteration. It comes easier to me than rhyming. I was tempted to actually make this opening paragraph rhyme, but as usual, I found myself stressing about the arrangement of words to get the right rhythm, and flow of words stopped entirely.

Trying to write poetry leaves me feeling like a rank amateur, but writing a story is like diving into a river. You may get a few bumps and bruises along the way, you might even experience real terror and struggle to keep your head above water from time to time, but overall the experience is enjoyable, thrilling and exciting.

The hardest part is often taking the first plunge. Seeing the page, pristine and undisturbed, laid out before, knowing that one you make your mark, you’ll be carried away can be a daunting prospect. Lucky for me, I find staring boring, and my mind wonders and begins putting random words together just to keep itself entertained.

There are lots of things to do today. Over the weekend I got my first two Patreon.com subscribers. This makes 3 total including one person who subscribed via the Paypal buttons I made. I’ve promised subscribers is weekly emails including updates on everything I’m writing. So I may need to put some thought into how I’m going to present it all.

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I also have more work to do on the story I’m writing for UbiquiCity. I’m enjoying this project. We’re all working together to create a unified world in which all our stories take place. We’ve discussed law enforcement, social standing, food, technology, transportation, economics, environment and healthcare among other things. The team is very imaginative and creative, and I’m proud to be included.

I’m beginning to think that my ghost story isn’t going to be accepted by the magazine I submitted it too. To be fair it was the first ghost story I’ve written in a long time, it probably doesn’t stand out among the hundreds of other submissions they received. They might accept it yet, and there are plenty of other publications. I’m not terribly concerned, but the money would be nice.

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Another publication I’m working with is all set to publish Hermes925 as a series, which is very exciting. They’re called Diversions from Drudgery and they need more artists and illustrators. They’ll take almost anything you can submit and, you’re free to use the same work elsewhere. I can’t wait to see the first issue!

I also still need to make time to write more of the science-fantasy prelude to ‘The War on Magic‘. I’m going to submit it to as many publications as I can get away with when it’s done, including SciFan magazine, the Writers of Tomorrow contest, and I’ll probably send it to Diversions from Drudgery too. Once ‘Before the War’ is out there I’ll have to get ‘The War on Magic’ written.

I need to get ‘Hermes925‘ finished first. The story is about to get very interesting. You’re going to find out where the Swordbearer has been during his exile and one of the meteor fragments that Pan brings in is going to be a little too much to handle. In addition to writing the next part this week, I’m also revising older Hermes925 entries to prepare them for inclusion in future issues of Diversions from Drudgery.

Every so often I wonder if the fluff I wrote for ‘the City of Gate‘. To me, they don’t make much sense out of context of the game. Nevertheless, I have this little stockpile of first person tales within a fantasy world I created. I should use them to try and regain my financial independence. Somehow. Maybe I’ll include them in the subscriber emails.

At one point I was trying to make them into a book. Filling in the gaps between first-person accounts with a third-person narrative recounting the events that have taken place in ‘the City of Gate’ rp group. If you’d like to read what I’ve put together so far and let me know if it’s worth trying to finish it, follow this link.

In addition to all of that I also need to check my audio equipment for a voice acting gig. They haven’t sent me the new script yet, so I posted a request for suggestions on Facebook. I’ll be adding the results to that post once I’ve recorded them.

I’d best get on with it. Please help support my writing addiction, if you can, by becoming a patron on Patreon.com, which is set up for American dollars. If you’d rather contribute in British pounds (or any other currency), please click one of the Paypal subscription options below.

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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.

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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! 🙂

 

Shameless Self-promotion

Since it’s the weekend and many of the Facebook writer’s groups I’m in only allow links and promo posts on weekends, I thought I’d pack as much as I could into one article!

First, there’s this blog in which I write about whatever I feel like writing about. It could be about something actually happening in my life. It might be about a new geeky product, game, movie/tv or book that’s gotten me excited. It could be an article about the writing process itself. Or it could be an idea I’ve had for a story that I’m not currently working on.

These general articles can all be found under the ‘Blog of Indefinite Purpose‘ tab, and are categorised and tagged to make them easier to browse through. Everything except ‘secret stash’ articles are also shared to my author page on Facebook, Antony M Copeland.

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Then there’s the book I’m currently working on. Hermes925. I’m writing it a bit at a time, as if they were journal entries written by the protagonist, Jaime. Here’s what I have so far:

Hermes925 also has it’s own Facebook Page.

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Then there’s also City of Gate, a long running fantasy rp group on Facebook. Basically, I update the group every Sunday to tell the group members what’s happening. If they’ve created a character, they then have until the following Saturday to add a comment describing what their character is doing in response to the situation. It’s fun, and it keeps me on my toes, often having to come up with new layers for the narrative based on what the player controlled characters are doing.

Over the years I’ve written quite a bit of non-player character backstory. You can read this in the City of Gate group under files. I’ve played with the idea of making this into a book, filling in the gaps between character-written accounts with a more traditional narrative based on the events that have already taken place in the game. The project is on pause while I focus on finishing Hermes925. If you’re curious though, you can check out the City of Gate: Chronicles tab or the City of Gate: Chronicles Facebook page.

Boom! One link filled article that would do the job of a timeline full! I look forward to any and all feedback, I can take it! Have great day 🙂

Editors wanted!

It never occurred to me that I’d need to ask this, but could you please help me edit my work? When I decided to make my progress on Hermes925 publically available, I assumed that I would be leaving myself open to criticism, and in some cases verbal abuse. I never imagined that I would receive almost no feedback at all.

I know people like it. I get ‘likes’ on both WordPress and Facebook whenever I post something new, what I’m not getting much of, is criticism. Constructive or otherwise. I kind of expected a battle. I thought people would be eager to poke holes in my work and force me decide whether I was going to defend and explain my reasons for leaving it as it is, or give into peer pressure and make acceptable alterations. I’ve received no such conflict.

I have had a couple of people suggest that I get an editor to clean up my sentences, and propose that I ask my audience to read through what I’ve done and send me any corrections they feel are necessary. So this is me asking. Please tell me what you think needs fixing in the Hermes925 narrative so far. Or any other any other part of the website for that matter.

I’m begging, not for money this time, but for feedback. In particular I want to know which sentences need work, which word choices don’t make sense or any other editorial mistakes that you’ve notices and the way that you would fix it. Bear in mind please that It’s supposed to be Jaime’s personal journal, he’s talking to a fictional audience occasionally, but mostly he’s just talking to himself. Therefore I’m going for colloquial, ‘no-one else is going to read this’ English.

It’s also based in the future, so I want to throw in some slang and cultural references that haven’t happened yet, but still make it clear from the context what he’s talking about. I think I haven’t done this enough for fear it would confuse the reader, so I’m open to suggestions on futuristic curse-words, idioms and events I can throw in.

Be brutal. Tear my sentences to pieces. Over analyse every word! That’s why I’m doing this. I’ve seen many published books, self-published and otherwise, go to print with spelling mistakes, grammar errors and clumsy sentences. I don’t want Hermes925 to be one of them. We’re beta testing the story online so that we can eliminate the bugs and correct any other mistakes, before I even take it to a publisher.

For those of you who object to working for free, tell me what you want in return. Maybe I can write you an article, or help you with your own project, or just give you credit on an acknowledgements page. Even if you don’t think I could offer you anything you’d want, let’s talk it over anyway. I’m sure we can figure something out. My contact info is listed under Contact Me.

Click through the tabs, menus and links on my page. Almost everything can be commented on. Please do so. If you’d rather not express yourself publicly then contact me privately via text, email or Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you. I really mean it. Please.

Have a great day. 🙂

Wherefore Art Thou

I was going to write this article much earlier, but then found I wasn’t in the mood. However, I am laying in bed too hot, too restless and oddly too tired to sleep,  with ideas for this article still rattling around in my brain.  I’ll write, until I finally feel like sleeping. I might even get the whole thing done. (I didn’t, I added links and images the next morning).

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As you may have noticed, the blog articles have grown a little infrequent lately. If been putting the focus on writing the story instead. The goal after all, is to become a published author of Sci Fi and fantasy, and I’m not going to get there if all I write is my blog. I need to do what I set out to do, and don’t let myself get in my own way.

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If you haven’t been following my progress, please drag your mouse to the Hermes925 tab at top of the page and select each journal entry. As you can see Jaime has had (or will have, since it’s set in the future) his heart broken, his world view turned on it’s head and found a new obsession to take his mind off it all.

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It’s been a little difficult some days being strict enough with myself to write more. It helps that I already have planned out what I want to happen, but I often don’t know exactly what Jaime’s going to say until I start writing. He tends to rush through his thoughts, without disruptive descriptive details.

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I want to see how it works. Let the reader fill in the blanks, and maybe find some awesome art to each entry. For now I’ve been able to pull somewhat applicable images from the Internet, but I would love to receive artwork from readers and fans illustrating the world I created. Perhaps a picture of Mr. Waddle, or your impression of what it would be like to see the world through the N•Viron, an image of the Hermes spacecraft, or a painting of Jaime stepping through the portal doorway.

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Of course if you’d rather draw dragons and mages, perhaps The City of Gate is more your cup of tea. It doesn’t have to be specifically made for my work either. Any art you’d like to show off could be included in a blog post as an image and a link back to your own website or Etsy page. I already do something similar for blog articles I like.

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I’m not making any money yet, so I don’t have any to give, yet. When my book is successful, and I use your illustrations, then we’ll both get some money. In the meantime I’m happy to showcase any artist trying to put themselves out there. I’m even happy to help out musicians and fellow writers spread the word. If we want people to find us, without having to compromise, we need to show tham what we can do, and help each other out.

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I had a thoughts about YouTube too. Would anyone like to see me read each of the Hermes925 entries out loud? I’m sure it would be rather dull just watching me read though, but I could edit the video to include a montage of images, and perhaps background music. I could use this as another way show off some of the artwork and music sent in.

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I’m hoping that the YouTube channel  (once I have some content people like) and affiliate marketing will help keep me afloat while I get Hermes925 finished and published. If you want to help by offering your talents, advice or money please do! Comments are always welcome, as are donations via PayPal. Any art, music or writing you like me to share can be sent to AntonyM.Copeland@gmail.com

I hope you like the art I found online. Have a great day.