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 🙂

 

About that party mansion I mentioned….

…it may take a little while. You didn’t hear about this? Okay, let me bring you up to speed. Last Friday I announced to Facebookland that I was going to buy my friends a party mansion. I mean it too. I want everyone who’s ever been there for me, supported me, advised me, or made my day to be welcome to hang out as long as you want or need too.

It’s still going to have themed rooms, and game rooms, and media rooms. It’ll have staff including a gardener, chefs, a mechanic and a cleaning crew. We might even have guest artists, singers and experts come share their passion. I’m dreaming big, and even if I fall short, it’s going to be awesome!

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I may have been a little premature in my announcement. Though I have already tweeted an idea to a publishing company, I am far from certain they are going to be grabbed by it. I’m crossing my fingers and writing. Whether they like Hermes925 or not I’m going to keep working on the story, so that each time I try again, it’s a little closer to completed. Like I said it may take a while. Even if I do get a contract, I have no idea what my compensation will be, or what terms I have to meet in order to get any.

When I do get money, the first thing I need to do is start filling in the hole I’m standing in. First I need to pay back my family for all the financial help they’ve given me. There’s no amount of money in the world that could compensate for how much they’ve given otherwise.

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My wife and I have been separated for so long it’s almost funny that neither of us have the money to divorce. Then I can work on all my debts to businesses. Bankruptcy has crossed my mind once or twice, but I want to pay what I owe. I agreed to their terms, I should pay. I just, can’t right now.

Only then can I start saving, investing, and putting my money to work. However, I do have a few thoughts on how we could speed up the process. I could beg for money, everyday, until you’re sick of hearing about it. Please please please money money Money! I could also try doing what I was considering doing back when I lived in Lancaster. Stand on a crate in the busy part of town, with a box of folded papers slung about my neck, a sign says $5 a story, and I tell a story to the crowd, off the top of my head, using people in the crowd to describe the characters and encouraging suggestions from the crowd, and giving out pre-written stories on folded paper to those who hand me $5 directly, but with a bag open for donations also.

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As appealing as the second idea is, it would mean a lot of performance to keep the crowds amused, and I’m not even sure it’s legal. In reality, I’m going to have to tighten by belt and take many leaps of faith, until I’m able to make good on my promise of a party mansion. However, it did occur to me we could rescue an abandoned mansion, perhaps even something haunted, to save us some cash. We could try doing renovation ourselves, or just hire the right professionals as and when they can be afforded. It may end up taking just as long, but at least we’ll be bringing life back to a historic property, and hopefully save up enough to give the ghost a nice shrine!

I may end up posting a few other “dream board” ideas on this blog. Planning out what each room would be like. What games and entertainment we need to include, what shape the pool should be, how many slides and fireman’s poles we include, etc. What do you think we should have in the mansion? How do you think we can get there faster?