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 🙂

 

Advertisements

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.

dice_and_character_sheet_3419936702

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.

brown_cow_inn-7

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.

parafras-bildspel-pc3a5-dali-bild

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.

 

Divine Invasion (story idea)

I’ve been staring at the screen most of the day wondering what I was going to write today. I had an idea or two, but none of them really grabbed me. I even picked up my notepad to rewrite the part I’m not happy with and move on, but I wasn’t really feeling that either. It wasn’t until during a conversation with a friend via messenger that something came up that I wanted to write about.

First though I promised a friend I’d give her new blog “Journal of a Lost Girl” a mention, see if we can get her some traffic! Her first entry, appropriately called “First Review“, discusses a new album by ‘Day to Remember’ called ‘Bad Vibrations’. Go check it out and give a new blogger some encouragement :).  Just follow one of the red links above.

I had considered writing an article on the Pocket Shot Arrow Pouch, which claims to be the smallest and most powerful circular bow. I’ve never heard of a circular bow before and thought it was rather cool. I immediately saw a problem with reloading that would make me want a traditional bow instead, and made me lose interest entirely. However, here’s the video so you can decide for yourself, and you can follow the link for more information.

What I’ve decided to talk about instead came up while I was chatting with one of the lovely ladies in the US I mentioned in a previous article. We were both raised Christian and have since rejected the teachings of the church in favour of a personalised faith based on older religions that Christianity.

I’ve often wondered to myself, particularly when I still went to church, that if the biblical god did create our world, then did he create the rest of the galaxy too? I wondered if other sentient life-forms worshipped the same god we did, and if so, how would we recognise it as the same deity since the bible makes no mention of other sentient life besides us, and the Angels.

“If we had aliens coming from other worlds to make a pilgrimage to the planet that God’s only son was born on…..wait. That would make an awesome story!”

That was what I wrote in facebook messenger. Let me elaborate on what I meant. If the Christian God is the only true god, then it stands to reason that he would also be worshipped on other planets. It would also follow that these civilisations would also know of us, humanity and planet Earth, as the birthplace of god’s only son, Jesus Christ. Their own bibles would therefore include a version of the gospels, perhaps based on their own observations.

These aliens may have visited us many times throughout history but this is where I can’t decide which way to go. Do I make the aliens Angels, and have them report directly to the actual god-creator, who in this case is an actual being that has communicated with the aliens directly? In which case there could be a rebel faction also. Or have the aliens merely adopted the Christian religion having observed it’s development for eons, and even probed rednecks for more information?

Epic-Wallpapers-Photos.jpg

Maybe I can leave that part ambiguous and leave it up to the characters to argue over and the reader to decide. Either way I think these aliens should come to planet earth, in the story, and attempt to set us on the right path. They, of course, believe that they know the truth. That our bible is wrong, our church corrupt, and that earth christians are misguided heretics.

It will be some time before I get around to actually writing this story. I still have to get Hermes925 finished, and I’d like to work on The War on Magic, or perhaps The Lord Highwayman next. I would however enjoy hearing your thoughts on the Divine Invasion and see if you would read it, or if you’re actually very upset at me for discussing Christianity at all. Please comment below.

Have a great day! 🙂