Writing through the Block

Sometimes I’m kind of an idiot. There are several stories I should be working on, but I just can’t find the motivation. I actually have the next part of Hermes925 drafted and ready to go, but instead of typing it up I spent most of the day playing Oblivion (in my defence, it was on sale).

I’m tempted to blame it on feeling too tired to write, which would launch me into another rant in which I whine about having to work at a hotel part-time when I’d rather just be writing for a living. It’s necessary for now though. I’m living in a room that’s about 8′ by 10′ at my grandparent’s house. I really need to get a place of my own.

When I moved in I didn’t plan on having a girlfriend, but I do, and I’m grateful. I think the lack of room for her stuff is upsetting her. She needs some territory she can claim as her own beyond a pull-out bed, a drawer and part of a shelf!

I think it’s also frustrating to her how much time she has to spend at work. She works more hours than I do and seems to spend most of the time she’s not at work napping. She’d much rather have the time and energy to enjoy her time off, as would I.

I tell myself that I need to buckle down and get writing, or I’ll never be able to give her the freedom she deserves. Instead, I find myself procrastinating. I’ll be checking Facebook to see if any members of the Creative Writers group have a problem I can help with or playing a game instead.

I’ve often advised others to start freewriting when they get into a funk like this. Just pick up a pen and paper (or in this case open a new blog post) and start writing. I tell them, quite sagely, that doing so might help them figure out what it is that’s really holding them back. Yet, I didn’t think of it myself. Hence the self-abuse at the beginning of this post.

I’m still no clearer to understanding why I can’t seem to be bothered. I’ve maybe written five lines all day on an actual story, which is more than I’ve done the last four days. To be a little fairer on myself I was working at the hotel 3 of those days. 

I like working at the hotel. I get along with my co-workers, the view from the bar is fantastic, and sometimes I can get a free meal. I just wish I wasn’t so tired all the time. My feet still hurt. I can’t imagine how much worse I’d be feeling if I worked five days a week instead of only three!

I know everyone hates going to work. I should just man up. One of my colleagues has had surgery lately and still manages to work a full week. I feel like a whiny brat in comparison. There are lots of others too, willing to work their fingers to the bone for a steady paycheck. I still feel I’d be much happier getting by on what little money I can make from writing, but I have much more to worry about now than my own wellbeing.

Before I had to start taking a second job, I had a system that seemed to be working. Get up when I like, but start writing at 10 am. Keep writing (which would also include research, editing, re-writing, and sharing my latest updates online) until I can’t concentrate on anything anymore. This system would often give me about 6 hours of writing and writing-related work each day, and I would give myself weekends off.

Things got more complicated now. For one, I needed to be able to buy my own food instead of raiding my Grandparents all the time, so day-job. I can’t even stick to my old plan on the days I’m not at the hotel. One or both of us will have to over-sleep to recover from a hard shift at work, so no strict 10am start. I also can’t, in good conscience, ignore my girlfriend as she’s sitting on the bed right next to my desk.

Something has to go. It’s not going to be the writing. The very idea makes every cell in my body rebel. It had better not be my girlfriend or I’m going to be very upset. It has to be the job that gets sacrificed, but with the job also goes our main source of income. Even if I could secure income enough to support us both, I still wouldn’t have the time to write. Unless I can either find a way to include her in the writing process or hope she finds a passion of her own to pursue.

I also realise that all of this is a complete waste of time. The fact is I have chosen this life and I’m the only one who can make it work. It’s my responsibility. Yet I still have this childish, almost girly, dream that some day a famous author (Neil Gaiman) is going to see my work, tell me that my ideas are awesome but they could be better expressed, and then take me under their wing as their apprentice.

Even that isn’t going to happen unless I have my work out there to be found. I need to stop wasting my time whining, overthinking, sleeping, etc. I need to create the future I want to have. That’s not going to happen while staring at a screen and feeling sorry for myself.

I really should be working on my Monolith submission. Maybe I’ll sleep on it and try again tomorrow. Maybe when I wake up, I’ll discover that I have a hundred new paid subscribers each paying £10 a month, which would be more than enough for me to make writing my only job. I’ll keep dreaming until I do.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

So Much To Do

I finally had an idea for a story for Project Ubi (the team working on the RPG Sourcebook). We’re supposed to be discussing the draft at our next meeting. The draft will definitely need a rewrite before then because I began writing it just by describing the key character to myself. It’s not much more than notes.

I haven’t finished the pen and paper version yet, and the next meeting is March first. So I have 15 days left to finish it and rewrite it. I’m not terribly worried about it being shorter than I wanted it to be at this point. I will no doubt have to add to it, and perhaps rewrite it completely, to incorporate more of the game lore we’re creating. Plus it should get written quicker if it’s short!

In addition to that, I also need to get the short story I’m calling “Before the War” finished. I’ve decided that when I eventually write “The War on Magic“, this story will act as it’s prelude. This is a story I intend to submit to the “Writers of the Future” writing contest, which gives me a chance of winning $500, $750 or $1000 if it’s one of the top 3 stories submitted that quarter.

If I miss this quarter I can submit it for the next one, but I’d like to enter as soon as possible. I may even try for a different publication, such as “Diversions From Drudgery” who are already serializing Hermes925. DfD will also let me publish items that have already been published elsewhere, while a lot of the other publications don’t. It seemed to me that it would be smarter to submit each story elsewhere first (before it’s been printed), and then to DfD after.

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Am I making things overly complicated? Should I just keep writing for the publication I already have a relationship with, and quit trying to game the system? I’m just thinking that, if it works, I could potentially be getting paid twice for every one-off story I write (providing that it’s accepted).

I also need to keep making time to write Hermes925, and make time to find additional opportunities to write for money. I’m really getting sick of being broke. I would appreciate it if you became a paid subscriber if you haven’t already, so I don’t need to be so dependent on being accepted by magazines to make money. I’m still waiting to find out if my Ghost Story for an upcoming publication called “A Horror of Words” has been accepted.

It would be awesome if I could post the stories I’m writing to this website, send an e-reader copy to my paid subscribers, and make enough money to help my family pay the bills and save up for a place of my own. I’ve considered also offering to write unique stories on commission.

I’ve considered also offering to write unique stories on commission. This would be a story that only you have. I will never post it or submit it, it would be just for you (or your intended recipient). As a result, you can be a character in the story and include your friends and family. You could also make it a comedic story in which the characters have odd flaws and quirks, whatever the client (you) want.

Off course, paid subscribers would get a discount, and may even get short stories and flash fiction for free. It seems smarter to get paid directly by fans than hoping a third party would like my work enough to pay me and publish me. Particularly since I’ll then have to promote their publication, for free, to my fans or you’ll never get to read it.

I seem to have a real problem with working for other people! I want to sell direct to the reader and cut out the middle man! At least that’s how I feel today. On other days I want to have a well-known publisher printing copies of my book and putting them on bookshelves all over the world. Today though I’m just seeing dusty volumes that don’t get read. Let’s save some money and resources and just deal directly and electronically. 🙂

Anyway, I got to get cracking on finishing the Project Ubi story!

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It’ll Come

I have some pretty big plans for my life. Maybe you already know this, but just in case you don’t, and because I want to talk about it anyway, I’m going to tell you all about them.

The first thing I intend to do, once I’ve raised at least £1000, is buy some Ernie premium bonds. This is going to be my “Oh shit!” fund in case an unexpected expense comes up, but otherwise, it’s just going to sit there and potentially win me some more money. If things go well I’ll invest more as I go.

Once that’s in place I can begin saving up towards self-publishing costs. I hope that Hermes925 will get picked up by a publisher, but just in case it doesn’t I want to be able to publish it myself. This is the reason I’ve been begging for subscribers. In an ideal world one of the publishers that I send the finished manuscript to will love it and cover all the costs of printing and distribution, but I’m also aware that we don’t live in an ideal world. I want to be prepared for the worst while I hope for the best, and expect to have to spend some money to make money.

During this time, not after, I’d like to repay some of the kindness shown to me by my girlfriend, and my family and friends. As most of you know I’m living with my Grandparents right now. My Grandma isn’t doing so great at the moment. She’s got no motivation or energy and is spending a lot of time in bed. This is unusual for her since she’s usually so full of life and energy. Grandad thinks it’s her medication, but I can tell he’s worried. They’re both in their 90’s and usually take care of themselves, and me, very well. One day though I’ll need to take care of them, and I plan too.

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My girlfriend tells me that she doesn’t mind having to pay for everything, and says she knows I’ll pay her back, even if it takes a few years. I worry though that her patience and faith in me may run out sooner than she thinks, especially if it does take years. Currently, she’s quite happy playing Xbox while I write. 🙂

My Dad is still recovering from a nasty fall that cracked two vertebrae and put hairline fractures in his pelvis and the neck of his femur. He’s laid up in bed, unable to work until he heals. My Dad, Mum, my Sister and her daughters all live in Wales. It’s beautiful and I think I’d like to move there when I can afford too. In the meantime, I’d like to visit them and buy nice things for my nieces. Bethany wants to be a writer herself. She’s already written some children’s books I’d like to help her publish.

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Once my family and friends are taken care of and comfortable, there are a few old debts from the US I need to take care of. I also promised my friends a party mansion, where they could each have a room if they wanted. Then we can start having some real fun. I’d like to open some hobby businesses. Including a gaming bar called D20’s where grown-ups can play tabletop games and have a pint and a laugh.

Until then I need to keep writing. I’m going to get some more Hermes925 written, continuing from where I left off the other day. I also need to keep writing for Games and Geekery, and so some of the money I’ll be making will go toward buying games to play and review. Including rebuilding my collections of Magic: the Gathering, Warhammer 40,000 and Munchkin. All of which I was forced to give up and sell to move back to the UK.

With luck and persistence, I’ll be able to get people talking about my writing, build up some buzz, and get some more subscribers and patrons. To that end, I’ve already sent a bunch of tweets out to famous people I admire and respect. We’ll see if anything comes of it. It’s possible they won’t respond, everyone’s focussed on the inauguration of President Trump right now. Regardless, I’m just going to keep writing away. If I keep sharing my work and talking about my writing online, sooner or later it’ll come.

Have a great day. 🙂

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Productive Week!

It’s been a very productive week!

I’m thoroughly enjoying being a writer full-time. I’m very pleased to say I now have two clients. In addition to editing their work, I’ve also got further with Hermes925, wrote an article for Games and Geekery, updated the subscription buttons you’ll see at the bottom of the page, and I’ve even kept this web page up to date!

Thank you to my Mum for being my first Posh Subscriber! That $25 per month will cover the cost of my smartphone’s data plan. As a result you’re entitled to personalised emails from me, and not just the crappy automated ones! You’ll get links to everything I write online, including the stuff you don’t already subscribe too.

You’re also entitled to preferential treatment regarding writing projects. So if there’s anything you need me to write for you Mum, You’re on top of the to-do list. Of course, I would have done this for you anyway because you’re my Mum, but now you’re also a paid subscriber, so double-bonus!

If you like what I’m doing and want me to keep doing it please help support me by selecting one of the subscription options below. If you really can’t afford to, you can still help by liking, commenting and sharing Hermes925 updates and other articles you enjoy.

Fellow writers and artists can also bribe me into writing for them by offering their own work in return. I’d love to see some original illustrations for Hermes925, and Games and Geekery would welcome some additional authors.

It’s been a great week and I can’t wait to start the next one!

Have a great day!

Please show your appreciation for my work by subscribing:

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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! 🙂

 

I’m So Excited!

Happy 2017 Everyone!

Today is going to be the first day of a great year! A fun, challenging, briefly frustrating and ultimately rewarding year!

I have my first client as a writer! The concept is fascinating and I’m really looking forward to tackling the project starting tomorrow. I’ve already begun tweaking it a little. The client has already written quite a lot, mostly I’ll just be working on the working, sentence structure, spelling mistakes and that sort of thing.

With any luck I can edit my way through it pretty quickly, and then the client can get it self-published, and then we can start selling it! Sadly I won’t get paid for the job, but I have been promised we’ll split the profits. The cynic in me says I should get it in writing. Documented proof of the arrangement and my involvement.

However, if I keep the relationship friendly, and he likes my work, then I can continue to help him with the sequels. It may even lead to referrals and additional clients. I’m getting a little ahead of myself as usual, but I’m just so excited!

I’m still going to make time for Hermes925 of course. I want to get that finished and published too, but I definitely don’t have the money to self-publish yet, and I won’t unless I can earn the money from clients and paid subscribers. I won’t put it completely on the back burner though, I love writing it.

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If you want some Hermes925 plot spoilers keep reading. If not skip to “It’s going to be great!”. You can also read the Hermes925 story from the beginning on Wattpad.com!

I knew all along that I wanted the rats to run wild aboard the Hermes spacecraft after the human crew dies. I wanted them to become overpopulated and start fighting among themselves. I wanted the rats to evolve rapidly to survive the vicious and cramped conditions.

Originally this evolution was going to be accidental, a metaphor of evolution on earth. It occurred to me though that the Hermes AI, and the secondary AI Pan have been programmed to colonise Alpha Prime. In order to fulfill that objective they might chose to encourage the rat’s development so that they reach a civilised state before they reach the new planet.

I had also originally planned for the rats evolution be influenced by the introduction of an alien bacteria. This occurs when the Hermes AI attempts to collect a passing meteorite to use as raw materials for fuel and repairs/modifications. The resulting breach allows frozen micro-organisms to enter the ship’s ecosystem. Now I’m thinking the corruption takes place during a pseudo-medieval stage of the ratkin timeline.

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At this point some of them would also be able to write, meaning if the ship’s Nymphs (bio-organic microdrones) can retrieve some of the writing, Hermes would then be able to relay the stories of the ratkin versus the plague-monsters as written by the ratkin themselves!

It’s going to be great! I’m very excited. I’m going to try and make time for Hermes925 tomorrow after I’ve put in at least 4 hours editing on behalf of my client. I also need to find time to make some more subscription buttons. I got a little way towards it but I’m not particularly happy with the results so far.

For those that don’t know you can currently subscribe for £1. These paid subscriptions would entitle you to email updates telling about articles I write for other websites, sneak peaks (if given permission from the client) of 3rd party projects, updates on Hermes925, City of Gate, and my Facebook Pages, and anything else I want to share.

You’d also be on my go to list of people to ask if I’m stuck and need to bounce some ideas around. If this is popular I’ll create a Facebook group specifically for the purpose. Of course this is all worth more than £1 per month, so I’m going to offer £5, £10, £25 and £50 per month options, for those who’d like to invest more.

Obviously those that pay more need to get preferential treatment, so I’m thinking of offering free writing services also. The more you pay for your subscription, the more work I’d be willing to do for you, and the greater the priority.

Does this seem like a good deal? What would you be willing to pay me, and what would you have me do for it? I look forward to your comments.

Have a great day 🙂

And please click the Subscribe button 🙂

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