Welcome to Sunday!
So, I got volume 3’s main arc finished off and cleaned up as much as I can and now I’m focusing on getting Four Squared set up and ready to go. I’ve got it planned out to a T– I think– and I’m going to be hitting it hard starting Monday.
[Volume 3 Word Count. Feels good!]
My patreon subscribers will be getting their copies as soon as they’re squared away and ready to go, whereupon it’ll go up for sale on my blog. Subscribers to my blog will get their discount coupons and then it’ll go to Amazon, too.
Also, I can’t say for sure that anything’s going to come of this, but I’ve been chatting with someone about doing an audiobook version of it as well. That’d be super exciting, but I can’t promise anything on it!
On the bright side, I can promise that E-Book formats will run the entire range– epub, mobi, PDF, so on and so forth. All DRM free!
I’m also looking into finding a good Print on Demand service that doesn’t require me to have an address to work from in order to send out books to people who order them. If you’ve got anyone you’ve worked with before, please let me know in the comments below!
Also, if you want to get my books for free, please consider becoming a patron– patrons who pledge 5 dollars or more get all my books for free, those who donate 20 dollars or more get printed versions of my books for free, too!
See you tomorrow!
Another day, another 2400 words. . .
I’m almost finished with volume 3, finally. This volume has been absolutely kicking my ass in terms of desire to finish it. I think a lot of it is my attitude towards the whole thing and generally just not feeling well. That said, I’m kind of okay with the way things are going, I hope I’ll be able to get more done over the weekend, though.
I’m really excited about getting the first volume published and, hopefully, getting ahead of the curve so I can have things lined up in queue and ready to go. I’m going to forgo graphic because it hasn’t really changed at all– I was just cleaning up stuff in preparation for posting it.
Instead, I will share with you what I’ve been using to help pull myself out of my funk. . .
Some time ago I punched ‘self discipline’ into a search engine and came across someone named Brian Tracy. Boiled down, his system is pretty straightforward.
The idea is to grab yourself a spiral bound notebook and write down ten goals. You do this every day in the frame as though you’ve already completed them. So instead of “I will make 20 dollars every day.” You would write your goals as “I make 20 dollars every day.” This works on your subconsciousness because while /you/ know you might not currently make 20 dollars a day, you’re giving your mind a command that says “I want this.”
Now, while you’re going through your day, while you’re sleeping or taking a long shower (god I miss those), your mind is working on how it can get you to a point where you’re making 20 dollars per day. Pretty straightforward, right?
Yes. That’s the whole trick to this. It’s ridiculously simple but also pretty effective.
Brian prescribes that you do this first thing in the morning when you wake up so it affirms your desire to do the things you’re setting yourself out to do. The other trick to it is that you write down the same goals daily, without referencing the previous day’s writing. You don’t have to get the same specific order down, you want the intent. You want to cement those goals in your mind. Because of this, you usually want to give yourself a time frame to accomplish these things.
I’m going to expand on this tomorrow, but McDonalds is closing here in 2 minutes, so I need to go find someplace to sleep, in the meantime, here is what my goal list looks like:
- I make 150.00 for every patreon post I make by January 1
- I have 2,000 dollars saved up to move by December 1 (because winter sucks!)
- Daily, I write 2,500 words without fail by January 1
- I have a stable address (preferably in a different state) by December 1
- My passport is in hand by Jan 18
- I published 2 volumes of the Dragon Slayers by September 15
- I wrote 2 full novels by January 18
- I have an emergency fund of 2,500 dollars by March 1
- My time management skills have improved greatly by Jan 1
- I have sold 500 copies of my work by January 18
Pretty simple, I know, but in 5 days I went from being monstrously apathetic to having some direction and, most importantly in my position, hope. . .
That, more than anything, is invaluable.
Welp, here we are with day 1 progress:
5,700 words on volume 3! Almost finished with it, I’m going to get chapter 5 polished up and polished off, then post it up first thing tomorrow– or maybe tonight if I get really ambitious. I also got a bit more planning done on volume 1’s revisions, I’d say I’m about 28% done with that, which I’ll get more done on when I can devote myself fully to it as I have with finishing volume 3’s main arc. The interludes will probably be done over the week as I can get a few words in here and there, but I really want to get volume 1 set up and done as polished as I can make it.
I’ve actually been reading some stuff about goal setting and how to get things done, including long term planning and getting motivation going. I’ll share those tomorrow, but McDonalds closes in 15 minutes, so I doubt I’ll be able to get it put together.
That said, here’s the progress wheel for today:
So, it’s been incredibly hard to get myself writing. . . As in, I didn’t get much of anything done last month at all– between the depression and feelings of hopelessness (I’m all right now, I’ve had a chance to get my head sorted out. . . I’ll be all right) but in this, I understand that I haven’t really been keeping my end of the bargain here– I haven’t finished Volume 1 as I wanted to!
This isn’t cool and it isn’t acceptable. So, I decided what I’m going to do this month is lay out my plan and do daily updates on it until I get the first volume cleaned up and published. For the sake of completeness, I’ve included my handy daily goal wheel which will get updated as I add to the goals.
The daily goal right now has been to get volume 3 finished up but that hasn’t happened! I’m going to keep working on it, but in the meantime, I’ve set up a rough plan to fix the volume up and give it a cohesive self-contained story that people will enjoy and be aroused by– naturally.
So, I’m going to get started first thing tomorrow and I’ll post an update this time tomorrow night along with the updated graph might have fallen off track, but dammit, I know I’m better than this. I’m also hoping someone will learn something through this, so let’s find out!
Oh, and I also plotted out a pilot for a serial. . . You can expect to hear more about that this week, too.
So, here’s the graphic. Shaded areas show completion:
So, I wanted to take a quick moment and thank everyone who’s been supportive of the Dragon Slayer and I hate to ask anything, but I’m hoping I can look to you to help spread the message of Sarah Kettar and the sultry shenanigans that fall in her wake.
I’ve put together a kind of shareware or ‘demo’ version of the premium Dragon Slayer novella “Four Squared.” I’ve cleaned it up and made all the changes I wanted to in order to get this as clean and polished as I can, so please, if you enjoy this series, have a read and spread the ‘wealth’ around. It’d mean so much to me.
Thank you again, dear readers, I sincerely appreciate your support!
You and I want the Same Thing: Better Smut
Despite appearances (and rumours) to the contrary, I’m actually quite alive, but that’s not because I’ve been doing what I need to. I’ve actually been in a huge rut lately because of. . . real life stuff. Stomach stuff, unrelated to that wonderful time of the month.
Anyway, for those who’re not terribly interested in biological functions, I’ve got some news for you! Let’s talk about quality and what it means to me, as an author, an artist and a reader.
Because yes, I really am that narcissistic.
So, you may have heard of this thing called Patreon, and you may have heard about the hundreds of artists of all types both famous and unheard of (hey, that’s me!) who loiter about the site with their tip cups while producing their chosen craft. Having a solitary patron means the amount of control or ‘influence’ that the patron is expected to be able to influence over the artist is pretty severe, however having no patron means the artist has to work a regular job in order to make ends meet and thus, produces less content.
So how can we fix this? How can you get the crazy smut you want and the artist make enough money to survive (and, dare we hope, thrive) on? Patreon.
The site itself is pretty straight forward, you make a pledge to an artist you like to support their work. It can be as little as a dollar or as much as you like all your monehs. Not that I’d recommend it because you probably have a life with obligations and stuff.
Get to the Bloody Point, you meandering fungus!
I’m asking for you to consider pledging what you can so I can continue providing you with the stories you’ve come to enjoy (or vise versa, depending on how you look at it) and, most importantly, I can provide more of them because I don’t have to spend my days writing penis pill adverts and blog content for those who try coerce people to fill out surveys to get their hacks to social games.
I’m not holding content hostage, farthest from it, I want to give you more! I want to finish novels on time, I want to explore other worlds and give them to you to make what you will out of them. Hell, I want you to need a towel, a drink of water and a good nap at the end of the day because you were so enamoured with what I wrote that you lost yourself in a world. That’s the goal of any writer and I’m no different.
With patrons, I can write and release more novels, I can provide more content, for free. That means my supporters get free novels, both printed softcovers and e-pubbed ones for your favorite reading device. Holy crap, free is great, right?
It also means that if you have a program, service or something cool you want to support (provided I agree with what you’re doing) I’ll help support that too, giving you some exposure and getting your name out there.
Oh, one last thing. Supporters of my projects can get a story written in any one of my worlds with any of your (or my) characters. There are a couple limits but not many, and you’ll find me very willing to discuss things with you!
You can learn more about what the money goes towards, the amounts you can pledge and more of the other niceties on my Patreon page which is here.
So if you like what I do, you enjoy fantasy erotica and hello kitty faces, please consider supporting my endevours so I can bring you more of what you want; sugar and spice and everything so nice?
You Won’t be my First
Sadly, like the annals of my mind and shrivelled little heart, my Patreon page has been graciously pledged to by some really awesome people and as I promised, I want to give them a huge shout out. Seriously, these guys are awesome. If you enjoy fun discussions, good music and quirky humour, you’ll want to check out Voice of Crom. So please, check them out and give them a listen. You’ll find something you like, I have no doubt– plus, they’re both really awesome people. Seriously, they rock.
Click to the Image to Check Them Out (Opens in a new window)
Another wonderful friend and great writer in his own write (see what I did there?) is Alonsis, one of my long time role playing friends and someone I’ve been very thankful to know has also pledged and as soon as he gets off his butt and does some writing I’ll link it!
But seriously, if you’re a fan of independent writers and want to help support them so they can help you enjoy your alone time with the tablet or paperback, then please consider making a pledge. It would mean a great deal to me and every other writer known to humankind.
Let’s get This Donkey Show Started
Let me be upfront about something, just between you and I; I am a social wall flower. I hate interacting with people face to face because I trip over my tongue faster than a one legged autistic child who’s been thrust in front of a spiral stair case after taking a ride on the tilta-whirl. Yeah, it’s bad.
It’s not for lack of intelligence or even ability with words, but rather it’s that talking to people, especially those you don’t know, is just that much harder then dealing with friends. Even those quiet interactions are usually filled with um’s and ah’s, as though the word fairy came in the middle of the night and stole mah words. Sound like someone you know?
I Write as a Profession
So let me preface this by saying I write freelance. Most of my clientele are in the SEO/Internet Marketing industries, a great many of them are from the English as a Second Language (ESL) crowd, so you could easily make the argument that I’m not actually a professional writer. But you know what? You’ve read this far, and I’m willing to bet you’re still here because you found something that interests you, a question you hope to find the answer to, or an argument that you want to rip to pieces.
I Write as a Hobby
Strange concept, I know. I love stories and when I was young I used to fantasize a lot, writing a little here and there but seldom taking on a full ‘story’ because I lacked the confidence to carry it through– what if people didn’t like it? I mean holy shit, am I so starved for attention and approval that I can’t trudge through a story even for my own sake?
You’re damn right I was. I still am, though considerably less so now that I’ve had a couple million words course through my fingers. I grew up with a man who was exceptionally broke, who had absolutely no idea what he was doing with a kid but meant well. To me, however, he was the world, so I tended to emulate him. Naturally, that made me kind of a tom-boy and when my girlfriends were talking about the inanities of teenage life, I was driving pickup trucks full of manure through the foreman’s trailer in a little farming community.
I’m a World Class Chicken Shit
The other thing my grandfather taught me was that when push came to shove, women were always going to be stereotyped and looked at a certain way by the world at large. I’m not going to address the specifics, because anyone with an A cup and 2 brain cells to rub together knows exactly what I’m talking about. But between these warnings (and the good intentions behind them), he prepared me for the world as best he could. God love him for that.
Unfortunately, it also meant I was really uneasy in social situations. I would go as far as to keep most of the people in my life at a distance– I have to say, I’ve probably hurt a -lot- of people with my actions, and the reason is because I was terrified of getting too involved with someone that may wind up turning out to be a jackal in sheep’s clothing.
So what the hell does any of this have to do with confidence and writing, you may ask?
The Other Four Letter Intercourse Word That Ends in K
The truth of it is quite simple; we communicate with body language and oral exchanges. (My favorite kind). So communication skills come in many forms, but tend to be influenced by our histories, personal views (in communicating with members of different groups, for example) and so forth.
Some people are born with both feet under them, some people– like the person I’m currently dating– are natural gabbers and would (and in her case, have) walked up too people who would frighten most of us ‘normals’ and initiated conversations, flirted with, or even coerce them into action. What these people can do with the spoken word leaves me in absolute awe, and I’m not at all threatened by the shoebox full of numbers my girlfriend keeps under her bed. Not at all. Nope.
So is Writing the Key to Confidence?
I can imagine you’re looking at the screen expecting I’ll have the answer to this question. I may. I may not. Human beings are funny that way, we’re exceptionally diverse creatures that can’t really seem to agree on one universal standard.
That said. . .
I’ve been writing for a long time, but only when I started looking at it as a possible profession did I really start concentrating on it. The mechanics, the way in which words could be strung together and how it may be interpreted by the person who will inevitably read it. During this phase, I earned some fairly high praise from my clients and it’s only been getting better.
I’ve been working my ass off to make a living doing this and I’ve gotten to the point where I feel confident charging (what I would consider) fair market value for my services. This hasn’t sat well with some of my ‘content for cheap’ clients, but they’re not the kind of people I want to be dealing with anyway.
This confidence lead me to take my fiction writing more seriously because I enjoy it far more than writing about pills and other stuff. So, all told, I wrote about 3 novel length works (some reaching 100K+) and while I didn’t send them out for publication, I did learn a lot about painting a picture with words and I’ve even posted my stuff on popular sites like Literotica and I’ve received a few feedback, mostly praise. This, obviously, boosted my confidence tremendously. So much so, that I decided I’d take the plunge and try to sell some of my work on Amazon.
You could easily make the argument that it’s a matter of gradual confidence building, but here’s where this all comes to a head:
I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping myself out of social situations, but when my girlfriend dragged me (kicking and screaming, like a true adult) to a community outreach function at her mother’s church. The idea behind it is to help homeless people by delivering food and warm soup. It’s not giving them a place out of the elements, but it’s a small congregation and the intention is good.
I am not at all against helping anyone, I just don’t deal well with people so I tried to avoid it like a sniveling coward. None the less– I was teamed up with a group of four other volunteers, all of which were just as nervous as I was. We were given a map of the area and told to do our best to find people, got the safety briefing and yada, yada, yada. So, trudging around in ankle deep snow with a hot dog cart we set out.
Somewhere along the way I opened my mouth without even thinking about it engaged the group in conversation. Yes, little wall flower Tammy struck up a conversation with complete strangers. Within an hour (and after running out of sandwiches and soup) I had actually become the defacto leader of the group, all the while not a single ‘uh’ or ‘ah’ was uttered.
The reason for this, I have no doubt, is that fundamentally what I do with the written word is as simple and straightforward as the spoken one. The more you practice it, the more you become aware of how these things come together subconsciously, this is where the real fun begins. This, I think, is where ancillary practice comes in. Standing in front of a mirror is all well and good, but in order to really build your vocabulary, your delivery and confidence, I think the only way to do it is to start with the purest form of communication.
Writing, by definition is a way to facilitate the transmission of ideas. Whether it’s to compel someone to stop urinating on your lawn at three in the morning by way of a restraining order, seduce e-girls in a chat room in the dark annals of the interwebs, or get women to buy penis enlargement pills (because you’re just that damn good), you’re putting thought into the construction of your sentences in order to transmit your ideas or get your reader to act on the information.
I’d present the argument that by becoming more skilled in the way in which you present your thoughts, your confidence steadily grows to the point that it translates itself into a force for change. Whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, it takes place with each word you pound out, you’re becoming a better writer and you’re becoming a more effective communicator.
Practice in front of a mirror if you have to, but if you’ve spent the time to build up a solid foundation, you’ll be much more effective, don’t you think?
Don’t hesitate to call my theory bunk, but if you have any stories about your confidence being improved because of your writing, please, share your experience. I’d love to hear what people have to say!
I decided I’d write this post after yesterday’s little experiment in self-sufficiency. Also, I adopted a new monicker and I’m already loving it. Behold, the slush pile mushroom:
0600: Wake up cursing the world.
0630: Roll off the cot. Steal a nip of scotch to numb the pounding headache.
0630: Spill cornflakes across the table trying to hit the bowl. Realize this, vow to clean it up later. Add scotch to cereal.
0635 – 0650: Vomit in the shower, curse the world more.
0700 – 0710: Slap together peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.
0710 – 0900: Work on client work. Realize client information is being input into fiction project. Scotch says its okay. Keep writing.
0900: Leave ‘home’ for the local library to take advantage of T3 internet (and peace and quiet)
1000: Almost get hit by a truck during the 5 mile walk to the library. Loose pocket knife in attempt to wing it at careless driver.
1030: Arrive at library only to realize police are surrounding the place along with fire trucks. Give lip to police officer who attempts to stop from going to the library, nearly get arrested. Realize he’s only doing his job.
1035: Find quiet place to skulk. Enter library anyway, commandeering stall in the bathroom.
1100: Manage to get 2 pieces of client writing done. Emerge triumphant and nearly run into male police officer.
1100: Duck back in the bathroom. Go back to writing.
1200: Finish 3 more client pieces. Scotch and peanut butter and jelly to celebrate. Realize the peanut butter was bread side up.
1230: Police leave. Stumble over to table and sit down. Curse life for not being able to plug in the damned laptop.
1300: Pontificate on the meaning of life. Ogle library patrons. Scotch in water. Claim it’s Tea.
1330: More writing.
1500: Stare at table.
1600: What do you mean she swallows?
2000: Tomf 4 hom
2200: Be treated to full body massage by girlfriend whilst watching a fabulous anime film called Wolf Children. Enjoy riveting commentary and post-film discussion.
2300 – 0300: Weeiiiii!
0400 – 0500: Sing for neighbours whilst dancing on top of table.
0500 – 0600: Sleep.
Not to say I like clichés, I just happened to be one yesterday. I did get a lot of writing done. Professional to a T, aren’t I?
So, it’s taken me a while to get them done, but I’ve finally gotten my story pages written up. You can find them at the top of the blog or by clicking either of these links:
Like a clogged up fountain pushing hard against the blockage, were also getting ready for one hell of a release, too! I’ve been working on revising the first volume of the Dragon (S)Layers story and, if all goes well, I’ll have that out in a couple weeks and Breaking Diamonds out shortly after that! Totally stoked.
Productive writer is productive.