You all know that I’ve been contemplating a Patreon for a good long while. I have a short story project that I intend to be Patreon-based. But I’m also considering moving to that for blogging, too.
While I’ve been on hiatus, I’ve also been thinking about my blog format. I’ve been using the same format for years: some kind of thoughtful post on Monday, some kind of progress update on Friday. But that format just isn’t working for me anymore. I’ve had a lot of my thoughts about the process of writing. When I do have thoughts, they occur to me at the time and I don’t like scheduling them out into the future. So maybe I’ll just keep Friday progress posts (or move that day since Friday nights have been packed lately) and do other posts and things occur to me. Or maybe I’ll just blog through Patreon. Or maybe I’ll blog through both. The possibilities are endless!
I love structure. I love lists. But this has stopped working for me, so I think it’s time to make a change.
At this point, I’m just working on revising short stories for the Patreon project. It’s neither fun nor exciting, I’m afraid, but very much a necessary part of the writer life.
I’ve finished four stories of the initial five that I want to have set up as my buffer for my Patreon project. Then I need to revise these stories until they shine, and do some research on Patreon in general, and I’ll be ready to launch. To reiterate, this is the short story project cataloguing the rise, misuse, and fall of a magic system in a secondary-world fantasy setting.
Cue (more) heavy breathing.
This entire thing is making me apprehensive, much more so than my usual querying apprehension. I think it’s because it’s such an unknown. I have to keep reminding myself that this is an experiment, and it’s okay if it doesn’t work out, even if I’m not entirely sure what ‘working out’ looks like.
Since I’ve made progress to the point where I feel like I should be setting a deadline to be done with editing and so on, my personal, non-binding goal to launch is April 1.
Thanks to a writer-friend inviting me to write once a week at a coffee shop, and another writer-friend having a February writing sprint, I’m now done with three short-story rough drafts for the Tattoo Magic Patreon project. Whee!
I’m currently embroiled in a writing sprint, which is exactly where I need to be in terms of getting stuff ready for my Tattoo Magic Universe project. I’m mostly working on rough-drafting the first few stories, so that I can revise those and get going on the project. I’m torn between being anxious that it won’t be successful and having no idea how to define to myself what successful will look like.
It’s just something I want to do to show myself that I can do it: my little adventure into self-pub. But I want to make money on it to validate to myself that my art has value. And then I want to give some of that money to other queer artists because we need all the support we can get right now.
So far, I’ve modified one entire story to fit into the universe. It always wanted to be in the universe, but it lacked that little extra kick of connection. I’ve moved two stories over (both of which were already set in this setting, but before I had a firm idea of what the setting really WAS), and I’m about 2/3 through drafting the first or second story.
I figure when I have the first four or five stories in the arc good to go, it will be time to actually seriously start that Patreon thing. That would give me four or five months of buffer, which should be good enough to keep the project going even if I don’t have everything drafted out in advance.
I’m also looking at revamping my website and turning it into more of an author website with a blog than a blog about writing. I might do that today or Sunday, or I might push it back until next week. Stay tuned!
It’s been a hard week to focus on writing, but I did make some progress worldbuilding and thinking on my (probably) Patreon short-story project. Namely, I’ve worked on the magic system, created a syllabary and some language/grammar rules that were necessary for naming conventions, and drawn a preliminary setting map.
I’m not yet decided on whether I’ll post finished but unrelated stories in the meanwhile. That’s kind of a tougher decision than I thought it would be.
This weekend will be busy with real-life stuff, but I intend to take the time to draw a more official setting map with my Wacom tablet. Then comes the fun part of creating borders and the notes that go along with them.
I’ve also decided on the project format. Instead of just doing an array of short stories in this setting, as I initially planned, I’d like the stories to themselves tell the story of the setting. Think World War Z. So I will have to invest some initial time into loosely plotting out the stories and how I’d like them to connect.
The result will be that the Patreon project will have a delayed launch, but I think in the end, it will be more satisfying this way.
Even though I’ve had the flu over the past week, I’ve done a lot of thinking about writing. That counts, right?
I looked into Patreon a little and I’m feeling ‘eh’ about their terms of service. I’m going to let that simmer a little while and maybe try looking into some alternatives.
I wrote a chapter of Surviving the Road. This means I have one chapter and one scene to go before the book is done, which is also known as ‘when I can buy myself a celebratory meowchi’ to add to the finished novel meowchi collection.
That’s it, but I think that’s pretty good considering how sick I was all week!
As well as being utterly down and out from the flu while having to work my day job from home because Things Are Due And I’m The Only One Who Can Do Them, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about writing.
I have a lot of short stories in my stable, and a lot more that I want to write. But the time and energy I put into shopping them around to an ever-decreasing supply of professionally paying magazines is really not paying off. Even doing a simple numbers crunch, if I sold one of my stories at a market rate (rather than accepting the below-market rate that many ‘but you get exposure and you’re published!’ places offer), I’d be making less than a dollar an hour in most cases.
I honestly think I could do better self-publishing these stories on something like a Patreon. Because I love writing short stories, and I have so many other short story ideas floating around in my head, but the amount of energy I put into marketing them is not only not worth the payoff, but it detracts from the amount of energy I have to market my novels. Which, honestly, that energy is at a premium right now.
If I did that, would I only publish short stories on it, or would I move my blog over there as a ‘perk’ of supporting me in my writing? And what about my idea to pass a part of the proceeds on to other deserving artists? These are all things I’d have to think about before doing an official Patreon launch.
But the seed has been planted. And I think I might water it and see what it grows into.
The lack of progress update last weekend was due to an emergency at the day job infringing on my weekend. So today I’ll have to give two weeks’ worth of updates!
I finished NaNoWriMo at 78,923 words. While that’s an impressive amount of words, I barely wrote during the final week and I didn’t finish my novel. I got stuck trying to get from Where The Characters Are to The End.
I spent some time working on the problem, and I now have an outline that should get me there. I’m hoping to finish the book by the end of December.
I have a mass of writing-related plans for when I get there. In approximate order:
- apply for the Lambda Literary writers’ retreat in August 2017, applications are due in January
- research agents for submitting the Plague Novel and work on new submissions
- research creating a Patreon for self-publishing my short stories
- revise the Flight novel
- research sites seeking essay submissions and consider submitting essays
You’ll note that resubmitting my short stories to web-magazines is not on that list. The amount of time that I invest there doesn’t seem worth the possible rewards at this point.
Besides, I have a Web serial idea kicking around in my head and I think I would much rather look into the Patreon aspect for publishing short fiction, since I think that might be a good platform for publishing something like that.
To make a long story short, despite rejections and setbacks, writing progress continues.