Embarrassment

It’s good to know absolutely nothing has changed for certain people in Lockdown. I have form with the woman mentioned in this Thread, and possess a far longer memory than she clearly does. I’ll have my revenge, but for now it’s more important doing the work than it is complaining about the surroundings. You can’t have everything, after all.

Yet again, the Patreon course is the gift that keeps on giving. I wanted summat inspirational, and as non-cheesy as possible and this is perfect. Plus it’s comprehensive proof I’m not the Product. You have to turn up and do the work with me going forward. That’s the plan. Gonna be interesting to see how many more people do that, but two new Patrons this month is indeed a start.

Also, I am INSANELY proud of this idea. No, really, the best thing I’ve made for I do not know how long.

You don’t just have to have one job.

Right Here, Right Now

The definite disconnect of Monday/Tuesday is receding. I am coming back to normal, and when I run after this, hopefully we’ll reconnect some important issues. For now, I’ve had a cracking idea on how to keep the Work website relevant. We’re gonna make a new monthly wall planner too, because a lot of stuff has changed in the last week.

It’s good to be finding a better way to do things.

If I keep posting them, hopefully someone will read them. I’ll never know if I don’t try.

Legend

Been a high stress week. Not *quite* over yet, one more Thing tomorrow and then notionally I can relax. Monday was HARD. However, we’re still here, and everything is still happening. I’ve not failed yet, though I did step back from an FTP Test last night because I’d have gone backwards, and that will never do. A lot of my personal stuff is being discussed in videos for Patreon right now, which is part of the problem, such as it is. I wonder if I’d like to do that long term and then realize that once a week is MORE than enough.

Anyway, where are we today?

Basically, nothing changes until the World does. Stuff like this is a good start. It does make you think there could be possibility. It’s whether enough people support the cause. When someone doesn’t know they’re gaslighting someone else, when abuse becomes acceptable, when people’s feelings become irrelevant… these are tough times. You just gotta hope the good people shine though. You really do.

The Good Ones are out there.

Play the Game

Some days, you just KNOW something is a good idea. Others take weeks of thought and deliberation, but this was not one of them. Newsletters are a big deal right now, and I need to be making a couple of others on Mailchimp after I’m done here. This one, however, is for the Gamers, of which I remain one and really, truthfully, I should be doing something about. So, people can sub here if they want it. I’m giving it a month, and we’ll see where we are.


Yesterday, I prepped myself for the next Patreon project, which is making use of many, MANY words, currently gathering dust. My epic poem is ready to submit, it just needs a polish plus a few corrections, and after THAT it is just about picking a few poems for one-off prizes and a novel to go to another award. Everything else is exercise and fiction, and I could not be happier.

I’ve wanted to go back to fiction for a while, if truth be told, because the poetry is great and everything, but it is in fiction that my heart resides with most fondness. This is a period of healing and self-care too, and what matters most as a result is allowing myself the opportunity to reflect on what has been learnt. There is a lot of Real Life stuff coming up too, which needs to be provisioned for. This gives me ample opportunity to do everything and keep it all fresh.

More news as we get there.

Friday

Change is inevitable. However much you fight against it, the world’s doing stuff you can’t control. When this happens, a proper guard is essential or else someone will come in and bloody your nose. So, there’s a choice: do you just keep flailing, or is it time to defend yourself? Having spent far too many years attacking anything that I thought remotely was a threat, it’s time to be more sensible, thoughtful. Everybody’s waving carrots around but very few of these surrounding followers are hungry. That’s fine. It’s time to find those who are.

It’s the moment to accept that very few people I know actually listen to anything I say.

It’s okay, and yes, that’s absolutely a criticism. If you’re following me on Social media, why are you here otherwise? The entire point of it being ‘social’ is just that, except as human beings we can only manage about 150 meaningful relationships, with probably 5 BFF’s within that. However, that’s a pathetically small follower number. We all know social media’s abut finding monsters to point at and deride, and newspapers are beginning to work out that if they want people to access their paywalls, any publicity is good, even their own journalists pretending they’re the enemy.

Everybody’s on the take. That’s the game. If you’re not paying, you’re the product… except now, the lines are being more clearly defined. Without that precise delineation, it’s hard for people to know what they are actually paying for and as Facebook becomes more aberrant, and trust me it really is possible, other providers are gonna step up and just give people what they want, and if they have the reach, Facebook could and and might yet die. The next couple of years will be crucial. Australia is already showing what happens, and their climbdown so fast is a warning to everyone. We need robust government to make the changes, but not TOO robust or everybody suffers.

Let’s see how that goes.

There are a lot of catch-up mechanics in play right now. My Pokemon Game’s realized that the problem with having six expansions in play at once is that people who missed the start won’t keep playing if you don’t provide an opportunity for them to collect the old stuff. So, we’re getting weekends of retro content. Twitter know they’re missing a trick by not providing a sub service when they can cream off a percentage of the fees as an alternative to advertising. Everybody’s out to make money, and suddenly being free will become a selling point. I hope you’re making notes here, there’s a lot to keep up with.

What matters more than anything else is being flexible, and knowing that sometimes you don’t charge. Exposure is a dirty word for a lot of people, because yes you should absolutely be paid for what you do, but there are points where not doing so isn’t an advantage taken or a moment lost. Knowing when you ask, or when you can insist, is as important as knowing when to offer as a courtesy. In fact, it’s becoming its own saleable commodity. If I got offered the support slot to open for two big-name poets, I’d ask them what they’re being paid and then negotiate accordingly.

The key is to be honest to yourself before you worry about anyone else.

The Sound of the Suburbs

Told you I’d be back, and yes this morning was just Stress à la Mode. Things that are bad enough without a Pandemic, just with added pandemic, and getting a 15-year-old motivated before 8am. All of this is now DUN. I have caffeinated and had chocolate and really, no excuse to not just run down the rest of the hill until Friday. There is a lot of negativity and anger I could write about too, but fuck that. Really, had enough of being dragged down by other people’s versions of reality.

Time to do shit differently.

A PHENOMENAL amount of content has been submitted this month. Very little is new, as it transpires, most of the work being existing content, repurposed, except there’s been some portions that have really vexed me. Selling yourself is hard work. I won’t know for some time if any of this was worthwhile or not either, which makes it even worse. For now, all I can do is hope for the best and that something hits the target. I understand why the rules exist, and why it is important to follow them. It doesn’t mean however they’re either a) correct all the time or b) applicable to everything.

I am reminded of the number of times whilst writing before this point where other people turned up with their own drama, but decided to make things my fault. What is done here is my business, if you’re offended it’s your problem and not mine. Similarly, if I complain about something, it is with the knowledge that my ability to alter that is largely dependent on how much of the thing there remains personal influence over. Moaning about other people’s entry criteria is pointless. If they only want a certain type of person in their club/spending their money/promoted in their brand, however good you are is irrelevant. If you don’t fit, that’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

Except, increasingly that’s no longer true.

Once you tick the standards box, and the content box, it is down to how your shit will sell. It’s that Hollywood staple, that once one person’s making a disaster film they’ll all do one to cash in on the other. It’s how repetition becomes a joke, after a while. New stuff is both edgy and inherently dangerous. Except, if truth be told, most people wanna retell old stories with their ideas of appropriate protagonists. It makes sense, because then everybody understands the motivation, and it can all then come down to your syntax and execution. Originality is becoming very hard to find.

The best I can hope for, ideally, is my own voice being heard and appreciated. That’s where we’re going to start, and then we’ll see how things go from there. Everything else, like it or not, depends too much on other people. At least here, that will never be a problem.

Who’s Sorry Now

Life is changing around me. It’s odd to not only watch, but perceive that alteration taking place. For instance, I guarantee you that without Harley Quinn, we’d not have a Disney villain getting a whole film to herself. The era of Empowered Women has been on the cards for a while, but the Disney/Fox merger really made it something special. Whether the stuck in the muds like it or not, refusing to embrace this change will become a liability for them because, like it or not, this is not the same world we lived in eighteen months ago.

They may be slow to change, but others aren’t, and it’s really beginning to show.

It staggers me what people post on Social media with absolute sincerity. It is almost as if a) they think their view of the World is the only one and b) they have no real grasp of anything else except what they know. It’s like those people who will undoubtedly look at that Emma Stone movie and decide that honestly, only a bunch of derivative tropes, when that’s all everything has ever been since the dawn of entertainment. You need to understand context, and motivation and so much more but mostly have to grasp that not all entertainment is yours to be critical of.

However, if you choose to intentionally ignore things you refuse to try and understand, there will be consequences.

This week I have learnt that things that rhyme get more tweets than those that don’t. Now, I could just ignore this and keep going my own sweet way, or I could learn from it. Guess which one I’m going to do.

You either want to progress, or you don’t.

Just For You

A weekend of game-playing did the trick. I am back on track and in the groove, and this is progress because instead this morning of playing a game over breakfast, there was exercise instead.

I promised myself something, every day this month, even if it’s just a walk, and that plan has been kept to pretty well, even with the awful weather (and personal news) last week. It’s become the foundation for everything else and no, it’s not all about to go out of the window. That would have been the old me. This, better version understands how everything just goes sideways when you don’t prioritize your own mental health over everything else. In that regard, this is a very decent place to be right now.

It’s also right that only with the ability to heal and address the issues does any significant progress get made. Many people will never have that luxury in their lives, or never feel the need. That latter revelation took a while to grasp: trying to get other people to confront their own demons is not your job. If someone wants to talk, you let them, but there is little or no point in pushing that. Only your life can be altered, and no-one else’s.

Knowing what matters is a big deal now. Making sure that the priorities are kept is still at the habit-forming stage.

We’ll get there in time.

The Number of the Beast

How did the last four days go? As it happens, not bad at all.

Valheim’s overriding hook, for me at least, is that I’m the one in charge. Animal Crossing got frustrating because you’re constantly chasing an aesthetic that someone else dictates, and with the best will in the world you need some peril, after a while. Just collecting stuff gets boring, trust me I know. This game has just enough toolkit to keep it interesting, will kill you if you don’t pay attention, and doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t. It’s effectively Minecraft as Purgatory: I hope Hell does look as good as this because the sunrises and sunsets are fucking breathtaking.

As I’m no longer a games journo there won’t be any Guides either, this is happening as a way to untangle my brain in a period of very high stress. Suffering some very unfortunate fatalities is a reminder this morning that the second major boss isn’t happening for quite some time, until there’s far better armour, consumables and lots more practice. However, as a displacement activity, with player housing and combat, it is pretty much perfect, and I suspect those people playing this in PvP will be having a whale of a time.

I need to build a Raft as a matter of some urgency…

Wondrous Stories

Feedback is the best thing in the world. Even the bad stuff is good, you know. It means someone is reading your work. That’s the key, it’s why word of mouth on The Socials is so important. When you get trolled, and we all do, it’s still a good thing because, like it or not, you have distracted someone enough from their own lives to come and interact with yours and THIS is the Elixir of Life. You don’t need gold-plated toilets and armed militia at your disposal. All that shit the Ex_President pulled, deep down, was because he never got enough love as a kid.

Don’t @ me either. You either get it, or you don’t.

The great thing about the unprompted comment above however is the choices that have now been validated as a result of it. 2021 was all about making things easier to do. That means that the first few months of short stories are interconnected and, if I go this as a positive sign in January? It’s time to build on momentum and NOT BLOW IT. The key there, of course, is those three words. I have a sensible, compelling human storyline, Twitter Polls and some online elements to weave into the mix. Hopefully, it’ll get more people interested…

All you can do is your best, when all is said and done. This, fortunately for me right now, is just that.