The Politics of Dancing

There’s a temptation to just spill the beans completely on my future plans, as I’m totally useless at suspense or keeping secrets, but because I understand that people get interest by drip-feeding information, it is time to say just this. The URL  internetofwords.com now points at my writing site. It’s a play on words (unsurprisingly) from the Internet of Things:

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I decided that, if I’m going to explore all aspects of how language online works, why communication has transformed our lives via social media plus all points in between, then the Internet of Words would be a great umbrella title for all of these ideas and more, including my own writing on the subject. That means my noun needs a definition:

‘The interconnection via the Internet of thoughts, ideas and writing styles embedded in social media, blogs, mobile apps and web pages, enabling new forms of communication.’

I realise this is going to get a bit cerebral for some people, but the plan in the first instance is to stick with simplicity and to explore what already exists on ‘paper’ and ‘online’ as a starting point. It also means I can include my own writing work legitimately as part of the project, as I’ll be using the Internet as marketing and advertising combined. It seems really rather lofty at Ground Zero, but I really hope I can make it both engaging and interesting at the same time. Only time will tell, I suppose, but I am insanely excited at the possibilities thus far.

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It also allows me to offer merchandise as tier rewards, but to do that I’m going to need a logo. The irony last night of me announcing this need was being followed by a number of Twitter bots offering design services, which is how life works around this parish. I think I’d like to do something myself with type and a simple graphic element, and I’ll be taking the weekend to looking for suitable fonts, that will also translate onto the webspace. I don’t want to spend money on things I can do myself if possible either, because I’m quite a frugal soul when it comes down to it. Mostly, the look of my project does matter a great deal, but not nearly as much as the content :D

There’s a lot to think about, but this I feel is a solid start.

The Dawning of a New Day

Honesty in my life is becoming a rather big deal.

As you’ll see in an unscheduled Writing post on the other site, finding trustworthy people in this great big pile of social media shit can be, on any given day, a rather fraught affair. Everybody it seems is out to make their own fortune in the World without a care to helping anybody except themselves: however, that’s been the way of things for as long as I can remember. That whole ‘if your face doesn’t fit’ saying is true, too, except on a Global stage that doesn’t really matter if you possess enough determination and the right tools of your trade. There comes a point however when even the most cynical and jaded of us are forced to compromise to move forward. I arrived there at the back end of last week, and now comes the moment to make my choice.

In this case, I will hang onto my integrity for all that it is worth, but accept that if I want to take the next step forward, some kind of assistance will be required.

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I’ve drawn some lines for myself as indicators to progress; the main one is whether anyone is prepared to fund my long term endeavours. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve encouraged me thus far by offering to donate to my costs, and in eight years nobody ever has. I know full well why this is: I’m seen as volatile and unpredictable, and a number of projects begun with high ideals were never completed. Based on that experience I’d not fund me either, and this was one of the reasons why, at the start of this year, I determined to cut back on workload and try and concentrate on specific projects and not throw myself at everything simultaneously. I’d say at present I’m at 60% success rate: when I can maintain 100% for at least a three month period, that will be the time to take another step forward.

Therefore, all things being equal, if I’m able to get to and maintain a 100% return on promises for work produced by September, I will launch my own Patreon. Primarily this will be to cover the costs of maintaining three websites on WordPress, with a long term view to optimising at least one for SEO (which requires me to upgrade to a Business plan.) Because I’m on my own and without the ability to run my own server (and to be honest that’s not something I want to even think about) it will initially be no more fancy than that. This is not about World Domination when it’s taken nearly a decade to learn to run again, so we’ll be taking it slow to begin with.

In effect, this will be me taking the first step forward to becoming an independent writer.

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Using Patreon, of course, allows me to exchange concrete evidence of effort for your hard earned cash, and as the months go on I’ll do just that, with interesting and challenging  incentives for both time and continued support. I’m also aware of the current cynicism in at least the Warcraft community over how crowdfunding can used for less than worthwhile endeavours by those who could be considered as exploiting the concept. I’m not here to take holidays or do nothing with your money, I grasp that if you give something there should always be a balance in return. An aversion to commercialism is also the reason why I’ve refused to use either Adwords or any kind of overt advertising on my sites since the practice became almost essential for writers. That’s not changing any time soon either.

What I’m here and doing today is asking for people to consider an opportunity to prove my work is worthwhile and has merit. I’m hoping that the last few years (often harsh) lessons in learning how to deal with a difficult and confrontational Community has taught me well enough that I can now move forward. I believe I am capable of making a decent job of this, or else I wouldn’t be committing myself to the cause in the first place. This is why I’ve withdrawn from previous commitments around streaming and podcasting. However, it should be said that if things move forward both may yet be useful tools for expression, and I will consider using them both to augment the websites.

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I’m going to leave at the bottom of this post a link to my Paypal account. I am serious and committed to this path, and by the time I’m 51 I will do for myself what I should have done when I was 25. I doubt it will be any easier now than it would have been then, but I want to at least have tried to make something worthwhile of my life in the time I remain on the planet. I am well aware that this could all fail, and that fact scares me every moment of each day, but unless I try, I will never know. You won’t find me shouting about this from rooftops either, or shoving requests for help down your throat. I’m here just to work hard, do my best and try and produce something I can look back at and be proud of.

I’m not going to use another person’s game, or a genre or fandom to sell myself, just me. I will stand and fall on my own words, until my last breath.

If you wish to join me on the journey? It’s time to get ready to roll.

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Things to Make and Do

THINGS TO REMEMBER GOING FORWARD
(An Important List)

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Stop worrying about who left, and concentrate on those who remain. Obsessing over followers is bad and wrong. Charlie Brooker is spot on. The future is Nosedive unless you take control of your own destiny. You can still be positive and focused without the need to pander to everyone. Negativity isn’t the answer either, but for many that solution allows them to feel alive, and here’s the bigger issue. If people can only feel human by destroying others or continually belittling what the rest of the world has but they don’t? They’re the problem. Everyone else is just getting on and living their life. That’s what you need to do. Don’t be the person obsessing over anything. Be better.

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Eating better does not mean making yourself miserable. Honey in your tea will not set you back days, but six buckets of tea in a day will. Woman, you really have to learn moderation in all things, which is tough with your track record. The ‘no cake til Xmas’ thing is doable, but not at the expense of your immortal soul. Keep taking the daily vitamins, for goodness sake up the vegetable/roughage content and after that just remember that the number of calories in should not exceed the number expended to facilitate progress. That’s why you have those Internet apps. Use them more. Try and get excited about things that are not processed sugar and empty carbohydrates. It is possible, if you put your mind to it.

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Stop being so fucking hard on yourself, ALL THE TIME. This is gonna be more difficult than the first two, but you can do it. Stop stressing over the shit you got wrong. There is nothing you can do now except apologise if it matters enough and move on. Don’t EVER hurt anybody else with your stupid, and just stop the problems from happening by thinking more and obsessing less. You can do it, without falling into the pit of despair and anxiety that normally accompanies these episodes. It’s okay to worry, just don’t let it consume everything else along the way. This one matters a LOT, and so I’m going to say it all in capitals. YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY. Just relax, okay?

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Practice being a Better Person by just being better. If you can’t? Learn to accept the compliment as it is. Be grateful for the effort. Understand that it might not mean much to you but it is potentially the World to someone else. Mostly, stop being a miserable fucker. See above (RE: Own Worst Enemy)

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People Love You for What YOU ARE. Yup, they know you have to be better too, and that’s okay, because you can do that now, but don’t get freaked out when people care. Just because you get your heart broken twice a day doesn’t mean you can learn to accept affection over time. It’s not difficult. You just gotta let it happen. Just remember that this is all part of the way life works and that if you give out love, it comes back. That’s cool too.

Really, everything is brilliant right now. Even if the World ends tomorrow, remember this is the best it has ever been. Hold onto that. Cherish the moments, every one of them.

Stop worrying and JUST BE.

Faith

I caved, and weighed myself this morning. I’ve put on half a pound. I know all the speeches about weight in my sleep now, I’m just hoping that this will be the start of the great leap forwards. All I can do is sit tight and not waver. Having taken the honey out of my diet yesterday, there was an unexpected late day response with what I’m well aware was a low blood sugar migraine. Ironically I got all of the lights and none of the pain until much later, and even when the headache came, it was far less traumatic than expected. I’d not still be treading this route were it not for the fact that I woke this morning after a full and largely uninterrupted night’s sleep and felt absolutely fantastic.

Really, this is the best I have felt for quite some while.

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I feel so good that I threw away the writing plan for the morning and have been re-branding websites. I’ll spend this afternoon getting back up to date with projects and the housework. Then tomorrow it will be early Gym and a real push to try and start working on my trunk, which is where all the fat is now residing. I’m actually looking forward to it too, none of the trepidation or concern I’ve had in previous weeks. I am having trouble with my grip, which a friend suggests could be over-training, but I want to check that poor circulation during cold weather isn’t a contributing factor. My arms are now pretty much fat free, legs rapidly getting that way and I can both see and feel the fat breaking down in the tops of my legs.

This was always going to be a long journey, and more than ever I am determined to complete it.

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Thanks for sticking with me, guys. I appreciate the support and understanding more than you will ever know.