High and Dry

Two jumps in a week
I bet you think that’s pretty clever, don’t you boy?

I knew for a while that I wasn’t happy writing for other people. Once upon a time it was legitimisation, that being employed by somebody else meant that it was true, I could write, because I’d get a small monetary recompense every month that proved it. After a while, however, something quietly sublimated within. If somebody else would validate this, that could mean others would too, perhaps enough to sustain my own projects. The problem with sites such as Patreon however is that so many of the people I respect and look to think they’re a con. By becoming a user you are effectively asking your subscriber base to pay for shit that you could really do for yourself. The one that always gets brought up is the ‘please pay for me to go to this Convention so I can continue to provide content for you’ and yes, that’s where I’d draw the line too. Take the holiday for yourself, don’t expect others to pay for that, and THEN make your content separately.

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I have Mick Montgomery to thank for my rethink on crowdfunding, which happened just before he got accepted for a dream gaming job last year. He made me realise that if we focussed solely on content generation and never looked past the job in hand, that there was justification in asking people to fund. He was trying to get me to accept a wage, which at the time I can remember being quite hostile to the idea that I’d be paid for a project that was pretty much 90% of his effort: I just turned up and read stuff! It made me consider the possibilities, and make a key distinction between why you ask for money and then what that money does. The key, ultimately, is transparency. It has to be very clear, right from the word go, what people will be paying for. Once that was reconciled, I wanted to be able to put 100% effort into the process. That meant yesterday, I handed in my notice on the weekly column with a clear conscience.

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I’d love to build my part up by saying I don’t have a clue what happens next, but that would be a big, fat, dirty lie. There would not have been the cutting of all these cords unless there was a goal, and there is. What I’m planning to do is make a unique profession around what and how I write, but not expect anyone to pick up the tab for the extras. That means when I offer tier rewards they’ll be exclusively around content written just for Patreon. This isn’t me asking you to fund a book, or send me on courses. If I want to learn to write, that’s my cost to cover. What you will do however is allow me to begin a journey from scratch, and if I can do that right then it will be easier later on to get other people to invest and believe in me. I’ll be filling in details on what happens next when we get into May, and the Patreon will launch June 1st.

I promise you, it will be worth your attention.

Faith

faith

This is my last major Objective for 2016. I’m not talking about the second definition: sorry, those out there hoping for a quick Convert, it’s been tried before, and they failed. It’s not that I don’t possess belief, or confidence, because if I didn’t the health thing would be simply a possibility and not a truth. What I lack now more than anything else is a consistent faith in everything and not just the highlights I choose to share, and that needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.

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Social media makes you act differently, there’s no denying that when I get a compliment from a random stranger it becomes somehow more worthwhile because it was unprompted. What I crave most however is compliments from the people I care most about and to get those is going to take a phenomenal amount of hard work. This is where I lack most, and some might argue that it is other people’s jobs to change too and not simply mine. That’s only true to a point. You can be unique and special, but if you refuse to work in the World’s version of Reality (whatever that happens to be at the time) you’re screwed. I’ve never reacted well to change. I’ve always been slow and awkward and nervous. These are the true issues that need addressing in 2017, the ones I never share with you because I’m too afraid to find the right words.

These are the biggest hurdles I am yet to surmount.

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When all is said and done, I don’t want to be the person with their life laid out in public for everybody to see. This isn’t about standing up and unloading all the emotional baggage in one hit. A lot of what needs to be achieved is in how I react to things, managing when stuff doesn’t go to plan, what takes place when challenged with something that amends or alters my world view. This is where the biggest growth needs to take place, and in the last couple of weeks I feel I’ve made some genuine progress on this front. However, I’m not the one who judges that progress, it is the rest of the World, and they have very short memories. People won’t remember how great you were, only the bad stuff. You are only as good as the last review, after all. You have to try and make each one better than the previous, and that’s a tough ask.

It’s funny watching people decide how awful 2016 was for loss, when I know how much I personally gained in the last year. If I can maintain a fraction of that momentum I’ll be beyond happy. Three words will be written and inscribed on a Post It Note, and we’ll come back here (fates willing) in a year and see how I did. That should be the biggest take-away all of us who remain on this earth have from the last 365 days. We’re still here. Never stop fighting, learning and growing. Make every day worthwhile.

#BeBetter with every step you take.

Still Alive

Yeah, I’m still here. If you read the Words Blog you’ll know that I’ve done the NaNoWriMo thing a few days early because… well, I just want to write fiction right now and am not that fussed about keeping the World up to date. I still love you guys, but this cough will not budge and it is making sleep a bit of a problem, and it also making exercise or walking anywhere in the cold an exercise in pain. So, I decided to do something utterly stupid about it this morning, because I am mad, me.

#50Ksin50Days was born.

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It’s the most consumptive, consumerist 50 days of the year ahead of us, and the period where most people make resolutions and try and be fit. So, I think maybe I just cut through all the crap and forget the ‘oh I’ll wait until after Xmas’ bollocks and just get on with running 1k, every day, for 50 days. I might have to job some, there might be days when fast walking is involved, but the brief is simple. Even on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I need to run one kilometre SOMEWHERE. What it then does is focus my mind on the process of how I run, and how it happens. It will be an exercise in persistence and application, and if you like, you can join me.

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Let’s face it, 2016 has been utterly shit, and I think it is time I took the whole fucking year by the balls and showed it who’s boss. So, here we go: I’m starting on a Friday, I have no ceremony, but for the next 50 days? I’ll have summat to write about.

DAY #1 :: 2km (mixed 7.0 kph jog and 6.0 kph power walk)

Okay, so I start with two, but as only one counts per day, that’s fine, but it gave me a chance to cough continuously at the Gym with an audience. Lots of asthma drugs taken. Did it on two treadmills as I swapped after warm-up to go and hack up a lung in the Ladies. My feet feel extra bouncy in new running shows, and even though I could not breathe, I had plenty left in the legs at the end.

Enjoyment Factor: Even with cough and bleurgh, this was an 8/10. Once upon a time I’d have gone back to bed after the start to the day I had (locked myself out of the house) but instead, I went out and STARTED A THING.

Here’s to the next 49 days.

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The Test

Today’s Blog post is in two parts. This is the ‘before’ section, and once I’ve done the Thing I need to do, there will be an ‘after.’ because today is a test of my ability, to see how far I’ve come, and to guage whether I’m truly able to be the Mistress of my own Destiny.

I’ll see you later.