So life’s getting kinda busy for me. Mostly in a good way – I’m getting hours and hours in at my keyboard, and while not all of that time’s spent writing (I just finished a 20 page world bible, for instance) it is all feeling productive and wonderful.
In order to achieve that, rather than looking at where I think I should be I’ve found I need to accept where I’m actually at. A large part of me thinks I should be working at like 1200 words an hour, for instance. But, by accepting the fact I’m working at around 400~ish an hour and just putting in the hours, I managed to finish my very loose Troy test project thing I mentioned last month.
So, what about the slightly problematic way in which life is getting busy? I feel like I have very little extra capacity to do more, which is disappointing, because I’d always envisioned my Patreon project as a way to do more for my fans. And I’m hoping to get it rolling again.
Since I have very little ‘extra’ right now, I think I need to accept that and redesign the Patreon to match that, rather than push myself too far. But! There’s still fun stuff I can do. I’m obviously going to continue monthly updates like these, which will remain public. There will be snippets and miniature things again, but, they’re going to be random and difficult to schedule – some months might produce a lot of material, some less so – so in future, those will just show up for all patrons without a tiering differential. I occasionally wax lyrical on various subjects, so little essays on whatever – writing techniques, commentary on genre-related events, essays on setting elements in my stuff – will also show up again, and I’m thinking some of those will be on the basic patron feed, and some will be public.
I’m thinking Patreon Tier structure in future will look something like this:
1$ – Access to basic feed.
2$ – Extra thankfulness!
5$ – An initialed or otherwise tinily written pushpin will be added to the corkboard in your honour, to rest up there forever.
10$ – Early access to all public posts.
20$ – A great big dose of thankfulness.
100$ – A handwritten monthly postcard to express my thanks, probably with a quotation – either something I really like, or something out of my work. (I’m thinking lower-tier patrons also get a postcard like this as a one-off ‘thank you’ when I notice that their lifetime contribution hits $100?)
1000$ – Directly fund some kind of special project. (Maybe get Dog Country into print? If I want to do that I need to either get a new cover or get the print rights to the cover it already has, and I definitely want to hire a professional editor/proofer… etcetera.)
There’s also some other factors I need to take into account with planning this out. For example, if I publish a story or something through Patreon, it’s… published. So I can no longer attempt to sell it at pro markets – and submitting a short story to pro markets can have a turnaround of like, a year, before it’s been passed on by all the major publications. As for novels? An agent is going to need years to shop a novel around, frankly.
At the moment, I’m not really writing enough to justify saying ‘okay I’ll write a serial story on the side of my professional efforts for the Patreon’ – which would be cool, would totally be the kind of ‘extra thing for the fans’ I aspire to, but right now that kind of extra workload isn’t really in reach.
So yeah. Those are my thoughts, although at the moment these are just thoughts – you’ll hear from me again at least two weeks before the Patreon resumes.
I mentioned the Troy test project? I finished that off. It wound up being around 16 000 words, short novella length, but it definitely needs to live in the trunk for awhile. It is mostly written to prove to myself I can keep typing, and will need considerable work before I can decide whether I think it’s publishable in full.
After finishing that, I’ve begun work on my space opera – Legacy of a Silver Age – which currently involves a war against an artificial heaven that posthuman/transhuman ancients ascended to. Right now it’s still in the planning phase, but that involves a lot of stuff like world bibles and figuring out the made up physics before getting elbow deep into plotting it all out. So that’s my project for the current ‘writing season’ – which continues through from the third week of January to the second week of May. I’m not sure what the next season – third week of May through to second week September – will be. Originally I was thinking something cyberpunk, but, being more realistic, it’ll either be continuing the Space Opera – which is getting to be much larger scale than I thought – or spent with a split working on short stories/editing previous material/extra time for the Space Opera.
All in all, though, I am feeling quite positive about muddling through and experimenting on all of this, and, as ever, thank you for all your support.
Patreon’s still paused through February, but keep your eyes open – March might be the time to start it back up. And, if you have suggestions or other input about what you’d like to see me do for the Patreon, feel free to comment below.