Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Here's To You: Happy New Years

With 2013 moving into little more than memories, fond or otherwise, I wanted to share some of my own over the course of what's been a hugely monumental year for me.

To do that, and to get there, we have to go somewhere a little further back. It's a sensitive point, something I haven't really talked about and don't suppose I will. There's not much to say, but it's where it all began. Much like any first, it's the hardest to abridge.

It's also really long and I don't want to break peoples mouse wheels or turn them off finding other important posts, so here's a pagebreak. Note for people that read my posts direct, they only show up on the index, I'm not crazy in that sense.

11th of December 2012, I lost someone that was a huge part of my life. To this day, I only hope they're alright out there, living on and enjoying life. So, yeah, not lost in a sense of dying, just disappearing. I don't really know the details, and try not to think on it much.

To jump ahead a bit, I will admit I write in the vague hope that one day they'll see it and know, know that I'm doing alright and trying to make the most of things, that dreams and hopes have really become more than we ever thought possible.

Now, back up a bit again. Mid-December, home and pretty alone, I go about browsing Darknest Fantasy Erotica to see what people are up to - take my mind off things. I found this thread. I read through it, picking up on innocuous things that to many would be redundant, obvious things they'd been running with for years, others things that they don't have the mind or drive to get into.

Whatever it is and was to whoever it is and was, it brought things to my attention I didn't know existed, such as KDP being a real thing. I'd been writing for months and years privately for myself, for that person who also loved writing, read faster than anyone could write, and one other who is still with me and cherished more than I'm ever smart enough to make a point of.

New Years Eve 2013 comes, and the Radio 2 new years party event I'm streaming really hits home. The new years is a time of change, of new beginnings and fresh starts. So, while musing over the possibilities of if I could write full time, I spent January trying out how it felt, February doing more stories and writing up some stuff to publish. I also tried to figure out what I was doing with the site and wrote my first blog post.

So, the "let's see what happens" from a year ago, where has it taken me?


I can hardly begin to even explain where, and a lot of the details are quite personal, but why the hell not. Around the end of October, before I released A Carnival of Phantasms, I took a bit of a leap of faith. I was unemployed and one of those people struggling along with jobseekers when that system pretty much got changed from "Not our problem, don't give a shit" to "Super-important case, guilty until proven innocent and then still criminal." because I didn't have a generic steady job, due to circumstances.

In March, in the UK, that's supposedly getting worse, where they're (again, supposedly, I've heard all this boogeyman shit before) forcing people to do community service or daily visits with the jobcentre to "help" you, even though they don't do a fucking thing to help beyond hound and threaten to stop all your money.

I didn't want to put up with that shit, so I took that leap of faith and fully got off that shit. I wasn't making much of anything through writing, and by general comparison I probably still aren't, but I was making enough to scrape by with a few months padding. I didn't care. I wanted to make my writing work, I wanted that to be my thing, and not live to fill out forms and be judged by people that don't give a shit. I'd asked about writing courses and got asked if I really thought I needed RSA typing.

Fuck those people.

Now, November was steady, a sort of base standard I could live with. So long as I released more and kept at it, the returns would surely increase and things would work out. Then December hit and with a few shifts and circumstances, my sales and average author rank has more than doubled. This is supposed to be a bad month, and every single one of you amazing people have made it a month I could have confidence in myself, in potential, and even in Christmas with.

People often ask in social circles, "what has your smutbucks bought you?"

Me? A freedom from persecution or manipulation and a childhood dream to create things and move people. Might sound crazy, silly or intangible, and maybe it is, but I've worked in charity - I know how those seemingly small amounts add up into annual sums and really change the world for others.

So, if you're still with me, here's to you, for all the little things you do that moves the worlds of those around you. Here's to you, who makes all of it possible in the beginnings of a new year. Thank you.

And fuck me this is too long and morose to tag on upbeat things like my plans and things to look forward to in the coming year. I'll do that in the morning, this was something I really just wanted to get out.


  1. Even without your future plans I found your post to be quite uplifting and also motivational. It's coming up to a year since I started my blog, but I have yet to put out any books. My new target is to at least have a collection of my free stories available before March.

    I may not have a much time to spend on my writing as you, so my progress may be slower, but I have heard from several sources that the best way to become a success at any sort of writing is to be prolific. So know you are well on the way, and an inspiration to others.

    1. It's really awesome to read this, I'd never really considered being an inspiration, so thank you!

      Prolific certainly is the way to go, but also to just keep at it and not worry too much. I never imagined being an inspiration because I see all these other people that release at whatever volume and pace, but they've been doing it for longer, have a bigger established library and have seen some things happen.

      Point is it can be pretty daunting to feel in the shadow of people alone, and that you're not doing things fast or strong enough, but a year from your first release, the next person to discover you for the first time won't care if you managed to get it out before that Sunday. Sure, for the here and now pulse it's good to keep things moving, but even then that pace really depends on what you're doing in it, and at the end of the day, knowing you've done something good is more important than done something swiftly.

      It may blur out a bit more when you're doing it for a job but even then people perhaps lose sight of the difference between enough to live, more than any mid-tier day job, enough to be life-changing and enough to see constant growth into five figures.

      Similarly, the best advertising is pretty much just to keep writing. People say facebook too so I might try to figure out how it works. Mailing list I've played with recently but yeah, at the end of the day, having things written and confidence is the core.

      ...I write rambling stuff like this far easier than fiction, haha, but really, it's an awesome feeling alone to know I make a difference to people like that. Thank you.