Month 6: Reality Check & Patron Content
Has it really been six months already? How could half of my time to pursue this dream have slipped away?
When I wrote my first post I was under no illusion that writing full time would be a success. I set an unrealistic goal. Maybe I set an unattainable goal because it would take away the sting of failure. Why should I feel bad for not achieving something impossible? “No, it didn’t work out,” I’d say with dispassion, “I wasn’t the problem though. It was the goal, you see.”
In the production timeline I set when I started in September, I would have a polished 4th+ draft of Black Star: Ascension right now. I would systematically submit that novel to a curated list of agents while I worked diligently on a second novel. Did I mention I would also have a 6 free 5e content releases, instead of the few you see on the site. I would also have multiple products listed in the DMsGuild store.
I’ve obviously chosen to pursue a career in writing fiction because I have an overactive imagination keen on cooking up fantastical bullshit like that.
It’s February, and I’m still diligently editing the second draft of Black Star: Ascension. I failed to recognize just how much of a full re-write the second draft of the novel would need. I hacked a third of the book off and replaced it with content that would better support the overall plot. Since then the new content has gone through proof, edit, alpha reader evaluation, modifications, and then to a different alpha reader for fresh feedback. By the end of February 2021, the first third of the book will be in a draft 3 state.
The rest of the book will require extensive editing, and then it will undergo the same process. It’s going to take some time to get the novel where it needs to be. It’s difficult to remember my goal is to become a competent professional fiction writer through practice and refinement, not to rush a novel and blast it out into the void. Finishing Black Star: Ascension will be a bitter-sweet moment for me. It will mark the completion of something that took several years of hard work, but it will also herald the fast approaching end to my year of writing full time. I can only hope that the passion I feel for the project burns on within me after the fantasy ends.
When I think about the future, my heart hurts. I worry I won’t be able to keep my writing habit going in the months that follow the end. I worry that I’ll just let all my hard work, research, and practice dissolve into a shameful failure I’d rather not think about.
The DMsGuild project ‘Distortion’ is around 90% right now. I’m waiting on more play testing before polishing it up and listing it in the shop. I really enjoyed working on the project, but it ate a full month of my time. When I started working on it, I thought maybe for a tier 1 adventure I would charge $1.99 or something like that. “How much could people possibly pay for a single tier adventure,” I wondered.
I no longer care what consumers expect to pay for the module. I will list the module at $9.99 to encourage others to do the same. TTRPG creators work is under-valued. I won’t be paying my bills with TTRPG writing, but I can try to steer the market toward a brighter future for creators.
On a positive note, it looks like the IWriteAdventures Twitter will break 1000 followers shortly. It also has a positive follower/following ratio. I worked hard for this. These aren’t just random followers, they are the TTRPG community. I’m intentional about content I share, and it has paid off. I’m proud to be part of such a positive community. When I started Twitter in October 2020, I thought it would just be another way to announce my new TTRPG content, and to build a platform for self publishing fiction. It turned out to be something much more than that. The people in the community make me smile every day. It’s a supportive and positive atmosphere. I take my responsibility to them seriously, as silly as that might sound. The reach I have on Twitter allows me to shine a light on the amazing projects people are working hard to create, and that feels good.
Do you like fantasy fiction? Tomorrow (Feb 11, 2021) the first patron exclusive short story goes up on the IWriteAdventures Patreon. Enjoy an artisanal, handcrafted short story each month for less than the cost of that latte you’ve been trying to cut back on.
Please give me a chance to show you what I can do.