December 2020 update: Fire and Ice

So it’s December. The year is coming to an end. Twenty twenty. What a year. My hair now covers one of my eyes and I have added a Cabin Fever tracker to my weekly planner. Ambition has begun to falter and the days seemingly blur. So, let’s jump in.

What’s New?

The blog has been going strong this year and we’ve surpassed visitors from 2018, which was my initial goal for the year. More followers have joined the site and I expect more to join as we head into 2021. Writing has provided a much needed reprieve from the chaos of the world and I’m happy with this year.

Articles in Advance

Perhaps one of the most exciting changes on the backend is that with the work that’s gone into the new blog format, I can now start planning more articles in advance. Instead of a stressful May and April, writing an article a week at a time, I’m gradually writing the articles as the ideas pop up.

Patreon and Marketing

Patreon has been updated based off of feedback, not much has changed there. As it stands, Patreon isn’t feasible as a sole source of income, which is fine. I’ll still tinker with it as I like having the option to have a little extra money on the side for expenses. Marketing has become much more exciting. Twitter posts are now threads and the official Facebook page is easy enough to maintain. I’m simply focused on having fun with each respective platform rather than putting pressure on myself to generate growth on each.

Time to Think

This year has been an experiment. In September I turned 27 and I’ve been in a mad dash to make the most of my twenties. I’ve since taken some time to slow down and not be so frustrated that I’m not learning to paint, play piano, learn French, and code all while simultaneously trying to find a new job. I did an informational interview recently to see about writing in a corporate setting and it made me realize that hobby writing is really what I enjoy. Editing would be fun, but anything more might be more stress than it’s worth. I plan to build a portfolio for my writing and coding but I’m honestly glad I studied Business Management and am planning a Masters in Data Analytics. If I can get through 2020, I believe 2021 will be my year as I become more focused in what I want to do with my life. 2020 was my year of bold and 2021 I want to be my year of change.

Goals for the blog

Understanding where I stand with my writing, my ideal is to simply keep growing on WordPress and eventually getting more engagement; I’m grateful that I get some engagement here and there but I dream of a world where every post has a discussion attached to it. I have the recipe for success after this year of soul searching, now it’s just seeing if the ingredients are of the same caliber.

Writing Outside of the blog

I am still wanting to publish a book! However, with my reassessment on life, I’ve come to realize that it is not a pressing urgency; a fun to-do that can continually be pushed back. More pressing would be building a portfolio and contributing to different writing communities from time to time. That’s the plan anyways.

November 2020 update: Winter Cometh

What a time to be alive. Rain has come and the months grow darker. November is the passageway from Autumn to Winter.

October

As part of my effort to expand the blog, October was dedicated to quite the treat. For the last month I wrote a short story a week, each around a different horror theme. Week one was “Hades” which focused on my limited knowledge of Greek Mythology. Week two was “The Church” which focused on an old, long forgotten church in the English countryside. Week three took us to “The Manor“. Set in Ireland and loosely inspired by Bly Manor (which I was watching at the time) I experimented with emphasizing room locations to add character. And for Week four we had “The Mirror” where I mixed mental health with horror. All were fun to write and “The Mirror” ended up being quite popular and one of my favorite short stories I’ve written thus far.

The future of October

As part of my general overhaul of this blog, I plan on making October an official spooky series month and in particular, dedicated to writing short stories. I already have a couple ideas for improvements for next year, such as making the short stories two-parters with cliffhangers and more engagement events focused around Twitter and Facebook.

Engagement

The last six months you may have seen quite a few changes from creating a Facebook page to an updated bio and contact page. Of the changes I’ve made thus far, the status updates have been my favorite. As far as major updates this month, I am pouring effort into Twitter. The goal ultimately being to draw in readers from platforms other than the WordPress reader. Ideally I would have liked to hire help for engagement but as it stands, it’s a job I can do and just means I’ll be extra tired.

On the blog itself, I’m trying to figure out the formula for encouraging people to comment and have fun with the blog outside of simply reading it. So far, I’ve simply been liking and commenting as best I can; I enjoy engagement and am hopeful that the blog will one day reach a level where readers will engage with one another.

Patreon and Ko-Fi

Slowly but surely I am getting better at navigating Patreon. I’ve received some feedback and made changes accordingly. The biggest change is updating the Patreon page itself with the newest posts. This, I have to do manually but it creates a better overall experience for both those who follow through the blog and those who are searching through Patreon. As of now the rewards are basic but the plan is to eventually have Patreon exclusive rewards that make each tier feel meaningful. This might be a free copy of a book (if I ever finish one), early access to a podcast (should I ever create one) and prints of artwork (yes, I want to eventually learn to paint and draw). I might fiddle around with Patreon exclusive writing down the road but since I am only one man, it would be nigh impossible to justify the time commitment at the moment. If you’re curious to see what the page looks like, you can check it out here. I’m proud of the changes and if you have any feedback, don’t forget my contact page is fully operational! Every message sent should get seen by me.

Artwork

With writing, blogging was started as a way to get practice communicating. Eight years later and I think I’ve gotten the hang of this whole “communication” thing. As I’ve begun beefing up my media presence and focused on marketing my content, I’ve begun to wonder if now would be a good time to expand once more. It’s hard for people to read articles from beginning to end. A painting or drawing is instant. You see color or the pencil lines, notice detail or minimalism, and make a judgement within seconds. I want to do it as I’ve heard it’s beneficial for mental but I’m also curious if that might be the missing ingredient for getting more people interested in my work.

The future of Series on the blog

Series are here to stay! Previously, I was going to designate April as Sustainability month on the blog but after this last month have decided to focus on poetry. I was also thinking of doing a hybrid poetry/sustainability month but have ultimately scrapped the idea. The reasoning behind this is simply my greatest strength is poetry. A lot of people follow the blog for poetry and I realized that I can write the occasional sustainability article to raise attention to the cause. Plan on Earth Day and my short stories to cover most of my thoughts on sustainability. The big cause and the month that will be article heavy is May, where I will once more be covering mental health.

The blog originally started with a lot of self-help articles as I shared my advice that evolved from my application of business concepts in the real world. In 2018 I took that a step further and dedicated an entire month to the topic of mental health, a series that was meant to be a one off where I built up the courage to talk about my Father’s alcoholism and how it affected me. Last year, I wrote a couple articles in a mad scramble to express the importance of mental health. Over the last 6 months (or however long it’s been) I’ve focused the content I produce so there will be no more mad scrambles (yay). Since I’ve already talked about my deepest troubles, that frees up quite a bit to simply have fun with the series, much along the strand of what you saw in 2019. I already have a couple ideas drafted so we’ll see what comes.


And that’s a wrap. November will be a relatively quite month as I take a breather and organize my social media. As always, thanks for reading and expect a post most likely last week of November! If you have suggestions, always feel free to reach out!

August 2020 update

It’s already August! The month snuck up on me! So, what’s new?

Last Train to the Coast

It was a beach week! I just got back from a five day trip from the beach. I spent most of my time wading through the waves, staying close to shore as I let the tide come and go. In total, I most likely walked 20 or 30 miles during my trip. On Wednesday I took a break and read most of the day, finishing a book I had started months ago and chiseling away at a second one before the trip’s end. I brought my sudoku book and did a couple puzzles here and there, ate some crab, and ultimately, just relaxed. It has been about 3 years since I’ve had a proper vacation and it was a nice change from what has become the Covid grind.

Different Horizons

New Horizons Chapter three is still on it’s way. I had written most of it before July slipped away from me and didn’t have time to publish it before the end of the month. I’m trying to make the series as realistic as possible and there was one part of the story I wanted to rework so it made logical sense. I do not have an ETA on when I’ll get around to finishing the chapter, but my hope is that it will be later this month.

Dating

My Dating articles have been doing surprisingly well. As such the plan for this month is to write another dating relating article focused on my experience being single and how it’s a good thing! Don’t want to give too much away, but I’m excited as I’ve already drafted the key talking points in my head.

Schedule

Given last month, now is the perfect time to once again talk about the schedule for the blog and what I’ve envisioned. As you might know, I have a thousand different projects going on simultaneously. I am walking a fine line between chaos and order. Most of my day is spent coding and learning a foreign language. I am also learning how to podcast and have delved into some painting tutorials as I would love to paint as a way to relax. As such, the schedule for the blog is relatively relaxed. The goal is an update at the beginning of the month and one to two articles. One article I can write but depending on the month two might be a bit much. If I miss an article, the current plan is simply to move it to the next month. Right now, it’s not a terribly big deal but if the blog grows, I want to provide at least the illusion of consistency.


And that’s it! Another month down, about five more to go until twenty twenty is over. It’s already been an exciting year for growth and I’m excited to see what the next couple months bring. If there’s any content that you want to see more of, feel free to let me know! And if you want to support me as a creator, below is a link to my Patreon and Ko-Fi pages:

Support this blog!

As always, thanks for reading and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!