Like butter scraped over too much bread. (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)
A Need for Less Speed
Go Home and Rethink Your Life
It could be too easy to talk mostly about what I am giving up for now, but that’s the wrong way to look at it. I want to have my focus being forwards, not back. So, instead of listing all the the things I’m not doing, I’m going to frame it more positively and simply share what we have chosen for me to do going forward. You can work out from what I’ve written, what won’t be happening, being the smart people that you are.
I don’t really want to talk about what I’m not doing, or reasons for it. Just know that I’m putting my health (physical and mental) first. I haven’t dropped anything without first considering likely knock-on effects. These are changes that I feel are right, even if there’s a chance of some outcomes being negative, in the short term.
So, in a bit Obi-Wan Kenobi, I had to go home and rethink my life. (No, I don’t sell deathsticks in dodgy cantinas).
Working Towards Being Published
You’re a writer, FJ, said Hagrid (honestly he did, uh-huh)
For 1½ years now I think I have been writing the first in a several-book fantasy series. I have completed a first draft, but still have a more to write and illustration to do. To be able to realistically reach publication I have to devote time and effort to this – keep my mind in my world and keep writing. Both wifey and I feel this is right, but I won’t reach even a final draft this year if I do it half-heartedly.
I’m already working with a couple of people at proof-reading, identifying areas for improvement and flagging bits that likely need rewriting. And I love the days I work on this. This book is only the first one of four, of this story-line. So I’m working towards being a fantasy author.
I have published two side-stories to my blog, to give you a taster of what I’m doing.
Drawing has been both therapeutic and a massive area of self-development. I will continue to draw a range of things, and wifey has encouraged me (once I’ve finished NJ’s) to look once again at drawing nature, now my ability has improved. I’ll also look at simple word art, or like wisdom quotes and abstract frame patterns. From time-to-time I plan to draw my characters from games.
- The intention is to post drawing WIP on Ko-Fi
- The exception is I will, later this year, start drawing characters from my fantasy series. These WIP drawings will be on exclusive Patreon access.
- Final drawings will be posted to Ko-Fi and DeviantArt.
Games to be Played
A friend recently said that other people shouldn’t judge you on how you spend your leisure time. So, when it comes to gaming for rest (rather than, say, festival content or fanfiction):
- On afternoons when I’m not writing, drawing or otherwise being creative, I will play LOTRO. Due to fluctuations in pain and energy, and a decreased attention span, I have been struggling to read the quest text in the evenings. Given I love LOTRO’s story-telling, I want to engage with it.
- In evenings, again, if I’m not creating (which I will do when I feel like it and when I feel up to it), I will be playing FFXIV.
Patreon Perks Changes
- Exclusive: Any WIP drawings I do related to my fantasy writing will be posted on Patreon only.
- Exclusive (but very infrequent): as I’ll be writing more, that will give rise to more backstory, or side-story, or character bios etc from my Realm. These will be posted to Patreon only, until such time as I either publish a “tales” style book, or start a dedicated website for my series.
- Early-Access: Any and all FanFiction I write.
- My Patreon page will be reworded to reflect my focus on being a writer.
LOTRO Festivals & Event Content
- Before anyone freaks out, I will be continuing to update/write my LOTRO Festival Guides and related content, including finishing and keeping the LOTRO Events Calendar page updated (I hope to get it finished this weekend).
- This includes my in-development enormous LOTRO Festival Cosmetics Database.
- Naturally work on both of these will only occur around Festival/Event dates.
With the same motivation as focusing on my book, I still love developing my LOTRO characters, by writing their stories. So, when I feel like it, I will write more LOTRO FanFiction and these will be on Patreon as Early Access.
Gaming for Rest: A Reduced Number of Characters
I’m sure there’s an actual psychology term for this but I get “choice paralysis”. Give me three or four things to choose from and I can just about manage it. But in two of my games I have 12-17 characters. So:
- I will be choosing to keep a maximum of 6 characters in games. Until I finish the content on them, I won’t be creating more characters again. (I think I kept 7 in LOTRO in the end due to role-playing or FanFiction-writing purposes.
- I will save their character creation settings to my cloud storage so that if I want to start them again in the future, I can.
- I will usually be playing the same one or two characters, mostly so I’m on “new” content – which for everyone, “new” is more engaging than “something I’ve done lots of times”.
- Facebook Page: I will either be deleting my FB page or repurposing it to only post about my fantasy book, once the time comes to be starting to build up an expectation of publication. I’m undecided on this. In theory, a new page is better – but an old page would retain some of its followers, rather than starting from zero. I will ask the people who follow my page what they think, before I action it.
- Discord: As I am choosing to focus on my book and FanFiction, I will finally be closing my Discord server and deleting my Discord account. If in-game groups demand Discord access, I won’t play with those groups and that’s okay
- Twitter: From Monday I will be taking at least a month off Twitter completely. I need to purge my need to respond to notifications, or check for replies to stuff I’ve said. Each month I will review where I am at, mental health wise, and extend it by another month if I feel that’s right. A bit like COVID restrictions! I definitely won’t fully return until I’m satisfied my book is ready to begin to put feelers out to publishers. But I will plan a partial return well before then because 9/10 of my friends are on Twitter!
- The only exception is that, when I post drawing WIP to Ko-Fi I will tick the box that says “auto post to Twitter”.
If something is not stated in this post, then I won’t be doing it for quite some time, even if it looked like I was picking it up again very recently. I can’t do everything, so I need to stop trying. I also don’t want to talk about what I’ve stopped or paused doing, because I think that focus is wrong for me. I hope you understand. Thank you, everyone, I’m honoured to have such a great support network around me.
All my content will always be freely available. However, if you'd like to support myself and my family, please consider buying us a virtual coffee. Either way, thank you for visiting, I appreciate it!