I give a painfully honest accounting of the first week live with Kindle Vella and my new Patreon. We also talk about planning and prioritizing ideas.
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Hello. All right.
He pulled that music down, I hope you can still hear it, but I want it to be a little less excited than it was. And yeah, I forgot I just had my camera when I was doing the training demo, so it was a little low when I came in. So. Hey. Hi. I see Kate in the chat. Welcome. It is Tuesday night. I’m Laura VanArendonk Baugh. This is To Write And Have Written and this is a Learn With Me week, which means we’re just going to be talking about what I’m doing and where it’s going.
So they could be exciting. We’ll find out.
I think exciting is probably the wrong word, but revelatory is revelatory. Too much, probably too much out right. When we get organized here, which you’d think I would be organized by this time, but still putting stuff together. So so, yeah, I actually do want to kind of walk through. Last week was the Learn With Me Learn With Me week, the emergency prep prep week.
Thank you, Kate. Yes, we will try to be enlightening tonight. And so I thought I would tell you how the first week of that went and then where I’m going from here, what what I’m going to be trying to do and then walk you through basically what I’m hoping to do. And I very much welcome and invite and beg for feedback as we do this. So also, you may want to make sure that you have either I know you have a device near you if you are hearing my voice, so have have a device handy or pen and paper, because we might do a little group work along exercise as well.
We’ll see how it goes. So yeah.
Velho my story went live last Tuesday as you heard. If you were here on this dream, I think probably the most generous thing one could say about the Amazon launch of Kindle Vella is that it was a soft launch, that that is an accurate statement and and probably the nicest way to put that I’m in.
I joined a number of author groups, authors who are going to try Vola. And it’s been a ride. And I’m honestly quite glad that I had a conference this past weekend because Bella and my Patreon launched on Tuesday and Wednesday. I went to the conference and didn’t have time to sit around and fret about how things were or were not going.
But let’s just have a little bit of a recap now that we’ve had time to let the statistics settle.
The Vello lunch has had some issues.
That’s probably the other way to say that the tagging system, which is the only way to search you can’t browse by genre, you can’t browse by author, you browse by tag.
And this is directly lifted from other serial sites that are that are very tag intensive. If you look at a O3 archive of our own or something, that’s all done by tagging system. So those are systems that are not that new and crazy. But but it’s not working well, a site. So a lot of a lot of the tags you can you can enter a tag, you can click on a tag, but it won’t bring up stories that are tagged with that.
So I’m hearing a lot of complaints about that. Amazon’s done basically no promotion of the system whatsoever. The platform is entirely being promoted by authors which are on it, which is a little bit odd, like my reach and Amazon’s reach are markedly different. So, guys, if you want to make some money, you need to not rely on me. OK, so that’s that’s been very interesting. The featured stories is also a little bit wonky. What we were told was that those would be selected by the stories that got the most reader feedback.
But that does not appear to be the case from authors comparing notes in these groups that I’m in, which I’m really glad I joined. I just wanted to have more than one ear to the ground to to navigate this launch and see how things were going. It’s been quite enlightening because a lot of people are being pretty open about their experiences. So I’ll be open with my experiences. I have made zero dollars and zero cents so far on Novela, despite having readers read through episodes and leave thumbs up and that sort of thing.
And part of that is.
Hasan gave every reader who wanted to start with a two hundred free tokens in theory. Not everybody was able to get their tokens, which is another thing, but that they didn’t tell us that that that was going to happen. So everybody got two hundred tokens worth of reading that I don’t get paid for. Which is interesting. And then they got to a certain point and then stopped reading, which could be that they didn’t like those episodes, or it could be that, as I said, they weren’t able to get more tokens because not only could not everybody claim their they’re free tokens, but I’m told by some readers that they were not able to purchase tokens on the system.
So I don’t quite know what’s going down here. Yeah.
So I think the short version is if if if you are interested in my cereal, please head over to Patreon and check it out, which is not only a better financial deal for you, but probably a lot more stable at this point. Sorry, Amazon. But that’s so far, you know the truth. But you know, another another author and one of my groups was very generously screenshot and her dashboard and and she has five series live in Kindle Vella right now.
Two of them have been featured series for, I think, the full week, if I recall correctly. And so she’s had a lot of read through and a lot of comments, a lot of thumbs up, a lot of favorites, not comments, but feedback. And she has made three dollars like, okay, guys, this is the thing.
I don’t like that they launched only on Apple and not on Android because Apple’s the one that takes an additional 30 percent of revenue away from the authors. Just a lot of this has felt very I’m very glad that I didn’t put everything else on hold to try to make this work.
Yeah, I definitely wanted to try it. Definitely wanted to see where it’s going. But I’ve been watching authors bail off this ship for the past week, and it’s it’s very interesting.
So I’m not going to I’m not going to quit and just sit there and it’s not costing me anything to just stay in here. You know, if anything, it helped prompt me to launch my Patreon. So I’m going to I’m going to stay in it and see where it goes. But I am a little bit surprised at how awkward this first week has been.
So so, yeah, that’s that’s the thing that happened. So we’ll go with that.
The other thing. Oh, and this.
This. I have strong feelings about this one, not not just because it was a soft launch and you left everything in the hands of an intern and it didn’t go well like that, that’s an issue. But sometimes launches are weird and we all know that go live is rough. This is something that should not be allowed to happen, especially given everything that is going on with Audiblegate, where they’ve I mean, there is no way I can summarize Audiblegate in two sentences.
But the very short version is authors are not getting paid for their work. And one of the many ways that that was happening was audible, promoting the easy returns. Listen to an audio book, exchange it, listen to an audio book, exchange it, listen to an audio book, exchange it. And one of the test cases that people were experimenting with to, you know, to protest this to Amazon. And she had read four or five books on a single credit and Amazon just kept improving them.
And so that is finally starting like there are some hints that that might be changing at this point. But, hey, Villa just launched this week, and that’s been going on for a long time with lots of protests. So surely they wouldn’t do that with fellow. But again, somebody in one of my group screen capped. You know, you can see the you know, the episode or, you know, the number of reads, the number of returns, OK, and then in your in your dashboard.
And she had at least one reader go through and read and return every single episodes. They read her entire serial that she uploaded the entire thing for free without a single penny of revenue. And how how does this like, you know, if you don’t like it, great. Like, first of all, just stop reading. Mean, that’s the easy thing. If it really offends you and you need to return it, fine. But if it really offends you, why would you go on to read 40 more of them?
So, yeah, that’s that that makes me angry because that just shows they’re doing the exact same thing. But in another venue and I’m just not sure I’m going to want to be a part of that, but I’m going to wait and see where things go. And hopefully that gets sorted very quickly. But yeah, guys, this is why I’m not Amazon exclusive. I hear people ask once in a while, like, why don’t you do Laura? And I’m like, oh, like, here’s the short answer right here.
So anyway, so it was going to answer any questions people had about Vola and how that’s been going. But I did want to give you an update on how that’s been going.
I’m not I’m not that angry.
I’m not, you know, taking my ball and going home. But I am glad that I went in with a much more reasonable investment and I didn’t stop doing everything else that I was doing for this.
So, yeah. So that’s the thing. So lacking a pile of questions about Vella, we will move on to other things that we’re going to do tonight. So I did launch soft launch a Patreon, so meaning I didn’t do a lot of build up to it. I didn’t promote it super hard. I didn’t, you know, be like everybody has to join this now. I kind of just put out an email saying, hey, this is up on Vola.
And also you can get it on Patreon and we’ll see where this goes. Oh, hi, P.J., welcome. Yeah, it is pretty crazy.
Like not going it’s not going to lie. I was a little I didn’t expect to be super slick in the first week, but but this was a little more than I had signed up for, so. But we’ll see. I’m going to stick it out. And and it’s not again, it’s not hurting me to be there. I’m just, you know, got to be careful to keep my head. We’re in a good place when I go look at my dashboard.
So, like, hey, look at all these people reading chapters that I’m like in paper.
So, yeah, but but it did prompt me to go ahead and launch my Patreon, which I have been, you know, I honestly like three, four years ago I thought about doing that and I kept not doing it for reasons. So this was the kick in the pants that I needed. So if nothing else it had that good result.
So yeah, as I said, very soft launch for my Patreon. And so I had a pretty soft start for my Patreon. Like on the one hand it’s thrilling because everybody who signed up signed up at the highest level tier that I thought was just largely going to be there for decoration and to make the other tiers look affordable. You know how that goes. So that’s amazing.
On the flipside of that, everyone is a very it is technically a plural, but it is not much of a plural.
Okay, so so again, like, I didn’t even have expectations rolling into that. So so that’s that’s where that is. And so but I do need to since I’m officially on a Patreon now, I do have monthly commitments that I need to uphold and meet. And so it was good for me in that on that front, I guess, if that’s the way to say that.
So, yeah. So I have a where.
Let me just see if I can get this over here. Oh hi.
Thanks Evernote. God bless Evernote. My life runs on Evernote. Do you guys in the chat have Evernote? Because if you don’t, you need it. I will give you. Yes, I do have patrons. Yes. Thank you for pointing that out. No, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful in the least. I am the opposite of ungrateful. I’m just also like kind of laughing at myself for having, you know, a couple of patrons.
But honestly, I’ve had my Patreon open, like officially acknowledged for a week. And actually I should back up and just say that doing that was one of the scariest things I’ve done in recent years. And my author career like like seriously, because if I I think I’m going to try to articulate what kind of feels just like a really messy pile of emotions. But I’m going to try to put that put it into words. But I think what’s going on is if I send a story out to an anthology or a small press or whatever, and if that gets rejected one, I know rejection is perfectly normal and there’s a whole slew of reasons that it can be rejected and it’s absolutely not personal and all of those things.
And you just expect like, you know, rejection is an absolutely normal part of this business. And also it’s private, like nobody posts. Hey, I rejected Laura’s story. You should all point and laugh like that, go out on social media or anything. But Patreon is very, very visible. And while you can turn off the display, how many patrons I have, you know, kind of data on your page, that’s generally not recommended because people are more likely to support you if they see that someone else is supporting you.
So that’s just it’s the same reason that hunters put little ducks on the pond, you know, those sorts of things, like we like company. Nobody wants to be the first one to do something. But what that means is you kind of have to start somewhere. And so, no, I am super grateful for those early adopters and for those early patrons. And they’re fantastic. And I love them and I know nothing. If I said anything that sounded ungrateful, that was not what I meant to do.
So launching. Launching is saying, OK, I’m going to open this up where everybody can see, hey guys, go look at my Patreon page, please notice no patrons.
And what if they. And what if then I don’t get patrons. Right. Like, that’s going to remain very public and very visible. And so I sent out this link to my newsletter of thousands of people who are all looking at me, not having patrons. And and, yeah, that was that was just a that was much more of a I’m just going to trust fall into my career and my readers than than sending off a story feels like to an editor.
So I think I hope that makes sense.
But anyway, yeah. So I have my my new monthly task list here in Evernote and actually I don’t need to do this. I was able to automate this boom. So that is great. So I can do anything that I can automate makes my life better. Yes. I do not want a huge tax list. So so the way I have it set up, I’ve got six different tears in my on my Patreon page. And you can get access to I’m going to do chats where people can ask about characters or motivations or whatever we’re going to do live life hangouts.
We’re going to get access to the serial, which is a better deal on Patreon than it is on Valla. Sorry guys, it’s true. And you know, there will be additional stories. There will be audio content in all of these things coming out. So I need to automate as much as possible because I really don’t want to sit and just do administrative work all the time instead of creating all the stuff that now I’ve signed myself up for. So I’m using World Anvil to distribute my, uh, my cereal.
I thought about doing it directly at my original plan was to do it on my website and give people access. You know, if you sign up at Patreon, then you get a certain membership level on the website that allows you access to read these things. That was possible, but it was going to be complicated. I thought, well, maybe I could give you access if you if you are Patreon, you get so many tokens, credits, you know, fill in the blank that you can use then to purchase things on my website.
So they would be available for sale to anyone. But you could use you could get them for included with your Patreon. Here again, very possible it was going to take some infrastructure and maintenance that I wasn’t sure. And then the my big complaint about those was all of those things to the individual episodes would be separated. You wouldn’t be able to just binge read through twenty episodes if you wanted to. You’d have to go out and get the next one to go out and get the next one go out to get the next one.
And a World Anvil. They have a manuscript feature where you can just basically read it as a book online. And so yeah, let’s do that because I want people to be able to have a nice, streamlined experience.
So I have it set up that when somebody signs up as a patron, they get a link and a code to enter into World Anvil that puts them into a subscriber group that gets access to that private content. So the first four episodes, I believe, are free, not locked down. So anybody can read those. But then to read after that, it’s private and you have to be in a certain subscriber group. The account on World Anvil is free, but your patron Taira gets you access to that.
So hopefully that makes that makes sense.
So, yeah, so I’ve just I’m experimenting with things there and that is definitely going to change in the next few months as I experiment with things. Not that I’m going to take away content. I don’t mean that, but just I’m going to find more efficient ways to do things. So that is that is my plan there.
And then I have a really big question and I don’t know, like I’m not going to make a decision tonight, but I definitely want feedback from you guys who are here. And that is what do you want from this show? So I just realized while I was setting stuff up, turning things on for tonight, I was like, yeah, I’m getting close to, like, having done this streaming thing for a year. And I was like, wait, I should be really close to that.
And I went and I looked it up two days, two days. It will be roughly my one year anniversary. And I say roughly because I don’t know which stream. I’m technically accounting is my first. But I think the first one that was like my dedicated author stream and not connected to Gen Con, Gen Con or anything else, we’re going to call that July 22nd. And because that’s the first highlighted clip I found. So that’s going to be our first day.
And and so, yeah, today is the 20th and that was the twenty second. So we’re basically closing on a year and this has gone places that I totally did not. I never I never expected to make affiliate on Twitch because I’m not playing games and I’m not cool, but yeah that worked out. So thank you guys. I have over two hundred followers here and over three hundred followers on YouTube where the replays happened. That’s amazing. So yeah, definitely grateful for all of that stuff.
That’s not it’s not anything I’m disregarding in any way. But also the world has shifted a little bit. I think I started streaming because we were in the throes of pandemic. Still, most of the world is and and I’m not going to lie and pretend the pandemic pandemics over US cases jumped 70 percent last week. Guys, guys, like get your vaccines anyway.
So but I know that other people are not as home as much either. And and people’s needs and schedules are changing. And so I just kind of want to touch base and be like, what do people want out of this? I originally started doing this. I was going to write a business guide for authors like like, hey, you wanted to write stories. Nobody told you that that meant you had to be an entrepreneur. And so here are some ways to think about business.
And so that was going to be a book. And I actually wrote a good chunk of it. And then that turned into this dream when I started streaming. So that’s that’s where this was coming from. Oh, no. Okay. So she doesn’t know there was going to be a live quiz. OK, this is the opposite of where I am. I am introducing the content that eventually I will want an answer. I’m going. But but yeah, I like to be to be honest, this is a big, big time sink for me and I am no longer sitting at home like I was this time last year.
But there are parts of this that are more time consuming than others. By far. One of the biggest pieces of time consumption is, you know, I always do a manual check on the closed captions that I upload to YouTube because I know the closed captions that are going out like right now are I think crack is just the easiest way to say it. They are not good captions and they’re not really helpful to anyone who might need closed captioning. So I do have a paid service that I use for transcriptions and closed captioning.
But because I sometimes get really excited when I talk and because also we use vocabulary, that’s not your standard fortune. Five hundred vocabulary here. It’s good if somebody does a human review of those captions before we commit to them.
And that gets especially when I have guests on.
So we’ve got multiple people talking over each other and all of that.
I may spend three hours fixing those captions up and that’s a lot of time, honestly, for something that doesn’t really pay. And so immediately I’m just looking at things like what what can be the best use of my time? I feel like closed captioning is important. I want to have it. But but I also need to look at what’s the best use of my time and resources because I only have so much time.
Right. So and then I that twitch writing community has like, excuse me, has really been growing. And this is this is a good thing. If you didn’t catch the writer’s conduit, that was the end of June. That was pretty amazing. We did basically a full writer’s conference for free for three days, just streaming over the Internet. So that was pretty awesome, but I know that a lot of writers like I’m doing this as kind of, I don’t know, like almost a talk show, like here’s our weekly theme.
This is our topic for this week. And then I’m just going to do a lecture and invite people to comment and that kind of thing. Whereas a lot of people are doing just kind of creative streams Parma like we do with that create-in. And that’s a common thing. So I don’t know if that’s something that people are more interested in and Create-in would basically take a lot less transcription.
So and none of this is me making a decision tonight. I’m just throwing out these are all things that have been floating through my head and I just don’t know what people are most interested in.
Hey, let me see. We just got joined. Here we go. Here’s a little Doberman. We have been blessed. OK, so, yeah, so I’m not I’m not saying, hey, I’m sick of this and I’m you guys aren’t paying me enough, so I’m quitting. That’s not where I’m going with this. I’m asking what people are most interested in so we can get something that is the most useful for people, because I don’t know that me talking is always the most useful.
OK, P.J. points out, so I’m trying to catch up on the P.J. points out this possibility of making at least some of these Patreon membership benefits. Yeah, and I just I actually thought of that, but I’m just not sure that like that the that the transcriptions and such. I definitely don’t want to put those behind a paywall. Like if you if you need captions, don’t it just get the captions do that. And that is honestly the single biggest time sink for me.
That is that is a huge chunk of time and. Yeah. And then my Patreon that I have right now is very much reader focused rather than creator focused.
I’m not sure how well that would blend something if I were to do that. And also I just feel a little bit bad. Like part of me is the reason I started doing this was not because I wanted to make Swedbank on Twitch, but because I’ve been doing this for a few years and I have some information that I think is helpful to people who are just getting started. And, you know, I wanted to make that available. So I don’t really want to put stuff behind a paywall if it’s for somebody who’s just getting started and needs, you know, better info than what is floating around the Google sphere.
So a lot of which has great information. But also there’s a lot of just not yet great information out there, too. So. OK, yeah. You do appreciate the special guest. Yeah. And I’ve loved having people on. I like I like getting you guys need to hear from more than just me. So I love having people like, you know, we just had Jenene Chris coming on to do accounting talks because that is something that people don’t really think about, but they probably need to.
Margaret had really good marketing info. Yeah, we’ve got lots of good people that I’m really glad we were able to have. And I just I just that’s what I’m that’s what I’m interested in is what what what is the best way to to keep bringing, you know, what you guys want to need. So, yeah. PJ, you struggle with how much free content I’m sharing versus paid content. Yeah. And that is that is the thing.
Right. So that that is the eternal balance marketing versus, you know, charging versus free versus. Yeah. So yeah. And none of this, I’m not trying to make a decision here to that. I’m just telling you the things that I’ve been going through my head and welcoming feedback on them. And I’m not going to make this decision tonight by any means. So yeah. OK, so yeah, I just don’t have one for the paid content to keep doing free content, but without money, it’s just not sustainable.
Yeah, that’s the thing is, you know, all of us have only twenty four hours in a day and there’s stuff that I went to, there’s stuff that I have to do and there’s stuff that I want to do and there’s stuff that I want to do. But I have to be able to justify it. And yeah. So there we go. I totally get that.
OK, yeah. OK, let’s, let’s go back.
By the way, PJ, like I think you sent me an email like two or three months ago that I still haven’t responded to, that just popped into my head. I’m just going to grovel a little bit and I’ll try to email you maybe after the show.
OK, you like that.
But what else is going on? Oh, let’s talk about idea death. I had a note. That’s what I wanted to do. So let’s shift to something that is less what do I do with my life and more what do I do with my life. So I like to do this on paper because I think it is easier for my brain if I’m doing it with a physical pen and paper. I’m also going to do it on screen when we work here in just a moment so that you guys can actually see what I’m doing.
But grab your notebook, sketchbook, Evernote, whatever you would like to enter stuff into. And this was introduced to me a few years ago and they called it an idea debt, which sounds horrible, like these are the ideas I owe existence to. That is not how I want you to think of this. This is here in my notebook. These are all the things that I am considering. You know, I might want to give time and effort to.
So we’re going to do this in a couple of for us.
And let me get back to here we go. Oh, yeah. And we got to get I get the Doberman back.
I understand. I know exactly why people are here and it’s not for me.
OK, so I’m just going to do it right here in this notebook again. So we’re just going to take a moment to oh, hey, let me let me drop this in here. If you guys do not have Evernote and at some point I am going to do an entire thing on why you should have Evernote.
But here is a link for Evernote. You can it has a free Taira, but if you use my referral link, you’ll get the premium tier for, I don’t know, a month or two, some period of time. It has three or four tiers of access. So all the features and good stuff anyway out of Evernote. And I don’t know how to get stuff done without it, so I’m just going to put a plug in there.
I can’t keep up with all the ideas. That’s the way the Stewart guy is challenging the most. Giving me another idea. Yeah, this is this is part of what this exercise is really good for. So we’re going to we’re going to kind of make things. And I know like there’s two kinds of create creator creative person. There is the I have so many ideas. I will never, ever, ever, ever get to finish a tenth of them.
And there are I had a good idea and now I’m done. I whichever one you’re on, you can actually do this because frequently the I don’t have ideas is actually I don’t have fleshed out complete ready to go ideas. It’s not that you’re not interested in things. You’re walking around being alive and doing stuff. It’s that you have set the bar on what an idea is above where your ideas currently are. So OK, says no to Aizu. Kate, I happen to know that you are a brilliant person who is interested in a lot of cool things.
And the fact that your idea doesn’t have a complete plot arc yet doesn’t mean it’s not an idea. One of my ideas. Here we go. The US Skellig right here, because I would love to write a story set on Skellig.
That’s all I’ve got.
Protagonist is probably male given the setting. Good. That’s everything I have so far. OK, but it’s on my ideal list. All right. This is not something where we need to have, like, you know, fully formed ideas ready to go. We are not even close to fully formed ideas. OK, so let’s just take it and a couple of minutes here. I don’t know how long it’ll be probably in the realm of five minutes and just write down everything that is interesting about an idea.
We can do this in two groups.
And what I would say is normally focus on one at a time. But if other ones are coming into your head, if you’re getting ones from both categories into your head, just write them down. Don’t give them time to get lost. So we are just word formatting here. There is no editing. There is no filtering. We are puking stuff onto the page. And yes, visit Skellig. Yes, I will need a research trip for that.
Pretty sure that’s going to be a requirement. Yeah, absolutely. So so we were just going to word puch onto the page. So you’ll see one of my one of my things like right here at the top, it says the poet’s eye, because that’s been an idea of mine to get out for like probably seven or eight years or something ridiculous at this point. So these are not things that you necessarily are going to act on in the near future either.
And again, we are just literally puking. You know, I would like to do a story at a university with a serial killer. I would like to do a story that features a dentist as a main character. I would just like anything you’ve ever thought of in this direction. So you will see me writing some things like I’m going to write down Route 66. That is both a setting and and a title, because I would love to do.
I’ve been kicking around the idea to do a paranormal mystery series called Get Your Corpse on Route 66. So that’s that’s I’m just putting down 66. That’s all I need to jog my memory on what that is. So some things are going to be like that could soon be ShyRedFox is not the chat. So I can I can get away with saying this. This would be another title in the Kitchen Tales series. And yeah, I’ve got one whole scene for that.
That’s what I’ve got. But it’s still going on my list here. OK, so let’s just take a few minutes and we’re just going to warn puke here. Maybe you’ve already done that while I was talking, so. And I just now decided that Robin Archer’s in Indiana, it’s very much a setting focused series of stories and we probably should have a tornado at some point. And I’ve just never thought of that until I was typing just now. So there we go.
Oh, I didn’t tell you what the two two categories were.
One is story ideas and one is like I’m going to call them revenue streams just to give them a very technical way to refer to it. But I want to do a Patreon. I want to do I want to release something in an audio book form. I want to try a hardback release, whatever. So anything that’s coming to mind that’s just doing something a little bit differently than what you’ve done before. Don’t try to think of those right now. I’d prefer to do those of different categories, but if it comes into your head, just write it down.
Everything just comes out of your head onto the paper. No filtration whatsoever. I can’t see yours. It’s fine. You can do anything you want on it.
OK. OK, so you guys can spend more time on that in the future, but I just want to walk through with what we do this with this at this point. So when I have just regurgitated every fragment of an idea that I’ve had and like I said it just now, I just had the one on, you know, I have a tornado at some point in a Ryuven Bridger story, I wrote down Venis. I have no idea what happens in Venice.
Probably the title is going to be something about the Book of Gold because the Book of Gold was a pretty amazing historical thing in Venice. Good. That’s everything I’ve got to work from. OK, like it doesn’t matter. I don’t need it to be any more completed than that. I just know that, OK, Venice is a really cool setting and I would like to work there. Hey, there was like a revolution that totally failed in Venice because somebody chucked something out a window and it also it rained.
So I should I should, I could incorporate that. OK, like this is the amount of not finished that is going into these ideas. So I’ve got a white Christmas and the holiday was white. Christmas is a story that is finished. Actually, I should mention White Christmas. Just one more word this weekend. Best audio drama. Thank you. Thank you. To Untold podcast for turning that into an audio drama. So mad. Props to Nathan James Norman and Krista Norman for four heading that up and yeah.
So what, Christmas. And then at Emi also got best short story.
So anyway she’s back here so White Christmas is a finished completed short story, but I could do a whole series of holiday wars, short stories, perhaps one per month, and then release them as a bundle of twelve. I don’t know, like these are things that that I could play with here. So I’m just writing this stuff down once it’s all written down. And the important part here is first pass, no filtration whatsoever, then I can say, OK, well, now what of these is the most critical, you know, so poets, I was at the top of the list that you guys saw here.
So I’m I’ve got the most done on that.
You got two hundred thousand plus words on poets. I, I have one scene in Kitsune Abe, so yeah. We’re going to work with poets I next. Okay. So or you know, I have a I have a better idea of what I do want to do in Skellig than I do in Venice.
Excuse me, which is not a true statement. But hypothetically, if that were the case then OK, I’m going to go with Skellig next. And so you would filter from that complete every idea I’ve ever had into these are the things that I could reasonably do something with in the next year. OK, that does not mean it needs to be done in a year. It means that I am ready to look at them within the next year. OK, so we’re setting reasonable expectations here.
And so then I can start to pick out, OK, what do which of these do I want to work on now and what do I need to do to be able to get started on it? You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve got a project that now I can start developing a plot on. Do I need to do some research in order to develop a plot?
There are people who plot something out, outline it, you know, whatever, and then go do the research so that they can write the thing. And oh my gosh, I do not understand that. Like, great. If that works for you, fantastic. I need to research something because that’s where the plot ideas come from. So. So if that means that I need to go, do I need to go watch some documentaries on Venice. I need to go do some reading.
I need to go do I need to go read some books or watch some movies that are set there? You know, whatever it is that makes you start thinking plotty thoughts about something, you start being able to develop something, you know, you can start choosing your choosing your approach to that and maybe choosing your leisure time with an eye, too. But it’s also going to count as book research or whatever. So, yeah. And then you’re going to winnow that down to maybe just one or two projects.
I don’t say just one project, because a lot of people, myself included, work better when we have more than one project going at a time. Any time I get stuck on Kin & Kind, I go kick poets out for a while. And then when poets is frustrating me, I go back to Kin & Kind and that way I keep working. I don’t lose time, but I can still give my brain a break from the tricky part and then come back with a fresh eye because I’ve been doing something else that doesn’t work for everybody.
But if it works for you, it’s really efficient. To do things so. Um, yeah, so I hope this process is making sense, like throw me throw me something in the chat if it does or does not work out here.
And let me get over to. Yeah.
I’ve got too many windows open. What have I done? OK.
All right, so I keep I have two two versions of this that that are floating around. I keep some version of this in a notebook that this is my carry stuff around crazy notes doodling. I just thought of something really important. And I need to have a good plan for this. I need to I need to just pick something around research pieces like the first page is all about king cobras. It’s so because I can I do not write stuff out by longhand.
That is, we would still be like a third of the way into the first book in the series kind of thing.
But if I’m just playing with ideas or trying to organize something or sort something out in my mind, there’s a lot of research that suggests doing it by hand is more effective than doing it on a keyboard. And also it just means that I can take it places where it would be rude to pull out my phone. But people are fine with you pulling in a notebook anyway. I can do things like that. So I have this. And then I also separately have a whiteboard which I do not utilize to its full potential, but it makes me feel more professional to have it here in my room.
And that’s where I put out like these are the projects I need to be working on next and so I can list them or at least some tasks that need to be done for them. I have one over here that says audiobooks and then it’s got four or five titles, I think five titles on it that need to go to audiobook next. One of them’s crossed off. Four of them are sitting there glaring at me with their with their guilt inducing eyes or whatever.
And so it just gives me a way to kind of have a quick check. I don’t have to sit down and wonder, what do I work on today? It’s already been sorted for me and I already know where I’m going with it. So I hope that makes certain mindsets, questions, comments, anything at all on this. OK, yes, so I am. Let’s take what you said. OK, sorry.
Also, I would like an intern to take care of all my windows for me while I’m working. So that’s that’s where we are. This is my my I hopefully I wanted like since this is our Learn With Me week and we don’t really count last week, which was the launch with me week. So. Oh, and P.J. says this is a dangerous rabbit hole for me, though. OK, I’m curious why this is dangerous. Is it opening up too many options?
And if so, then that’s actually a fantastic reason to do this because it’s actually helpful to prioritize. So, OK, it opens up too many options. OK, here’s here’s the thing. When you’re a creative person, ideas are your best currency. Ideas are are literally what makes everything else work. Having too many is not a problem. I can always choose which ones to do and filtering them too early, I think is a mistake that a lot of people make.
What I said earlier about, well, it doesn’t have a complete plot arc, so I don’t have an idea. I know like this is shiny. I like it. That’s all I need to get started. It can get better from there. And and this is also why first we just regurgitate with no filtration and then then we can sort into is this something I want to create or is this a different platform? I want to try. One of these is I’m going to use super technical terms.
One of these is an asset and one of these is a marketing tactic. OK, we all get to feel smart there for a second, but I’m I can’t have too many assets, OK? I can divide my attention among too many at one time, but oh no, I have too much product is never going to be a problem. OK, now when we start talking about. But I want to try Patreon I want to try hardbacks and try audiobooks.
I want whatever there we need to do some filtration because if I try to do all of those at once, first I’m going to make myself crazy. Secondly, I’m going to overwhelm my audience. It’s going to be presented with too many options at one time.
Third, I’m going to make myself crazy for it. I’m going to take so much time chasing around just that one little you know what? That one project that’s going to stop creating new stuff. OK, so this is actually a good system to kind of, you know, to choose and get organized a little bit. And I don’t mean organized. Like I have friends who have beautiful, beautiful notebooks, just absolutely gorgeous, color coded tabs everywhere, like beautiful art in them.
You know, everything has its it’s like it’s like like a bullet journal highlights, you know, bullet journal centerfolds know thing and and that’s not me. Not even close. OK, so and those people I have I have a little bit of envy because a lot of times those people are hyper organized and they are very efficient. You know, I’ve told you before, I have friends like me, like, oh, chapter thirty five is going to have seventeen hundred words.
And I’m just like I have no clue how you do this at all. That’s not what I mean. But I what I mean is, you know, where your energy is going to go.
I have a ton of things that I could be working on, but I’m going to be working on these two creative projects and this I’m going to say also these two marketing platforms or whatever you want to do, you only have so much energy and time and money and all the other resources that that matter, you know, make sure that we we funnel them into the places where they’re going to do the most good. So, yeah, that hope that makes us so.
So in a way, that is that is something then when you’re sitting there and just like, what do I do, what I work on, I have so many things. This is me. This is not I’m not speaking for a friend. This is me. Oh, my gosh. I have so much to do. My to do list is killer. I don’t understand how I’m going to get this all done. What do I even start with?
This is what helps with that. OK, what is the most urgent? What’s actually prioritized? And then I can pull out. I’ve got my to do list on to do list and I’ve got my all my categories and my organization on Evernote. And now I don’t have to invent from scratch what my priorities are. Every day I’ve got something that’s kind of giving me a guideline for that. So also I can just say I don’t care and today I’m going to do Y instead of X, and that’s a choice that I can make because I’m an adult and you’re not the boss of me.
OK, but at that point I can make it as a conscious choice rather than I just don’t know what. To do right, I can say no, I consciously choose to do this, so.
OK. All right.
So that’s pretty much where our time is. Next week is going to be a create-in. So bring bring back your projects from your idea debt list again. That’s a term that I hate because it just sounds like like we’re never going to catch up because we’re in debt. That’s not I just haven’t come up with the idealist’s. Is a little too vague. I don’t know. Anyway, I’ll take submissions for what we want to actually call this idea bounty.
Oh, Kate, I like it. The idea of bounty. It is our trunk that is overflowing with stuff. Then we are going to choose which of these we are going to use and how we are going to use them. I like it.
OK, so yeah, there we are. And so yeah, next week is Create-in. So we will come back with our bounty of ideas and work on that.
And that’s where I am today. So I do not know if Alena is streaming tonight or not. Our Internet has been so terrible locally. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to stream tonight because it’s been oh, I might not be streaming right now. Ha.
Yeah, it looks like I’m not streaming right now, I’m just going to keep talking here for the for of the recording because I am recording locally. But yeah, so what I said about the, um, the Internet being bad, there’s illustration a right there, Your Honor, I would like to submit as evidence.
So, um. Huh. So guys, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate you sticking with me.
And I will be back next week. Everybody take care. I will see you have an awesome night by.