CEO. Writer. Animator. Publisher. That Chick with the Camera.

Yes, I am feeling stretched thin from my various hats. I’m currently operating FIVE different Twitter accounts. Five! Two for my self-publishing pen names, one for my video company, one for Indie MoCap, and one for myself.

And goodness knows, I already had some alarming crossovers between them in which Twitter decided to auto-follow a bunch of business contacts and personal acquaintances under one of my erotica pen names. That’s a literal nightmare, right there. D:

Part of me wishes I could throw myself into just one thing. But I did that for two years after leaving college and was pretty unsatisfied with the results. On one hand, I don’t believe any of these endeavors will truly soar unless I give 110% of my time to them. On the other hand, slowly building a foundation for all of them will at least tell me what’s worth my time and what I enjoy doing the most. So I will continue spinning all these plates. Hey, at least I’m not bored!

On to last week. It was actually pretty productive.

  • The Shadow of Saturn: I think I wrote 3000 words. I’m up to about 45,000 words now total, or halfway through the draft. And that’s worth cheering about, but writing the other 45,000 words in two weeks is, frankly, impossible. That’s about 3200 words a day. I’ve done it before, but it was not fun. It would particularly leave no time for anything else. So I think I may stretch my goal into May. While this is a bummer, I gave each of my first drafts a buffer month when I originally designed my yearly schedule, so this might not actually put me behind. If I could get to 60,000 by the end of April, I would be on track.
  • Paradisa Edits: Oh…Paradisa. The friend that’s overstayed its welcome. I know that if I just looked at the draft I would want to work on it, but I haven’t made it that far yet. I really ought to start though, as I plan on writing the sequel in June.
  • Kindle Publishing: I published my second book….to absolutely 0 sales. Quite the opposite reaction that my other pen name had! It seems fantasy/sci-fi may perform better than more run-of-the-mill taboo stories. My keyword rankings aren’t bad, but no one is even checking it out on KU. Perhaps it seems too generic? Additionally, I decided to shelve progress on the Con Runner’s Handbook and instead make a Charleston guidebook called Charleston Underground. It seemed more marketable. I’ve been backburner brainstorming it for a few weeks, so it will hopefully be ready for launch around December.
  • Short Stories: I made an honest effort at writing two different short stories yesterday and neither one would come out. I decided to put one to bed, while the other needed more research. I still desperately want to write it, but I was searching for the right angle. After doing a lot of research on Cecil B Demille, I think I found that angle. I believe I have until June to finish it, so it can stew for a bit.
  • Indie MoCap: I was 2/5 this week. Bah. Well, at least I’m updating it semi-regularly. I wanted to kickstart my YouTube channel and enter a contest to win some mocap gear, but that will have to be this week.
  • Video Company: This was my main focus and probably the most exciting part of my week. I finished Starlite’s featurette and published it on my newly launched website, Aether Motion! I ordered business cards, which look fantastic. I attended the Taste of Goose Creek and will publish a featurette of that this week. And I have already had offers for additional work based on my Starlite coverage. Yay! At this point, it is very scary because I don’t have a lot to show for my skills, but I’m filming absolutely everything and hoping to fill up my website with content by the end of the summer.
  • Animation/Fallout webseries: I worked a bit more on my 3Ds Max modeling tutorial. I flipped through Nexus Mods, looking for mods that could make my life easier. I also started to feel overwhelmed by the insurmountable amount of work this project is going to take. I had to talk myself down from the ledge a bit and remember that 1) Bethesda and the modding community have done most of the work for me when it comes to 3D assets, so 90% of the work is already done for me; 2) Animation will be assisted by mocap, so I don’t need to be an expert animator; 3) The community of artists in Fallout fandom is immense, and they can help me with the stuff I’m bad at.  But MOST IMPORTANTLY?

It all starts with story. So I reminded myself that story is the foundation of everything, and story is the fraction I am most responsible for. It is the part I am most qualified to tackled. With this in mind, I returned to the story and worked a little more on shaping my outline. It reinforced my confidence, a bit, to ground myself in an area that I am familiar with. And it excited me again, because I was reminded how vivid and dramatic this story is, and how it’s bursting at the seams to be told. All this modeling stuff is a little overwhelming, but it shouldn’t have to be. Because at the end of it, I’m not going to need to be a master 3D modeler. This is a project of delegation. Perhaps if I put everything out there and no one wants to help me, then I can get worried. But Fallout fandom has produced some pretty amazing things out of volunteer teams before, from the Nuka Break webseries to some full conversion mods. I need to orient myself into the role of writer and showrunner and leave the technical stuff to people much smarter than me.

So, I suppose there’s a bit of advice on how to cope with performance anxiety. I have to tell myself to stop. worrying. about stuff that hasn’t happened yet. To stop thinking ahead to what if everyone hates this?! when this hasn’t even been written yet. It’s something all creative people have to deal with, I’m sure. Whether you’re a filmmaker, a writer, an artist, or a musician, we all question how capable or possible our dreams are. And when you’re managing your project with other people involved, it is tempting to micromanage. I am micromanaging people who I haven’t even met yet!

This week, I’m attending the North Charleston Business Expo and will hopefully bump shoulders with some future clients. We’ve got a work party on Wednesday, so that night will be unproductive. This weekend, I’m attending the Strawberry Festival and likely the North Charleston Arts Reception, so that’s two opportunities for filming. I also hope to

  • edit and put up my Taste of Goose Creek reel
  • finally look at my Paradisa edits
  • write about 7000 words of The Shadow of Saturn
  • enter the mocap gear contest
  • start my Indie MoCap YouTube channel
  • write my third Kindle short
  • finish that 3ds Max tutorial

Have a good week, ya’ll!

16 thoughts on “CEO. Writer. Animator. Publisher. That Chick with the Camera.

      • I feel exactly the same now that Amazon’s finally catching up with updating my book covers on their website. I haven’t seen any changes as far as sales go, but I believe it’s coming.

  1. Five Twitter accounts? Wow, I can barely manage one!

    It’s hard not to worry about what people will think of our work down the road. I try to shut it out so it doesn’t affect my writing. I’m getting better at it, but the voices still creep in.

    • Believe me, neither can I lol. Indie MoCap is up to about 170 followers, so I’m actually putting a conscious effort into that one. My more popular erotica pen name has just been ambiently collecting followers, so that’s nice. My business Twitter has been bombing though. Honestly I will probably focus more on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook for that anyway, so Twitter is just a formality.

      It is so hard to keep out the naggy naysayer voices. I’ve had it happen with Paradisa a few times. I wondered if I was marketable. My web series is a weird situation where I’m actually very confident in the story and marketability but the plausibility of achieving it….it’s hard. 200 minutes of animation with a team of amateurs? Can we do it? I guess weirder things have happened. When you frame it as more of a Machinima, it starts actually feeling possible.

  2. Don’t worry, you’re already miles ahead! As someone who started freelancing last year while juggling other businesses, there was definitely some growing pains as I adjusted to a change in lifestyle, but after a while the momentum I had with freelancing translated into momentum with writing. I’ve experienced this phenomena where if I was productive at a day job, then I would be productive with writing as well.

    So it’s probably good that you’re getting a feel for doing a bunch of projects at once. Your productivity with one thing may translate into productivity with another. And like you said, you can always delegate. Figure out what you’re good at (crafting a story, for example) and delegate the rest. Good luck!

    • Have you been freelancing your writing or art? I really want to get into freelance book cover design, but my plate is pretty full right now. I’d like to get Aether Motion rolling before I tack on Aether Design :P I also had the crazy idea to start a literary mag too – probably to be called Popcorn Lit and featuring stories with a cinematic slant – but gah. Not enough time in the day, yo. Even for me.

      I have had the exact same experience with day job productivity = life productivity. That’s why last year was so hard. I hated the day job and it was sucking all of the life out of me. Now that I don’t mind it, I’m so much more productive in every way.

      Eventually, I’d like to delegate Kindle Publishing to other authors as well, and perhaps just be their publisher instead of an author myself. Eventually I’d like to delegate out Indie MoCap to other writers too, but I’d want to pay them, and that means monetizing the site. Of course, if Random House threw a million dollars at me for Paradisa, screw all the other stuff – I’m gonna be a full time writer, lmao.

      • Neither—I’ve been freelancing business/market research services. I did some book covers and illustrations for authors in the past and really enjoyed the work. I suppose the first step would be setting up a website and showing samples of work, maybe with Aether Design branching off of Aether Motion or the two being sister sites. Either way, it’s good to experiment and see what sticks with you. Popcorn Lit sounds like it could go somewhere!

        Is the goal to be a full time writer or a CEO of a company? I guess the day job is at the bottom rung of the list. :P

      • Ha, oh yes, the day job is definitely at the bottom rung. Although your final question really got me musing. What IS the end goal? There are about 4 different lives I could lead at this point. What would be the best life?

        When I mused on a future as a globe-trotting NYT bestselling author, I asked myself why I would want to be in that position. And it’s twofold – to have a legitimate production company buy the rights to my stories, or to be financially stable enough to self-fund my own films. It all comes down to film in the end. So I think I basically want to be George Lucas, or Andy Serkis – in an ownership position of a production company that makes enough dough off leasing services to fund my own projects. And to just have this environment and these resources where I can bring my stories to life visually with my creative control intact.

  3. Oof. This post makes my juggling seem paltry by comparison, but the sentiment is still a really important one. The story is everything. I might not be able to create content very quickly, or be active in social media very much, or really do much of anything, but I’m still writing, I’m still getting some stuff out there, and I’m still pursuing what I love in a way that I love, and that’s what’s important. Good luck with all your endevours; if you’re anything like me (and I have a feeling you are, just better at it, lol), then all the different projects actually helps you focus on the ones that have the best chance of getting done quicker.

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