Writing Update – July 2021

July 2nd, 2021

     I must admit that I had not anticipated the need for another one of these so soon. It was naive of me, in hindsight, given that I knew what was laid out before me this summer, but I always tend to assume I can manage any workload thrown my way with the ease it might take me to walk to the nearest convenience store. I always somehow find myself surprised when that isn’t quite the case, as well as unreasonably annoyed. Alas, it is this position I find myself in now so I think an update is not only justified, but necessary. It also pairs quite nicely with a couple of other updates I have pertaining to my original work, so I think it’s only right I hit two birds with one stone.

     My goal has always been to compete in the Olympic Games this summer. I will now learn very shortly if I have achieved that ambition, though I will warn all of you up front that I have no plans of disclosing that information. I have no plans of pulling the curtain aside and identifying myself as of now. Perhaps when my own books are one day published, that will be a consideration I weigh with a great deal of thought. 

     For now, the relevant detail is that the Olympic Games are fast-approaching. This did not hit me too hard until the end of May, at which point it slammed into me with the force of a speeding eighteen-wheeler running down roadkill. Training became more intensive, my schedule more regimented, and every week became riddled with the vexing joys of travel. Suddenly, to my befuddlement, I found that I was sorely lacking in the department of time. Finding any available openings to write in June was very difficult. I managed to get a couple of PoP chapters posted for patrons because of how quick and easy they are, but I soon found that even that was a tribulation in and of itself. It also doesn’t help that — in the latter portion of the month especially — I have been battling a number of nagging injuries that also demand time and attention of their own. All of that plus an odd headspace that does not inherently lend itself to productivity rendered writing a great task this past month.

     I regret falling behind on writing and AoC in particular, but looking back on the month that was, I see very little I could have done differently. Perhaps I should have written AoC instead of PoP, but I had my reasons for that choice. Every bit of fanfiction I wrote in June was written whilst travelling. Much as I take great pleasure in writing Ashes of Chaos, it is a very taxing undertaking each and every time I open a document and begin noting down my characters’ next adventures. Perversion of Purity is, by nature, less time-consuming and requires less energy. It is the ideal story to try and write whilst on the move and that is what got written once travel became a recurring theme. 

     Whether I make the Olympic team or not, I am hoping July provides a touch more in terms of time to write, but I can’t be sure my hope will reflect reality. I will have a great deal of downtime if selected for the Tokyo team due to COVID rendering extracurricular activities next to impossible, but I will be in a very different headspace and in an environment that may not be at all conducive to writing. Perhaps there will be a perfect setup in my room with which I can write and perhaps I will remain unbothered by teammates if I am fortunate enough to find myself in Tokyo. Perhaps still the opposite will come to fruition, at which point writing will be every bit as difficult as it was in June. If I don’t make the Tokyo team… well, that presents a very different fork in the road. I would refocus to a lesser end goal for the season, more than likely, so it would free up some time. On the other hand, that could be a nightmare of a headspace to deal with and I am unsure whether writing would be a vice I use to escape it or a task I would need a break from.

     What I am saying is that there is a great deal of uncertainty in July. August, too, looks quite busy on my end, though that is entirely self-inflicted. Whether I make the team or not in July, I intend to spend August travelling — something I have desired to do for some time. It should provide a much-needed respite during which I will focus on mending my injuries and reevaluating some things in my personal life. The goal would absolutely be to get some writing done during this time, but again, a lot of uncertainty remains in regards to the environments I will find myself in.

     If you have been unable to tell up to this point, I am using all of this as a preface to say that there will likely be delays in uploads. Discord members should notice no difference in uploads for either PoP or AoC. Those should stay on time since I have a bit of a buffer for AoC and am miles ahead in PoP. It is patrons who will likely feel the brunt of these delays the most and for that, I apologize deeply. Next week and the one that follows should provide the most free time I will have in the next while, so I hope to get several chapters done for Ashes of Chaos during that time. My patrons have that to look forward to, though I admit they may be waiting for some time to read the next installments of PoP and CoP respectively. If I do get the time to write later in the month, I will try and get at least one of those posted on Patreon as well as hopefully another chapter of Ashes of Chaos, but this is all hypothesizing on the most ideal situation for my writing progress.

     Then there is Fabric of Fate, which has seemingly fallen to the wayside as of late. I promise that I do still have big plans for this story; it just so happens to be the one that has suffered most as of late. It is the least popular of my works, to be frank, and I do try and ensure my patrons get to read what the majority of them are supporting me for. A combination of that and a rapidly filling schedule are the catalysts for the halt in FoF progress, but I promise more will come. I plan to get back to that in the fall. Come September, I should have a great deal more time to write once again. I am hoping that I can string a few very productive months together between September and the end of the year. My schedule looks wide open for that time, so doing so should be relatively simple.

     The final bit of bad news I have is actually the one impact Discord may feel the most. Patrons actually won’t notice this one at all since they just get chapters as soon as they are written. I spoke of September a moment ago and in my infinite wisdom months’ back, I set September 4th as the official FFN/AO3 release date of AoC’s third year — “Harry Potter and the Blackest of Truths”. For you on Discord, that date also meant the return of weekly uploads, which is something I know many of you have been looking forward to. Alas, you may need to wait a bit longer than I originally anticipated. 

     I concede that it is possible I could maintain weekly uploads of AoC if I posted the first one publicly on September 4th. It would be a great stress as I am not as far ahead as I hoped I would be, and that is unlikely to change before September 4th. I likely won’t make the call definitively until some time in August, but it is looking more and more like the official FFN/AO3 release and return to weekly chapters for AoC is going to get delayed until some time later in the fall. This is by no means a set decision, but it is one I am beginning to contemplate. Once September arrives, I should have no problem getting ahead again, but before then, it really does depend on an astonishingly large set of variables.

     I do have some good news, on a personal note, though it does come with a potential minor change as to how I am going to do things going forward. This change will only be noticed by patrons, but it is likely something that will affect almost none of them. 

     With writing largely off the table in June, I turned to plotting. More specifically, I really began making progress in the planning of my first original novel. I still won’t speak too much on that, but I do not only have the first few books laid out in some detail, but I do have a general outline for the series and writing for that is also tentatively underway. [Editor’s note: Organizing notes documents can be incredibly dull at times… — Athena] I won’t say too much about it yet beyond the fact that it is a high fantasy that will stretch over a considerable number of books. Don’t be on the lookout for this any time soon. Even if I do begin making great progress with this novel once my schedule lightens, there will be an unbelievable amount of editing, revising, and the like. I don’t plan for a single word of this to be public any time soon.

     Which nicely transitions me into the minor change I will be making for patrons. All patrons at the $5 tier or higher WILL STILL BE GETTING IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO FANFICTION CHAPTERS AS SOON AS I FINISH THEM. I will be altering the tiers, however, so that benefit does not apply to my original work. I have two main reasons for doing this.

     The first is that I would like to get the entire book done before anyone not in my inner circle of advisors and those who help me write it. I don’t think I need to explain this one too elaborately, so I will leave it at that. The second justification I have is that, now that this book is in progress, I have begun to seriously contemplate my future as a writer and have come to the conclusion that even above my career is an athlete, this is what I want to make a living doing one day. I hope to even retire from athletics in the future if this actually becomes viable. I am very far from that point right now, even with the help of my lovely and generous patrons, but that is a goal I one day hope to achieve. It is a very lofty goal that I may never reach, but I intend to do all I can to see it to fruition. 

     With that revelation came a great deal of contemplation about how I plan to accomplish this. I have now very firmly decided that I will be going the route of traditional publication. The reason this impacts patrons is because I am unsure whether or not any future publishers will allow me to post my original novel chapters early and in a semi-public format. This will not affect any rewards pertaining to the novel otherwise. I will still ensure everyone who is entitled to copies via their Patreon tier received them. The same goes for acknowledgements, signed copies, special additions, and the like. If I am especially fortunate, my future publisher may even grant me permission to post these chapters early for my patrons. If that is the case, I will reinstall that particular benefit. Until that time, however, I am going to play it safe. 

     I doubt this will affect any of my patrons since none of you have seen an original chapter yet and you are all here for fanfiction. That really just means it is the perfect time to make that change before it actually impacts anyone. I do apologize for it, but I really do want to make a career of this one day and I think traditional publishing is going to be my best bet. I would hate to jeopardize that through something relatively trivial, so I thought it best to make that change now and be very upfront about it from the start.

     That is really all I have for you. I would like to reiterate that ALL CHAPTERS OF ASHES OF CHAOS AND PERVERSION OF PURITY WILL STILL RELEASE AS PLANNED ON DISCORD. Once per week for PoP, once per month for AoC until it begins uploading on FFN/AO3. Whenever that happens, weekly uploads will arrive for Discord members once more. Discord will get the next CoP chapter once patrons get their next advanced chapter but no sooner. I am not going to put a date on it because as I outlined above, I have no idea when that will happen.

     Regardless of my own trials and vexations, I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer and I hope the brightest and most vibrant season of the year treats you all well.

     Stay safe and happy reading.

Cheers,

Ace

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