• A.r. Rutter

Issue 01: Feb 2021

So! We are late Yet Again. However, as I mentioned in my Patreon post and on the server, Patreon has been excessively messy; I'll be closing it down and focusing on my BuyMeACoffee page -- it combines Patreon's monthly support system, Ko-Fi's one-off coffee buying system, and Ko-Fi's shop into one convenient place.

But in order to put more emphasis on this website and my writing server, I took my plans for the Patreon community tab and implemented them on the server; former Patrons and BuyMeACoffee members (not supporters) can access the Cavemates category; currently, it features Spoiler Chat, for a more in-depth discussion of chapters I've posted; Excerpt Suggest, for Patrons and BMC members to suggest excerpts from the chapters on BMC for me to share publicly on BMC; and Project BTS, for discussing projects before they're announced officially (plots, characters, moods, etc.).

And for the website, I want to get more value out of the time, money, and effort I've put into it, so! This is where the newsletter will live.

I am looking for more feedback about what the newsletters should contain; I think this is a solid breakdown:

  • Submissions/rejections

  • Reading focus

  • Writing progress

  • General Life

I'd like to start focusing more on writing progress with a focus on the, like. Deeper Meanings of what I'm writing? Not just "I've written this many words" but "This is how I feel about what I'm writing and why it's important to me" energy. BCB has changed a lot in the years since I started writing it, and I think it makes sense to focus on talking about some of those changes in themes, characters, and the overall vibes. I'll also be opening up those discussions more on my server.

But I'm always looking for more engagement, so please feel free to leave suggestions for what you'd like to see more or less of!

NaNoWriMo 2020

Disclaimer: I need all the help I can get when it comes to writing as a mentally ill bear, especially during this global panorama. So I included the words I already had in the project (around 13k) on day one and kept writing from there. In the end, I managed 55,099 words total, and then I wrote at least a piddly amount every day until December 20. Right now, the total word count is 60,867.

During NaNo, I was focused on writing in order; I forgot that my memory issues might be a problem (haw haw haw) and ended up absolutely under-planning wrt my notes, messing up my pacing, and screwing the actual detective parts. In the edits, I have to focus on refining the pacing of Romy finding clues, maybe expanding on where she gets them, and reading more noir or pulpy fiction (or fiction inspired by it, like Mexican Gothic & Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia) to get a better feel for how I can work that energy in.


[On a Slightly Downer Note Re: Engagement]

Leaving Patreon and the limited but not insubstantial income I made from it monthly was scary at first; it like quitting a job like the last time I had to quit a job for mental health reasons. But settling on BuyMeACoffee and figuring out the new move with my server and this site has made it easier. I would love to hear from all my supporters -- have you read the chapters available? The short stories? What can I do to get you more engaged in the newsletters, server, and content I'm creating? I'm happy to give out free memberships to BuyMeACoffee to people, especially if it makes it easier to engage!

I can't always provide new chapters because of my mental health and needing to work freelance for my bills & survival; I wish I could give all that up and focus on writing and that I had the capability of NaNoWriMo production throughout the year. But I can't press my mental health to write or risk burning myself out, resenting the projects, and hurting my ability to work overall. The content that is there doesn't get comments, the server doesn't get a lot of feedback/conversation, and the options I've created to pull in engagement haven't worked -- so it's difficult to see the benefit in testing my mental health.

That's not to shame or blame anyone who hasn't engaged with my writing or content; shit happens. It's a panopticon. Everyone's spoons are low. (Maybe a neon-noir blood cult novel isn't your bag!) But I can't know what to adjust if I can't even get feedback about what you guys would like to see, ufm? I genuinely would like some feedback about how I can make this experience of hanging out and talking books better and more interesting for you. Introducing different WIPs? More writing process insight? More short story ideas I have brewing? I'm open to hearing anything.

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