I’d Rather Be Writing

It’s late on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I guess I’ll finally put these thoughts down before I finish my drink. I’ve been NEEDING to make this blog post for well over a month, but, well… my free time isn’t what it used to be.

Which is the kinda the point. So let’s get to it:

A couple of years ago when I came off of “hiatus”, I did so with the intention of getting back into writing and, hopefully, making enough money at it to at least pay some bills. ONE bill. Heck, even a tank of gas. I tried the donation thing for a while. I didn’t have anywhere near the traffic to make that work. After that, I just said “screw it” and kept writing, although scaled my efforts waaaay back. The “three pages a week” idea was an experiment that worked well, so I’ve been doing it ever since. Still not making any money, though.

Honestly, that’s nobody’s fault. Not the readers…. and I can’t really say that it’s mine either. I don’t have the time or energy to write like I used to, and I NEVER had a clue of how to build traffic. Sure, lots of people do it, but I don’t know how. To tell the truth, if there’s anybody reading this right now I have absolutely NO clue why you’re even here. I assume you like the stories; but I can’t point to a single thing that I’ve done… no advertising campaign, no banner ads, no blog posts… that caught your attention and brought you here. If you’re one of the folks that has been around since the early days of the Alt.Dragons-Inn newsgroup, all I can say is: “Wow. Just… wow.”

The point I’m dancing around is that I’m not making any money here, and I’ve got no idea how to change that. My creativity doesn’t extend to that arena. If I DID have some ideas, then I don’t have the time or resources to implement them. All I know how to do is write, and I’ve been doing precious little of that lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed.

What you DON’T know is that I’ve been under some extreme financial pressures for the past few five years or so. I lost my job a while back, and when I finally got another one, it was paying a lot less than what I needed. It’s STILL paying a lot less than what I needed. Silly me thought I could make a difference with words. HA! No. So about a month and a half ago I started a second part-time job. It’s a work-from-home deal that’s actually pretty sweet. It’s not much, but it adds enough money into the budget to keep the lights, gas, and internet on simultaneously, something that I quite literally had problems doing on more than one occasion.

Unfortunately, the hours I put into this second job have to come from somewhere. If you’ve been around since I came off my last hiatus, I said then that if I couldn’t make money writing then I would have to divert my efforts to other things. That has happened. This is why there have been so many missed updates lately. I should have announced this earlier, but I’m a coward and I didn’t want to admit that I’m not superhuman. I didn’t want to disappoint people. But I simply don’t have time to keep even the utterly-ridiculous three pages a week schedule any more. By the time I work job #1, drive home, work job #2, spend time with the wife… you get the picture. I just can’t do it.

So what does this mean?

I am NOT going to stop writing. When the current story is finished, there will be a hiatus of a few weeks just like there always is. After that, I’ll start on another story. I can’t say what kind of schedule or format I will try next, but if you look at my productivity for the past few weeks then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the immediate future holds. I’ve been writing almost nothing for a year. 1500 words a week? Please. Now I can’t even do that. Maybe I can do two pages a week instead, but I cringe every time I even think about it. That’s almost not writing at all. So I’m not making an “official” schedule change at this point. I’m merely saying that I’ve got things going on that are much more important than writing, and until my situation changes you can expect me to miss one or two pages a week. I might even miss entire weeks.

I’ll close by saying that writing has always been my love… the one thing in the world that I wanted to do more than anything else. But the world clearly… CLEARLY… doesn’t want me to write. It had made this blatantly obvious. I’m not giving up here, but since writing is not contributing to the monthly budget then the time I spend writing has to be cut. It has to be cut even more than it has already. I can spend an hour writing 500 to 1000 words that will pay me nothing, or I can spend it earning a tank of gas. When I was in a more forgiving financial situation, I would choose to write. But I’m in a different situation. And writing is something I can’t afford to do now. I’m going to do it anyway, but I’ll be doing it with the understanding that every minute I spend writing is time that I COULD be getting paid for. So forgive me if writing moves from the back seat to the trunk of the car, at least in the short term.

Sorry to disappoint you.


  1. nate, July 18, 2010:

    I was wondering. I do check the site 3 days a week, and often I’ll check several times a day to see if a posting appears. If nothing shows up on the regular three days, I check on the off days.

    I haven’t been around since the Dragon’s Inn days, but I guess I started reading this site somewhere around a decade ago. I had been looking for some good horror stories on the ‘net, and through a search I found this site. At first it was the few horror stories (Bags being one of my favorite!) then I branched out and read the other stories. After that I tried some other sites, but kept coming back here and re-reading everything.

    Mr. Hope,

    December and all the associated characters,





    I even branched out when the Dark Asylum had a section for others to post stories to. Several of those were good, but sadly it appears that those people have disappeared.

    Through it all though, I kept re-reading your stories because there’s just something about them that I can’t define, but I like it.

    You write it, I’ll read it.

    I tried to keep up with the donation related rewards stories, and I’ve often wished I could donate more. I can’t make it work financially for me though. Kids, farm, equipment, leaking roof (going on intermittently for 5 years or so now), cars, repairs, now college, etc.

    I’ve been worried lately because I did notice the lag in the story. It hasn’t been like you to not tell the readers what’s going on.

    I’ve also been worried because I don’t see anyone else posting comments, and I know that reader input is the only thing you’ve had to keep you going.

    For what it’s worth, unless you make a posting stating that you will not be returning to writing, I’ll be here a couple of times a week to see if anything new crops up.

    In the meantime, at least I have all of your stories that I could get my hands on burned to disc.

    Good luck, best wishes, prayers to you, and all that stuff, Bottom line, I hope you can continue to write, even if you don’t post it. You said yourself that writing is something you love, and everyone needs a hobby to occupy what little spare time we have. I like to read becaue I don’t have the skill to put words to paper lke you do. You like to write, and I sincerely hope you’re able to do so.

    Thanks for the posting clarifying what’s going on.

  2. nate, July 19, 2010:

    A few final thoughts.

    #1 – As far as I’m concerned, you’ve never disappointed.

    #2 – At least it looks like the current story will be finished.

    #3 – It seems that the most traffic and interest you had were with the Decemeber stories and Crusade. Sure, you’ve done some other great writing, but December and Crusade seemed to be the biggest draws.

    #4 – I’ll keep visiting the site until it no longer loads. Even then, I’m sure I’ll check from time to time just in case.

  3. DarkIcon, July 20, 2010:

    Yes, the current story will definitely be finished… but there probably won’t be anything new until next week. Most likely Wednesday.

    As I said, I do intend to keep writing, but since writing is a hobby and not a profession (because I’m not getting paid for it) then it takes a much lower precedence than it did previously when I thought I could pay bills with it eventually.

  4. nate, July 23, 2010:

    I don’t know if you’re still getting to watch many movies. I miss your reviews. I’ve watched and been impressed by some that you recommended in the past, and was hoping to return the favor.

    Martyrs. -. This is a French horror film with an ending that leaves you wondering what the hell happened. Not a terrible amount of gore, but still worth checking out, IMO.

    Antichrist – This movie is not anything like what you’d expect from the title. It’s really kind of slow, but after watching it I just can’t get it out of my head. Soft porn? Maybe. Brutal? Yeah. Story? It’s there. The film itself is wonderfully shot, and the actors are above par. Two scenes in particular will almost be guaranteed to make you say WTF, then rewind and watch them again. Once more the ending is strange, but damn those two scenes.

    Next on my list to watch is a movie recommended by someone else. Primer. It’s a science fiction movie where some guys accidentally create a time machine. From what I’ve read on it, it’s fairly technical. If I don’t forget, I’ll try to mini-review it here.

  5. Caber, July 27, 2010:

    I don’t recall how I originally found your site, might have been through dragons-inn, but I’ve been coming here for a long time. Maybe the story Unseen linked to here? “Death is a purity!”

    Its a tough economy right now and I believe a lot of us are feeling the crunch. I don’t blame you for putting family first. I hope things work out for you, I don’t know you personally but from what I’ve learned about you on this site, you seem like a decent guy. I’ll keep coming back here, checking for updates or re-reading the older stuff.

  6. nate, August 2, 2010:

    I finally saw the movie The One, starring Jet Li. Not bad, but it reminded me of the story Warlord: Threads.

  7. DarkIcon, August 2, 2010:

    I thought “The One” was a great movie. The premise does remind me of “Threads”. But the ending of “Cult of the Abominatrix” bore a similarity to the ending of that film, too. At least for one character. ;)

  8. nate, August 3, 2010:

    Looking back at my other comments, Primer was pretty decent. It’s hard to follow, but after watching it twice I’m starting to piece it together. It’s definitely not one to watch casually. It also might give a writer like you a few concepts to work with.

  9. epm, August 3, 2010:

    Well, no matter how often you writte, I will not stop coming to this site soon.
    I believe that I fond it via yahoo, but it was so long ago that I can´t be sure.

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