Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I know there are some people worried about me, just a little bit.  Rest assured, I'm not broken, I'm just resting.

I was driven to work out the bard and monk sage abilities, as I had no structure for those at all.  I have a structure now, though of course there is a ton of work to do on those.  I'm not stressing it, however.  I was asked by a friend to do a little more work on the bard, so I will be kicking at that subject over the next week.

Both online campaigns are in mid-adventure at the moment and I've left 7 people on tenterhooks for two days, while I work out some issues.  No worries.  I will be picking up the campaigns again in a day or two. I'm just resting.

In the next month or so, however, I'm going to be concentrating on two things: the comic and the book.  The reasons for this are simple.  Money.  I did not begin the comic because I've always wanted to be a comic book artist, but because I realized I have gotten just good enough to create what could be considered adequate design.  The top down feature is original to the art-comic-strip world and I am a good enough writer of humor that I can keep this going for a time.  I am hoping it brings some attention to the blog, to me, to the wiki and in general to my Patreon account.

My Patreon has been up for about a year, and during that time I have a cadre of extremely supportive, phenomenal, dedicated contributors who are paying through the nose to help me.  The average donation for this group is above $10 a month.  These people really like me.

My Patreon does not have two or three hundred people giving the relatively nothing cost of $1 a month, which seems reasonable and practical to ask but which appears to be an epic fail on my part.  I'm simply not compelling the ordinary folk to donate.  Frankly, I've likely acted the misanthrope one too many times.  The majority of the online blog D&D community just don't like me.

So I have to go look for a new audience.  The comic is a chance to do that.  I think it is funny.  My friends and acquaintances here in the real world seem to think it is funny.  I accept that it is going to be harder with strangers, largely because I need to build up a body of work in this field.  I am learning as I go.  I think readers will be pleasantly surprised as the comic progresses.  I have 13 total scripts and 7 completed comics as yet unposted.  I will be putting them up on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  My goal it to produce a minimum of 150.  150 comics is a book that I can sell.

As well, the strips may convince complete strangers that I'm worth a buck for a few months.

It takes about three hours for me to make a difficult strip, about 90 minutes to create an easy one.  I'm told this is an insanely productive turnaround time.  I have no idea.  I've never been a comic artist.  I did not draw things in school.  I have none of the past characteristics one would associate with an online comic strip creator.  I'm a writer.

Now, the book.  I am struggling to hold myself to 1,667 words per day.  That is the November Book in a Month pace.  It's a little slower than a book a month, however, as I'm counting rewrites, editing and places where I'm burning down a part of the book and writing something better from scratch.  Overall, the work is progressing.  I want to have a final copy the 1st of June.

I am, however, terrified by the whole damn work.  It is 16 months in the making right now and I have great reservations about the value of the project.  I have lost all perspective at this point and I have exactly no one that I can trust or communicate with whose perspective I trust (or respect).  I feel alone and somewhat set upon by the wolves of my consciousness, making me extremely bitter about the whole project.  So, normal artist shit.

I'd love to put up some sort of measure online, every day, that would matter to someone, to signal my commitment, but I can't think of one.  At best, I can feel myself growing stressed and angry ~ and these are good signs.  When faith quits, when enthusiasm dies, when doubt creeps in and despair upon its heels, anger will get us home.  Anger is the artist's friend.

So, fuck this fucking project.  I'm going to finish the fucking thing so it will quit pestering me.

Sorry.  Just thinking things through a bit.

Everything I do on and off line costs in time and energy where it comes to completing things that will improve my survival and standard of living.  I want to play, I want to have a good time, I want to self-care . . . but ultimately there is what's important and what's really important.  If the reader will just bear with me, I'll just get past this trouble and then all will be sweetness and light.


Simon Proctor said...

As a long time reader of the blog I'd be interested in shipping in on the Patreon. But you don't make it easy to find. As far as I can see there's no links on this page to it at all.

Kismet said...

Last comic has it as a link.


Good to hear you're doing...
Alright? I guess.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you, Simon. I appreciate what you've done ~ it does much for my confidence.

Joey Bennett said...

I suspect part of what you are coming up against is that people frequently just don't donate to things, regardless of the worthiness of the cause. Also, it seems that people who are inclined to donate are much more likely to donate a larger amount once, as opposed to a small amount repeatedly.

What I can say to anyone who might be contemplating donating is that the quality of the books that Alexis has produced is superb. I received them for my birthday last week and have not been able to put them down. If what he is working on is of interest to you, then I respectfully submit that any donation you contribute will be well worth the investment.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you Joey, that is very kind praise.

I feel that people do frequently donate to things that matter to them. If I have failed to matter enough, then that it up to me to produce more and better material, worthy of donation.

Archon said...

To be completly honest, I think that it is simply trivial inconvience. Most people (myself included, to some extent), cannot be bothered to go through the steps of making a patreon account and setting up a donation. Its not that they don't want to, or that its particuarly hard, - the people who care a lot easily set up larger donatons - its just that there is other stuff to be done, and it doesn't feel like a big deal.

I'll get round to it later, I swear I will...

Alexis Smolensk said...

I wish you could consider taking the plunge, Archon. Even the smallest amount could be encouraging to others, causing them to feel that they are not alone. Your one small gesture could start a chain reaction that would be the difference between me wasting 1,000 hours of the next six months cleaning the crap off the bottoms of ovens and chopping carrots into smaller pieces and my working and teaching others how to build a better, stronger, more meaningful D&D game, writing a book and putting out funny comics.

It's your choice.