The year begins with me asking for your help. I have a proposal that I’d like your opinion on. With that in mind, I’ll just get right into my plans.
I want to focus on giving you more premium content this year. That begins with my Patreon page. Its current tiers include more in-depth political/sociological/philosophical commentary under the $2 tier and the Critical Battles Series under the $5 tier. Both will continue in 2022 (more on that later).
What about the $10 tier? This is where I need your help.
Writing fiction was always my first love as a writer. Most days I’m writing for clients, or in the minority, for this site and its related content on Patreon. That, and the nagging feeling that something was missing that would not allow my work to succeed, caused me to hesitate with my fiction for a long time. Yet, it was always on my mind. It was part of the reason I created this site in the first place. Fortunately, reading Wired for Story made me realize what had been missing – and that I was much further along than I pessimistically assumed.
See also: The Best Book I read in 2021.
As such, “The Red War” will be my primary creative focus, but I can’t guarantee that the first volume of it will be ready by the end of the year. The rewriting takes as long as it takes. Yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to give you some great premium content in the meantime, provided that content makes sense.
Short stories set in The Red War’s universe, and during the conflict itself outside of the main narrative, are my intention for the $10 tier. I’m sure you understand that I can’t crank these out like a factory. Ironically, one of the mistakes a lot of writers make is just sitting down to write. They get swept up in their enthusiasm and overlook that their stories either don’t make sense from the start or are in serious need of improvement before going to print. The problem is that writers are obviously biased in favor of their own work. They also know their own work so intimately that they think readers will, too, without doing the due diligence to ensure that everything makes sense to the audience in the way that it does to them.
So it’s not easy to simply think of a story. I’m saying that because I don’t want you to think this will be some easy-to-make weekly series. Nevertheless, it is something I’ll be taking seriously.
But there is something bigger, too, which brings me to my request of earlier.
A Big Sequel?
The Red War will be a four-volume epic, but there is a shorter, two-volume sequel which I’ve had in mind for years as well. I’ve learned from George Carlin to write everything down. Its a key force in maximizing your creative energy. I have a good idea of where this story is going to go and, though no slouch (it is basically the Odyssey to the Red War’s Iliad), should be easier for me to write. This is because there aren’t as many moving parts, and I can begin in a much better place than I began The Red War in 2008, when I had just turned 21.
What I want to know from you is – would you be interested in me doing this story originally as a serial, before being published in entirety in book form? I would need to weigh how this would affect future publication before committing, but it is an idea I’ve had, and would serve my ambition to give you more premium content.
What is your opinion? Please comment below (or email me here) and let me know.
The Polybius Report
This is the cool-sounding name I’m giving my more in-depth political/sociologic/philosophic commentary. You can get this content at the $2 tier on my Patreon as mentioned above (this is the encouraged option), or you can follow my new Substack.
The Diomedes Society idea last year didn’t pan out, but I like Substack because it is sleek and email based, which is good because email drives the most user engagement.
On a related note: Sign up for my email list here and you’ll get my ebook about building a website, The 48 Laws of Power: A Creative Retelling, and two free chapters of Stumped.
My new Substack is called The Polybius Report.
Polybius, as you might have known from my recent history of the “Sword of Rome,” Marcus Claudius Marcellus, was one of the more accurate ancient historians. Yet, he was more than just a historian. He was a philosopher and member of the Scipionic Circle. A high-profile Greek hostage in Rome, his analysis on its republican system, and on government in general, proved influential for Enlightenment thinkers, including America’s own Founding Fathers.
Like most classical historians, Polybius was well aware of the power of character and its influence on fate. This perspective is sorely lacking in contemporary histories and commentary on current events. You see the results around us.
I will, of course, continue to comment on these events here. The Polybius Report, however, will go into much greater depth, with a more professional style, as opposed to my freewheeling style here. Both are necessary.
“America’s Long Humiliation” is the kind of content you can expect from the Polybius Report.
I’ll see over the next few months if the Substack gains traction. If it doesn’t, I’ll cancel it.
Outskirts Battledome Wrestling
What you see above is the 2021 year-end event for OBD Wrestling, our biggest show. Remember in 2015 when I told you that even your weird hobbies might have a use?
OBD Wrestling is proof of that. While the audience growth is less than I’d have liked, doing the show for the past two years has helped me in two crucial areas.
The first is storytelling, especially when it comes to payoffs. Ragnarok was a night full of them, which is why the audience loved it so much.
The second is in doing the commentary itself. That has forced me to become a better and wittier conversationalist by being quicker on my feet, commenting as the action unfolds.
Outskirts Battledome Wrestling has been one of my refuges during these two years of insanity. As far as weekly shows go, it’s better than most of what you’ll find on TV. I look forward to the third series in 2022 and hope you’ll watch the journey live with me. We’re on break until the middle of the month or so, but we’re coming back with the World Martial Arts Tournament, where the top 16 fighters of last year will duke it out.
On a side note, my hire me page will also get a revamp this month. I’ll be offering more services.
I’ll see you throughout 2022! Be sure to get a copy of Lives of the Luminaries to start the year off. Character will matter more than ever this year. We know what we need to do. It’s now time to put aside the nonsense and become what we were born to be.