Where I’m at Mentally

Howdy, folks. It’s been a while. I’d say I hope you’re well, and I genuinely do. But I know the odds of that are pretty slim right now.

I’m doing well in some respects. I’ve managed to not get sick, which I’m thankful for, because I’m in several categories of people that the CDC says are especially vulnerable to COVID. My job has moved us all to working remotely, so I don’t have to worry about risking going into the office, or about losing financial security. I’m especially fortunate to have a job I genuinely enjoy, that doesn’t feel like a chore, which is beyond invaluable at a time like this. (Getting laid off last year has truly, truly proven to be a blessing in disguise.) I’ve found out that I love Minesweeper, and have been enjoying other logic-based games like it. Things could definitely be worse.

They could also be a hell of a lot better. Mostly that relates to what’s happening on a national level. It’s common knowledge that the US is a shitshow, at least to anyone who hasn’t drunk the red, white, and blue koolaid. And the way things are going, it’s hard to have hope that things will get better.

All of that has made it very hard for me to write. That was true at the start of the pandemic, but it’s been especially true for the past three months. I mentioned having difficulty with writing in the descriptions of my last few stories, but that’s become even more true.

Partly it’s because a lot of the ideas I’ve had for stories have been darker than my usual fare. I guess that’s a reflection of where my mind is right now, with everything going on. I’ve tried writing a few of them, and we’ll get to why those haven’t worked out. But for the most part, if I try to write one of those darker ideas, I find myself thinking: There’s enough darkness in the world. Why should I add more? Why should I wallow in pessimism when writing has always been an escape for me?

So I try focusing on happier story ideas, when they come. But then something happens in the world, some news item whips by that immediately drains out my motivation to do… well, anything, really. In the face of such insurmountable problems, my stories feel so puny, so insignificant. Why bother trying to write when the world is just going to shit?

But even when I manage to start a story, I’m never able to finish one. And that’s because I just don’t have the motivation to write anymore. I’ll get 1,000 to 2,000 words into a story, often starting it with some enthusiasm. But that tapers away, and by the end, writing it feels like a chore. It feels like I’d rather do anything else than keep working on that story. I’ve talked about dealing with writer’s block before, but this feels so much more daunting. So much more unassailable.

And then I feel like a failure for leaving another story unfinished. I’ve had friends who tell me that I should keep trying to write. They say if I give up, I’ll never start writing again, but if I try, there’s a chance I could. The “worst that could happen”, they say, is that I’m back to where I started.

But for me, giving up on a story feels so much worse than not having written it in the first place. I’m not “back to where I started”; I feel worse than I would have if I’d never tried to write it in the first place. It’s like how people tell me that if I like someone, I should just tell them, because the worst thing that could happen is I’m back where I started. But for me, rejection feels so much worse than never having tried at all. And failure is much the same.

I wish I had a happier note to end this post on. But that would just be a lie to you folks, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to be able to start writing again. It could probably happen if things get better in this country, but given the trajectory we’re on, I don’t see that happening any time soon. And if Trump wins in November, there’s a very real chance I’ll never start writing again.

If that happens, at least I can say I had a good run.

Four-year anniversary: readers plot my next story!

Update 9/22/19: And the poll has closed, with almost a hundred responses!  Thank you everyone who voted.  I think you folks have plotted quite the story.

Now, I did a quick poll on DeviantArt to ask if people wanted to know the results of the survey now or when the story goes up, and the results were pretty well split.  So I’m making a post on my writing blog with the results.  If you want to see the results, you can see them here.  If you don’t, you can wait until the story goes up to find out, since I intend to list them in the description.

Also:  there were a lot of great responses to the wildcard slot!  Of course, I can’t include them all, not even all the ones that I loved.  But I will be keeping some of them as ideas for future stories.  So, if you’d like to get credit for your suggestion, please message me now to tell me what your suggestion was, and how you’d like to be credited. (If you tell me after the story goes up, that won’t do any good, since anyone could claim it was there idea.) If you’re okay with remaining anonymous, you don’t have to message me.

Again, thank you everyone for your responses!

Hey folks!

Today’s a big day:  it’s the fourth anniversary of when I published my first gaining story, The House that Time Forgot!  It’s honestly kinda hard to believe I’ve been writing gaining stories for four years, but I’m so glad I have, and I hope to keep doing so for a while.

I’ve celebrated this anniversary in a few different ways.  The first year, I wrote a story that was meant to be a better representation of how I’d intended The House that Time Forgot to come out, and thus we got The Haunted Cabin.  The second year, I raffled off a chance to dictate the plot of my next story, and the result was A Rotund Reunion.  The third year, I did an ask-me-anything style video, where I answered questions from readers like you.

So what have I come up with this year?

A lot of YouTubers have done videos of the form, “My followers pick my [blank]”.  For example, beauty gurus will have their followers pick makeup products and they have to use them to make a look.  Safiya Nygaard has two such videos, where she has her subscribers pick the color she dyes her hair, and later, her first tattoo. (I love both videos.)

I’d like to do something similar, where you, my wonderful readers, plot my next story!

To do this, I’ve set up a poll with a series of questions you can answer about a potential gaining story.  The most popular answers to each question will dictate various elements of the premise, and I’ll then write a story to fit that premise.  There’s also a chance for you to enter any kind of suggestion, and if it inspires me, I might use it in the story!

The poll is ten questions in total, most of them multiple-choice, so it should only take a few minutes to fill out.  The poll will close at midnight at the end of next Saturday, September 24th, EST. If two winning answers conflict with each other, I reserve the power to choose which one will influence the story’s plot.

Here’s the link to the poll!  Vote and make your voice heard!

Third anniversary ask-me-anything video: It’s up!

Originally posted September 14, 2018.

Watch it here!  Thank you to everyone who helped me get to this point, and here’s to more!

Questions answered in this video:
• What first turned you on to the gaining scene?
• What made you want to start writing fiction for it?
• What sort of media inspires you, gaining or otherwise?
• What weight-gain writers have inspired you the most?
• Can you turn your tongue into a U shape?
• What are your working patterns?  Are you a sprinter or do you write more methodically?
• What part of writing do you struggle with the most?
• How do you balance writing with other creative aspects of your life?
• Do you have any other fiction projects you’re working on?
• Do you take commissions?
• Do you put milk in your bowl before or after the cereal?
• What are your favorite aspects of fat/gaining to write about?
• What are your favorite aspects of fat/gaining to read about?
• Are they the same or different?
• What it your biggest pet peeve when it comes to gainer fiction?
• Have your experiences with gaining influenced your storytelling?
• Besides literature, what other forms of media do you enjoy?
• What’s your favorite Pokémon?
• Would you consider publishing your stories?
• Have you ever thought about writing a story with yourself as a self-insert, be it protagonist or cameo?
• Are there any of your stories you feel inspired to revisit?
• Does the idea of choose-your-own adventure gainer-themed story appeal to you?
• Have you considered writing a fictional novel?
• Where did I leave my car keys?
• Is there anything you haven’t written about yet?  Any ideas that you’re still trying to flesh out (no pun intended)?
• What are some hopes for future male expansion/WG writers?
• Where do you hope your writing will take you?