If you’re reading this, then the month of December has gone off without a hitch. This means that I have opened up Insomniatic.co.uk, my new outlet for my creative pursuits and the conduit between my mind and the outside world. I look forward to a great year and to a dialogue with readers, creatives and industry professionals alike.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I have loved writing since the age of seven, at which point I remember being given my first writing prompt in elementary school. Our school systems loved these prompts as tests of the child’s ability to write and to understand the creative process. I don’t think I ever got a direct grade back on them, but I know that I treated them as a game. A prompt would be given to the class and I would gleefully write as much about the topic as possible. I tend to hope that we were never graded on our ability to follow a beginning, middle and end because the time allotted to us was never enough to get farther than what would be the beginning of the story. Looking at my writing as a whole, maybe this is why I became so familiar with the process of starting a story, compared to the difficulty I face in finding a middle or an ending. Around the same age, I used to experiment with comic book characters, which would culminate in a group of my friends and I attempting to open a comic publishing and distributing company at the age of twelve years old. Unfortunately, we lacked the focus and the resources needed to pull this off.
The earliest recognition I ever received for my writing was in 2002, when I won $150 for a Veteran of Foreign Wars essay contest about the topic “Freedom Isn’t Free”. I no longer have any copies of that essay in any form, but I remember that as the moment that I realized that writing didn’t have to just be something I did when I was told to or something that I got a lot of fun out of: it could be something I got paid for! At that point I began writing in many forms, such as spending hundreds of hours writing a script for Final Fantasy VII-2, which was nearing completion just as Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released, completely negating the possibility of my script becoming a reality. Had I held onto it and considered rewriting it, something could possibly have come from it; unfortunately, I had placed my trust in a form of technology that became obsolete within years: the Zip disk.
Once I was done writing for my high school J.R.O.T.C. student paper, I was invited to write for Fight-Evil.com, a horror site that I had invested over a year and a half in and which had seen me grow from an immature and arrogant fifteen year old to a less immature and less arrogant seventeen year old. I wrote a variety of articles for the site, including many reviews and a “rules for surviving a horror movie” article – right around the time every other website with a shred of horror credibility was writing their own version of the exact same article. None of us were really that witty, in retrospect. I published for the site until 2011, when the site closed. It has re-opened since, but has not yet embraced any form of communication beyond the message boards. In 2007 I became a member of another community, in this case the Star Wars fan community, something I had been skirting the edges of ever since I discovered the internet. This led to me shifting my focus from horror film reviews to Star Wars articles, which I wrote for NJOE.com from 2009 to 2011. At each of these sites, I published over fifty articles. Through my connections at NJOE, I was invited to write for Fantasy & SciFi Lovin’ Reviews in 2010.
In 2010, along with a group of other people, I opened Man in Black Reviews, which evolved in 2012 into MiBReviews as well as its genre spin-offs of Stars’ End and Tickled Fears. Here I republished everything that I had previously put into print, and doubled my total publication count in the process. I did everything I could to push my limits here, but I also over-extended myself, as well as over-estimating the commitment that dozens of people whose personal lives and workload I was unaware of where able to give a site that only had the potential of providing income if everyone gave it 100% for an extended period of time…something that even I was unable to do for long. As the quantity of such sites increased and the workloads of the contributors did the same, it became clear that by attempting to keep the site afloat, I was distracting them more than helping them.
This blog is a whole new beginning for me. I’ve spent the past year working on brand new content and reworking my existing content into something I could look upon proudly. I haven’t quite reached my goal of 365 articles for the future written and edited within a year, but I have written more than I ever have in a single year and intend to keep increasing this amount over time.
During that time, I hope to build new relationships with this site. My closest friends in the world were met through online communities, and I would love to meet more people here the same way. Very differently but just as important, I’ve found that online writing has created excellent dialogues with authors and editors, which is both something I look forward to and something that has the potential to allow my observations to influence future works of art. Either way, it’s exciting and it’s all starting now. I’ve been sleeping long enough; it’s time to become an Insomniatic.
What can you expect from Insomniatic?
This is going to be the first of six posts today designed to give you an idea of just that. The short version is that Insomniatic is going to be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction posts about Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, including podcasts, videos, and anything else that I create. After today, I will be keeping to a schedule of about three posts a day for as long as I can (weekends optional). Eventually, the schedule will probably drop to two posts, and possibly even one post, in an average day, but I’m going to hold both of those off for as long as humanly possible.
Too many posts for you? That’s okay! There’s a pretty wide variety of posts that are going to be coming out, so it should be pretty easy to pick and choose what’s most interesting to you based on categories. If you prefer, there will even be weekly wrap-ups that list posts made during the week and link to each of them.
I hope to see you all again and again. Ask as many questions as you can; the more you guys are involved with what happens here, the better the blog will be for you and me both. See you soon!