Staring at Goats

I started writing this blog as a record of my attempt to get my novel published whilst creating a successful YouTube channel at the same time. There was a very clear line of thinking behind the reasons for writing here.

  1. Writing a weekly blog will make my efforts public, and so urge me to keep my promises, and keep up with the submissions and videos.
  2. I may find some followers for the YouTube channel.
  3. It will keep me writing, even when I have nothing to write about.
  4. Prospective agents/publishers will have a wealth of my writing at their fingertips, should they wish to investigate.
  5. If, after a year or two, I have still not found a publisher… by that time I should have a sufficiently large YouTube audience to help increase sales of my book, should I opt to self-publish.

…On February 17th, it will have been 3 years since that moment.

I set up Sleepless Knight accounts on twitter, facebook and YouTube on the same day I started this blog. 3 weeks later I checked the stats… I checked them again today.


It’s fair to say that I got a little sidetracked.

As a direct result of writing here on WordPress, I met the woman of my dreams, and we are now very happily married… so it is tempting to say that this blog doesn’t owe me anything, and walk away from it. But I’m still convinced that I can make this whole thing work for me, and if there’s one thing my wife will tell you about me, it’s that I once I get an idea into my head it is impossible to shift it.

But that’s not really a good thing is it. I mean, it’s one thing to convince yourself that you can run through the wall into the next room because atoms are mostly empty space… but, as the very level-headed Dr. Ben Goldacre would no doubt have said to the poor, deluded Major General Stubblebine and his broken nose: I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.

It’s no good repeatedly saying “I’b dot givig ub!” through your mashed and bleeding hooter, as you bounce off the wall for the 30th time in a month. Sooner or later, you either have to start using the door, or accept confinement by the men in white coats, in a room where the walls can’t hurt you any more.

There are many reasons why the plan I outlined above has failed. Some of them are no doubt still a mystery to me, but the more obvious ones are:

  1. You cannot hope to gain followers on twitter if you never use it!
  2. You cannot hope to gain followers on YouTube if you never use it!
  3. You cannot hope to gain followers on WordPress if you never use it!

Once again; it’s a bit more complicated than that. The twitter thing is no more complicated than that. I simply keep forgetting it’s there. The YouTube thing is firstly a result of my monumental over-ambition when it comes to making videos; where I come up with extremely simple ideas and then over-complicate the crap out of them. And secondly because my circumstances keep changing every 5 minutes, which makes it difficult to film things. It’s tough to make and upload YouTube videos when you’re computer blows up OR you have no access to the internet OR you have no camera because you sold it in order to eat OR your crew live in another country, because you left them behind for 3 years!

So now let’s address the WordPress thing, because if you’re reading this, the chances are fairly high that you have at least a passing interest in reading blog posts.

There have been more agency submissions since those first ones, and there have been more videos since that first one… but the one glaring problem with my blogging above all others, is that I don’t find one subject and stick with it.

Without doubt, the blogs that get the most visitors (and WordPress do tell you this when you first start blogging here) are the ones which have a specific focus. If you have one subject about which you write, and you write about it regularly, then half the work is already done. So, if I know that, what’s the problem?

Well once again, the problem is me. All my life I have deeply envied people who have one passion; one area of their life which dominates all others and decides the direction of their life as a whole. My problem, as I have stated again and again, is that despite many, many efforts to narrow my focus to one specific area… Storyteller is the best I can do. That is as narrow as I can make it. I love telling stories. I want to tell my stories and there are many! I can’t put the required amount of exclamation marks after the word many, because you would think I had fallen asleep on my keyboard, and I can’t make the word big enough without writing it on something much larger than the state of Texas. I have many, many stories which I want to tell; from the things that happen in my daily life (which has been much more interesting than you might think) to the many, many hundreds of story ideas which have been filling my brain, and dozens upon dozens of notebooks and scraps of paper, since I was a very young boy, and are still doing so on a daily basis.

The problem is that storytelling covers a lot of sins: Books, Films, Short Stories, TV Series, Plays, Screenplays, Stage-acting, Screen-acting, Voice-acting, Game production, Animation, Poetry, Blogging… there’s a lot of scope to it. The other problem with telling stories, is that unless you first have people’s attention, no-one really cares what you have to say. So I need to get back on track here, and start growing my audience, because I have made a decision to keep trying to find an agent for my book until I return permanently to the UK next year. If, in that time, I have not found a representative, then I will self-publish my book and let the chips fall where they may.

So I need your help. I realise I’m probably going to make myself look really stupid here, since no-one ever comments on this blog, but I’m going to ask anyway, in the hope that one or two kind souls have suggestions for me, and actually tell me what they are in a helpful way… in the comments section [It’s easy to find – Just click the speech bubble at the top of this post and you will be directed to the comments section].

This blog needs a permanent focus. Something very specific that I can blog about on a weekly basis, and then if I want to tell you other things, I can do so in a different section.

  • Movies – I love the movies. I always have done, and I still almost always end every day with a film. (but there are too many sites doing movie reviews already. Needs to be something new, or at least something that everyone and their grannies aren’t already doing)
  • Film-making – My biggest passion by far. This is my world, and the people who do this are my people. I love everything about it, and I do every single job on a movie myself, but my main areas of interest are:- visual effects, miniatures/modelling, sound design, film scores, set/prop design.
  • Writing – I have done this for a very long time, and I don’t think I could stop if I tried – check this post, to get a brief idea of my writing career –  but I don’t think the internet needs another website about writing. Everything that can be said has been, and by better writers than myself.
  • Bad Science and the proliferation of – It has become a bit of an obsession with me to fight back against the constant stream of bullshit which is posted, and reposted as fact on social-networking sites. The internet is a wonderful thing but it does let pretty much anyone state pretty much anything as fact, because the majority of us are too stupid or lazy to check the facts. The problem with this idea is a) Ben Goldacre and others are already doing it better, and b) I fear that my lack of medical/technical knowledge might actually do harm to the kind of intelligent professional debate run by much better qualified people than myself.
  • Astronomy & Space Travel – Another passion of mine since I was a very, very small boy. I am probably one of the only people in the world sad enough to have read the entire Apollo 8 mission transcripts (that’s everything that was said in the capsule for 4 days), when they didn’t have to. I love everything about the universe outside our little planet, but once again, I fear I am not really well-read or qualified enough to contribute anything of any value to a wealth of on-line information about… the universe.

I will leave you with those for the time being, since I fully expect to get no responses whatsoever that did not come from inside this apartment.

Web Success

See you soon.


6 comments on “Staring at Goats

  1. I particularly like the ideas film making, bad science and space travel, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy your writing, I just agree with your rationale. However, if you’re intending to put something out weekly I reckon film making is the way to go… It’s writing about what’s already in your head and what you do so it’s more likely to get written without having to do any significant extra research. Apologies if I’m tarring you with the same brush as I tar myself! Good luck!


    • Thanks for the input, Kirt.
      It’s always nice to have a comment. My lovely wife always comments of course, but it’s nice to know that your writing is being read by people outside this room.

      I am still torn on this issue. At the moment I am toying with the idea of doing a sort of humorous diary from the point of view of a traveller aboard the first Earth colony vessel… or my two aliens who watch the Earth… or something. And then having this blog as a place where I can comment on pretty much anything else.

      I still haven’t decided, but the space thing would give me an excuse to practice my 3D modelling skills at the same time. Practice which I will certainly need for future YT projects.

      Hope you’re both well.


  2. Firstly, I’d just like to add that you didn’t really sell the camera so you could ‘eat’, you sold it so you could move over here and live with your fiancée. I know that perhaps you wrote ‘eat’ to absolve me of all guilt in the selling of the camera, but I distinctly remember the circumstances and the deep horror I felt when I heard that you’d sold it. You will never know how grateful I am that you did, and that we are here now, but mostly, how grateful I am that you have been willing to give so much for us to have a future together. It’s through the things you do for us that I know.

    Secondly… Look!!! Someone posted that isn’t me! 🙂 And I mentioned before, but I do think a movie one or a ‘bad science’ or rather ‘latest internet fright’ would be quite successful, considering the interest of a larger group of readers out there.


    • Listen… the choices I made were mine to make, and every single one of them has been more than worth it.

      When it comes to the possibilities I mentioned, the movie one would just get lost among an slew of movie review/preview sites, and I do LOVE the idea of the Bad Science/De-bunker site, but I don’t really have the technical know how, and I almost feel I would be ADDING to the crap written by un-educated/ignorant idiots on the internet.

      Anyway, thank you both for your input. I appreciate it greatly.


  3. I like it when you write reviews of films, it never ceases to make me laugh how funny you can make certain films sound. I also like the frank, bluntness of said reviews too. Definitely have films on there as we know that you love films from both the spectating and making side of things.

    I like the bad science and astronomy idea, though I think you should go to those when you don’t have anything to say on films. I apologise if this isn’t making much sense, it’s 2:30am and I’ve just suffered the most hellish work shift ever.

    I have spoken so now I shall sleep!


    • Thanks, Kitters. I’m sorry to hear about your crappy work shift. I saw last night that you had difficulties.

      As far as the blog posts go, the general consensus seems to be that movies, bad science, and astronomy seem to be the way to go, while game previews/reviews earn me the most readers by a phenomenally large margin…. and while this might not seem to be any great help in narrowing the posts down to a single subject, I think I have a solution which would allow me to have all of them on one site, while still keeping to a single theme.
      More information in the coming weeks.
      In the meantime, many thanks for commenting, and commiserations on your poor night at work, but chin-up, and congratulations once again on your recent GOOD fortune. 🙂


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