I’ve been blogging for years. In fact, looking back through this site, my first blogpost was in June 2001, when I started writing a travelogue. I did this just to get some satisfaction from my endless travels for work. I started with LiveJournal, then Blogger, and finally ended up here, importing all my old posts. I only had one site (at a time), and I bunged everything in there from random observations to digests of tweets, photos from instagram and twitter, and heavens-know what else. 

Then, I decided that creative work needed a separate blog, focussed on writing and film. I maintained Endless Realms for ages, until it began to languish and eventually got hacked. That creative-focussed site eventually morphed into StoryFactory, though I’ve been lax in updating it. Part of the reason for that was that since becoming a father and returning to fulltime non-creative work, time is short. So, obviously I created another, anonymous blog about fatherhood, London Daddy. Still, due to an absence of time, and not even living in London anymore, even that fell aside. 

I briefly toyed with using Medium, I see journal notes in Evernote and text files and a paper bullet journal. I’m scatter-shot and disfocussed, half the links in this blog are outdated, and I daren’t read any old material. Twenty years ago or so I was not my best self. I’m barely sure I am today, but perhaps a better self.

Anyway, what the whole point of this is, I think it’s time to come back to this, this oldest of blogs. I’ll still try to put adding stuff on LD, creative stuff on SF, but link to it from here. This can be my general repository for all things ephemeral.

What do I have to lose, it’s not like anyone’s reading this? Right? Right?!

Happenstance led me to the chance discovery that this site had been hacked, quietly sending traffic to link farms in the background. While I think I’ve rooted out all the offending code, it did make me wonder why I still retain this site. I don’t write on it anymore, it doesn’t really have a place in my pantheon of writing destinations, and all the content is outdated.

So, I think I’ll migrate some of the better content (if such a thing can be found) from here to storyfactory.uk/blog/, but aside from that, I think it might be time to shutter this relic and move on. It’s been a ride…

As a creative freelancer in a digital world, you can never do enough. Even if you were mono-focussed on just one commercial activity, and assuming you weren’t cross-pollinating ‘work’ from your non-work life, there’s still all the related, necessary activity. There’s promotion and marketing, which can include web design, blogging, social media work, and networking. There’s advertising, and finance and logistics. Realistically, at best you’re doing about 50% creative work vs everything else. And in lean times, it’s so much more because you’re hustling so much harder of so much less work and money.

But, let’s face it, you’re going to cross-pollinate from your personal life. And chances are you have several irons in the fire at the same time. Either because you love it, or because you need it. Or you’re a masochistic type who just likes to suffer. Possibly some combination of the above.

Currently I’m dealing with a production company on a co-written script they’ve optioned, while working on pre-production of the same in case they drop the ball. I’m hawking around a TV pilot that’s getting some good buzz, while reworking an old feature script and a new short film. I’m making money taking photos of people, and sometimes things, while putting the finishing touches on my first photo book. I’m contributing to a collected work of short stories and blogging commercially. Between all of that, it’s no surprise that business-oriented, never mind personal, social media use has shrivelled to next to nothing, there’s just not time!

However, that’s an error, I need to make time for it, for the little blogs, the Facebook updates, the networking and the frustrating process of keeping my profile high. Putting a pause on all of that has meant I’ve managed to get so much more done, finally gaining traction in all areas. But somehow I need to find more time, and spread myself a little thinner. There’s no point putting out the work if there’s nobody to see it.

I’ve been working freelance as a photographer and writer for about a year and a half now, and while I wouldn’t give it up for the world, it does have its quirks and tribulations. In this series I’ll be exploring some of these tales of minor woe.

First off, days of the week.

There’s a regularity to office or scheduled work that some find frustrating and/or reassuring. You can plan around it, schedule things, secure in the knowledge that, while sometimes inconvenient, there’s a structure to it all. Sure, it means taking a day off work for going to the doctor, and you can’t make weekday daytime events, but you know where you’ll be, what you’ll be doing and know you’ll be paid for your labours. Not so in freelance world.

Events photography generally means you’re working evenings and weekends, when everyone else is free, so say goodbye to your social life. Clients often either suddenly realise they need someone at short notice or, worse, cancel at short notice.

If you feel stir-crazy and need to get out of the house to work somewhere else, you’ll find everywhere’s too busy on weekends, or closed on Mondays if you live in some backwater. Mostly you find these things out last minute. And you only realise that places are going to be either rammed or closed when you get there. Because you’ve totally forgotten what day of the week it is.

With little to structure the day or week, and when your hobbies are your job, and when you’re constantly pushing for new paying work, you end up working all days and all hours, which all blend into one. When you’re not actively working on paying work, you’re working on your portfolio or trying to attract new clients. So you’ll be working from when you wake, and carrying on working until you physically can’t do any more. Every day.  Each day blending into the next, only punctuated by gigs where you have to actually leave the house, when you end up double and triple-checking the calendar because you’re really not sure what day of the week it is. You end up as a bit of a hermit who only interacts with clients potential or actual.

So, if you’re in a regular job, take some solace from the predictability of its structure, embrace the social interaction it affords.

And if, like me, you’re not? Mourn with me, perhaps over a coffee sometime. Just not evenings or weekends. Or Mondays apparently. And I’ll probably cancel at short notice. Sorry.

Some very mild spoilers ahead

There are plenty of things to say about John Wick Chapter 2 as a movie. I could talk about its disjointed pace, the absence of an emotional hook or the very definite Episode 2 (or is that Episode 5?) feel of it. I could talk about how excellent the death of Gianna D’Antonio was, or how I smiled when Lance Reddick’s maître d’hôtel said the Dog had been a good boy. But it struck me suddenly, amidst all the imagery of Hell and travels through the Underworld, that I may have done John Wick a disservice, …read more

Read more here:: Endless Realms