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  • The Toughest Part About Being a Writer/Artist

    A.P. Fuchs Books
    Some books from the A.P. Fuchs library.

    Full transparency: I’ve never deliberately looked up blog topics (so far as I can recall) but for fun, this morning I decided to do that and see what’s currently out there for blogging ideas. “The Toughest Part About Being a . . .” prompt was something I came across and, maybe because I’m still groggy, resonated with me the most this fine winter morning.

    So that said, here is the toughest part about being a writer/artist as per how I feel at the moment I’m writing this:

    Getting respect.

    When people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I write stories and draw, I’m met with two general responses: “Oh man, that’s so cool!” or, “That’s nice. Maybe one day you’ll get a real job instead of playing all day.” The latter isn’t explicitly stated but is certainly implied by tone, facial expression, and body language, all with an air of disappointment.

    The first crowd is, of course, the most pleasant to deal with. Their eyes light up and they smile and are genuinely happy for me. They often become my readers and usually follow up with me the next time I see them and ask how things are going and if I’m still doing it (the “still doing it” part hinting they understand it’s an unstable job but they have my back and are in my corner even if my answer is “No”).

    The second crowd is the one I don’t understand. The general formula for a working adult is you get out of bed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, then get on with your evening, which may or may not include doing more work. That’s the formula I’ve lived by my entire working life–whether working in the arts or elsewhere–and the formula every working adult I know follows. The only difference is I work from home. So when I “go to work,” my commute is measured in hallways and staircases as I make my way down to the Central’s bunker to get started. I work all day–and get paid for it–turn the computer off, then reverse my commute and wind up back upstairs with the rest of the household. But mention you write stories and draw pictures for a living and suddenly you don’t have a real job (see the “On Freelancing for a Living (This is a Job)” blog post). Upon thinking about it, it’s not even the working from home part that seems to rub people the wrong way (though this can happen). It’s the specific what I do for a living. I’ve seen firsthand where others who work from home who don’t write stories and draw pictures are met with a metaphorical handshake. Me? It’s a metaphorical hands-in-their-pockets.

    There is a disconnect that happens–usually with the older generation(s)–where, in the old days, work was something you left the house for and something you didn’t always enjoy. Work was actual work, like a chore, or work was something that demanded such a hard effort that every day ended the same when one came home: a collapse on the couch from mental and/or physical exhaustion. I believe the disconnect also happens because a lot of people tend to forget the entertainment they consume had to be created by somebody. Those books you read? Somebody took a lot of time writing them. Those comics you love? A group of people had to spend a lot of time writing, drawing, coloring, lettering, and printing them. Those movies you go to every Friday night? A whole slew of people had to go somewhere to play dress-up and pretend for a camera to tell you a story. That video game? Tons of people. Tons of artists. Even the very computer or smartphone this entry is being read on was dreamed up and sketched out by people who went to work. Somebody had to write all the code used in that phone. Somebody had to draw all those app icons. Somebody had to make science fiction science fact. Oh, and they got paid to do it because they need food and shelter, too.

    Why is my job not normally respectable? Is it the non-steady paycheck? Is it the fact I like it? Is it because I’d rather spend a third of every day enjoying myself versus dragging myself through the motions? Is it because I made up my mind and chose what I was going to do with the old statement that you can either work towards making your own dreams come true or you can work for someone else to make their dreams come true?

    Why does a lawyer get the handshake and I don’t? Why does a doctor? Or an accountant? Or a factory worker or a mechanic? Their job puts food on the table and keeps a roof over their loved ones’ heads just like mine does. My income goes towards food and bills, getting stuff for the kids and gas in the car. It buys Christmas presents and pays for date nights. It funds life just like their job funds life.

    I work. You work. We all work.

    And like I posted to social media forever ago, I want to repeat here: Everything is art. Every. Single. Thing. Creation is God’s canvas and nature is His painting. The stuff humans have made? It’s all based on someone dreaming and asking themselves, “What if . . .?” Then writing it down and drawing it out. Designing your couch is an art form. Writing the code for your car’s computer is an art form. Coming up with how to safely make a handheld drill is an art form. And so on.

    Everything is art.

    In the end, I’ve learned to live with the hits and learned my career choice will be frowned upon by others. But there are also others who don’t frown and instead smile. Those are the people who give respect. The others? I’ll still respect their work because they are my fellow human beings, and perhaps one day I’ll get the same occupational respect in return.

    Author’s note: This article isn’t about complaining. It’s pointing out a disconnect that some people seem to have and is hopefully encouraging to those who might be in the same boat.


  • Status Report – 110719

    Project Media Notebook Page
    A peek at the first page of my winter project notebook.

    Status report for 110719:

    This week was largely spent on Project Media, which introduced the redesign of this blog, my social media pages, and my Patreon page. It took a lot of time behind the scenes here at the Central, which is fine, but by default it interfered with getting other work done.

    We’re also doing a big promo push for the Patreon page this week because winter is here and I need to keep warm so I can continue making stuff for you guys. If you’d like to support me on Patreon and get treated to a whole slew of entertainment, please do so here.

    Currently pondering: Roll-out plan for Project Jackass, overall plan for Axiom-man (with surprises), Deadline juggling.


  • New Patreon Page Design

    Yesterday, I revealed my new Patreon page design on social media.

    As part of my redesign efforts for my webpages–this blog and social media–I also redesigned my Patreon page with a new banner and color scheme. My first design was a little distant whereas this new one invites you to immerse yourself in my Realm of Heroes and Monsters.

    This is a screenshot of the new page:

    Author and artist A.P. Fuchs's Patreon page

    Also, a new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine went live yesterday so be sure to check it out for a just a buck.

    Patreon is one of the best ways you can support me outside of grabbing my books for your personal library. I have some cool stuff planned for Patreon for over the winter so now’s a good time to get in on the ground floor, catch up on what’s there, and get ready to be entertained as the temperature drops and we’re locked indoors together for a season.

    A quick reminder of what is currently offered:

    For $1, you get access to an ongoing serial novel (minimum of one chapter posted every two weeks). Current creature feature playing is Gigantigator Death Machine, an homage to classic B-grade monster horror following a group of friends on a cabin getaway only to meet something sinister at the docks. You also get regular Patreon-only blog posts.

    For $2, you get complete access to the serial novel as well as Patreon-only essay blog posts exploring the ins and outs of publishing and tricks on getting your work done so you can share your craft with the world. (Minimum of one essay per month.) Plus regular Patreon-only blog posts.

    For $5, you get access to the serial novel, Patreon-only essay blog posts, a look behind-the-scenes (whether text, photo, or video; advanced looks at works in progress), a nifty A.P. Fuchs/Canister X Official Membership Card mailed out to you with your name and membership number, and regular Patreon-only blog posts.

    For $30, you become a member of the A.P. Fuchs Book-of-the-month Club. Each month I will select a book or comic book of mine from my inventory and mail it out to you complete with signature for the duration of your Gold Standard patronage. You also have access to all other reward tiers, including your membership card.

    A public thank you to those who have already shown me support on Patreon and a public thank you in advance to those who join the journey as this post goes live.


  • Heavy Broadcast Mode Initiated – Welcome to Winter

    November Winter Tree
    From outside the window this morning.

    Awhile back I decided that November 1, 2019, would mark the day I officially went into winter hibernation mode aka Heavy Broadcast Mode. My work plate is mighty heavy and I need to keep my head low and just get things done. That said, I will be off the social feeds until spring. However, that doesn’t mean my feeds will be an empty desert. I’ll be broadcasting social content to you from here at the Central, but if you need to interact, please send me an email as I won’t be checking PMs.

    One of the major tasks I need to do this winter is overhaul the website. The content will remain but the programming language is dated and I need to bring things up to speed if I’m to stay relevant as we progress down the Timeline of All Things. The aim is to do that this weekend, so if you come by the site between now and next week, don’t fret if things look in disarray. I’m hoping for a smooth transition and nobody is none the wiser, but I’ve also been around Web stuff long enough to know glitches happen when all you want to do is execute what is supposed to be a simple procedure(s).

    Today also marks the beginning of a new month, which means a new month starts up on my Patreon page, in turn opening the gates for new chapters in my ongoing serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, essays, behind-the-scenes stuff, and more. Please join me and my other patrons as we embark on November’s journey by going here.

    What is all this winter stuff I keep talking about? I don’t want to give away all the surprises, so I’ll give you a vague summary instead:

    • Plan for the 2020 convention/book signing season
    • Bring projects old and new up to speed
    • Release new book(s) and comic(s)
    • Build up the YouTube channel
    • Deliver solid content on Patreon
    • Partially rebuild the media machine
    • Engage in interviews through various channels
    • Try not to die from overworking

    There. Straight forward. Just work.

    Enjoy the weekend.


  • Inktober 2019 has Concluded

    Inktober 2019 Pumpkin Cake
    Fred (Fredrikus) the dog as a pumpkin cake.

    Earlier this month, I invited you to join me on my Inktober 2019 journey. Today, that journey comes to an end. This was my first year doing Inktober and it was honestly a lot of fun. It has been nearly two decades since I drew in a sketchbook every day. The last time was in animation school way back when people still carried swords to fend off invading armies. And while the daily Inktober sketches are done, I have a little more work ahead of me. My Inktober efforts were shared via social media every day this month, but I realize not everyone saw them, so the next step is to create collage images showcasing the month as well as a video for my YouTube channel. Stay tuned for those. Feel free to check out my social media in the meantime if you can’t wait/want to play catch-up.

    Thank you to everyone who followed along this year!


  • The Snow has Arrived – Event Planning this Winter

    Snowy Yard
    A snowy yard this morning

    The snow that hit earlier this month had melted but this morning the yard is white. It may or may not stick around, but even if it goes away, it’ll be back with a vengeance because snow is what we do six months of the year here in Winnipeg. And while the possibility of doing things outside gets greatly reduced during the winter months, being locked indoors for half a year has its advantages when you make books and comics for a living.

    You get to just, simply, work. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for out-of-the-studio excursions in the New Year.

    If you go to the Convention and Book Signing Schedule section of this site, you’ll see that I didn’t do events in 2019. There are lots of reasons for this, some of which had to do with being unwell. With the loss of the Central Canada Comic Con–my “default” show for every year except for last year–I have to do some research for local events over the winter so I can book on time for the 2020 season. If I succeed in what I have planned for the winter, then I’ll have a lot of new material for next year’s shows plus any book signings along the way. There has also been talk here at the Central about leaving the province–possibly even the country–for a few events next year. Once dates and locales are locked down, I will announce them here. I’m eager to connect with fans again at these venues. Always a joy to see them.

    In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to just working throughout the winter season. It’s been a good long while since I was able to create without hindrances. I can’t wait to get back to it again.

    Ps. A new behind-the-scenes entry is scheduled to go on my Patreon page later this week. Join the journey to catch the post plus other behind-the-scenes goodies already on the site. Of course, getting access to a serial novel, essays, patron-only posts and patron-first announcements along with an exclusive membership card isn’t a bad deal either.


  • Creator Breakfast with G.M.B. Chomichuk and Jonathan Ball (Networking)

    A.P. Fuchs writing by G.M.B. Chomichuk
    Sketch of A.P. Fuchs at the keyboard by G.M.B. Chomichuk

    This morning I had a wonderful breakfast at Clementine Cafe here in Winnipeg with writer/illustrator G.M.B. Chomichuk and writer/editor Jonathan Ball. And while networking wasn’t the reason I chose to see them, it was something that inevitably happened given that all three of us work in the business.

    I usually see these dudes at book signings or on the convention circuit, but since I’ve been away from events for a season, it was a pleasure to have a sit-down with them and talk shop and catch up after so long. It was also an opportunity to share work habits and pick each other’s brains over how we do things and what works and what doesn’t, tell stories, and learn a thing or two.

    Today I came away with two wins, and in order of occurrence they were: A dynamite breakfast. Had the Turkish eggs and it was brilliant. The second was a writing gig. I’ll reveal more details about that here on the blog when I’m allowed to.

    Most creators would rather be holed up in their studio or office and just work. And while that has its charm and is important in order to get things done, it’s also critical time is spent with those in the business. First and foremost, it’s a chance to simply be friends with like-minded people and realize you’re not alone in the universe regarding your creative quirks. Secondly, it might lead to opportunities to use your craft you might not otherwise have had.

    In summary, go have breakfast with other creatives when you can. It yields positive friendships and, sometimes, a job.

    Networking, man. Networking.


  • Snow: A Storm’s Coming (Winter Deadlines)

    Snow in the yard

    Snow usually hits Winnipeg around the end of October. This year it has come early. In fact, it’s snowing as I type this. Those white patches in the photo above are snow. Rumor has it a storm might hit this weekend. No matter. Since it’s Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend, I’ll be safe inside eating turkey.

    The arrival of snow means it’s time for me to start getting my winter productivity plan underway, which is a variation on how, and what, I’m working on now.

    I’m hoping this winter season is an opportunity to catch up on releasing books that should have come out while I was ill and, possibly, create some new ones. The next step in the process is to sit down and ponder timelines then break those general timelines down into smaller steps so deadlines can be adhered to. (My newsletter is a great place to keep up to date on timelines and work being done.)

    Stay warm.

    – APF

    Ps. Tomorrow, a new chapter of my ongoing creature feature serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, hits Patreon! Don’t miss out.


  • On Taking a Break

    As much as I tout working hard and keeping busy, a person also needs time out now and then to rest and recuperate so they can go back to working hard and keeping busy. Proper rest ensures you do your job well and produce quality work. It also keeps you from falling ill or just plain feeling crappy. I’m personally still working on knowing when to take a break, but the days I do allow myself a breather are treasured and are appreciated after the fact when I feel rested and restored.

    It’s all about balance. Too many rest days and you won’t get anywhere. Too little rest days and your work will slide.

    Balance. Yep. Still working on that one.


  • On Getting Things Done

    Very simply, if you want to get anywhere in life, you gotta get things done. Books don’t write themselves. Drawings don’t draw themselves. Work doesn’t work itself, and so on. You want something, earn it. End of story. Discussion over.