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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: amwriting (page 1 of 17)

Fighting Treason

Fighting Treason: An Allegory to Coordinated Coups and Imperial Lust

Hi, guys, I wanted to let all of you know my new novelette Fighting Treason is out on Prolific Works. You can claim your copy for free at the link provided below this article!

 
Also, you have the option of signing up for my email list where you’ll get access to all my hot, new full-length novel releases and exclusive access to more of my free works exclusive for my email list.

 

What is Fighting Treason?

Fighting Treason is a young adult epic fantasy. It’s inspired by my Libertarian views, consisting of anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-militarism, anti-police, anti-statism, pro-liberty, pro-nationalism, and small government.

 
However, Fighting Treason is much more than that.

 
It’s a story. There’s action, adventure, magic, and even paranormal activity in the work.

 
A story featuring two best friends from different backgrounds, from the highest and lowest of castes, again finding themselves in a state of misfortune.

 
But there’s more.

 
It’s a story featuring the main character showing the ability to bring themselves down to any level of society, despite their position in the upper caste.

 
Read on for the description.

 

What’s Fighting Treason About?

Fighting Treason is the story of two friends who find themselves in exile after getting framed for an assassination.

 
Knowing who’s really behind the assassination, the duo forms a small force, returning to the Kingdom to rid their land of incoming imperialists.

 

What About Themes?

Fighting Treason carries a hardcore anti-imperialist theme.

 
Once again, the rugged republic is challenged by an overbearing empire who acts as the police force of the world.

 
This empire is willing to do anything to overthrow patriotic leaders to usher in the imperial-backed hand puppets, similar to what the CIA does today as can be seen in the cases of Ukraine and Syria.

 
A secondary theme is the series overview, consisting of the series’ lowest characters playing an integral role in the story.

 
In fact, the main character, Seneca LaSalle, is one such character.

 
Despite her current place in society in the book, the girl has a dark, horrifying history which is seen in Fighting Treason’s predecessor, Fighting Tyranny, which can also be found for free on Prolific Works.

 
As mentioned, Seneca displays the ability to bring herself to different levels and it’s seen early as she bids goodbye to her commoner friends, treats her maid not only with respect but as a friend while finding her best friend, Prince Neo, rather annoying.

 
Seneca knows what it’s like to grow up in an oppressed state, as she’d done in her home country of Tamuria.

 
Now living in Ddraigoch (named after the Red Dragon, Y Ddraig Goch), Seneca’s living situation is now greater than ninety-nine percent of the population, but she’s constantly haunted by her dark history.

 
She’s the classic example of a girl who’s seen the bottom, and now she’s ready to see the top.

 

Neo Skyehawk

The Series’ namesake, Neo Skyehawk is the Crown Prince, Heir to the Ddraigoch Throne. Neo’s never been thrilled with his high-ranking position.

 
The founder of the sport shotball, Neo’s life’s ambition is to grow and spread his sport throughout the known world.

 
But like all Crown Princes, Neo has responsibility.

 
He’s forced to make appearances everywhere, lauded by the masses for no apparent reason, according to him.

 
Neo loves dressing like and blending in with commoners, wishing he was one of them, but noting once that his commoner friends long to be in his position, as Prince.

 
Despite Neo’s insistence on living the common man’s life, he’s always finding himself in terrible trouble and on the run with Seneca.

 
In Fighting Treason, Neo faces his toughest challenge yet when he’s exiled from his own nation.

 

Conclusion

We all have themes in our works. We have a message bleeding through the pages that hold true us.

 
Our themes are why we write and continue to release both short-length, as the Neo Skyehawk Series is, and full-length, as my Lord of Columbia Series has become.

 
So, go ahead, make the claim to the work and sign up for my email list for even more updates on how my works are coming, and on the continuity of spreading the message of liberty.

 
I’d like to thank all of my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

 

 

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History Behind Lord of Columbia

Three Worlds Meet

Since I’m giving my main characters a round of applause in Northern Knights, today I want to cover the history of some of my backstory characters and how they arrived in the New World.

 
Northern Knights centers on Cain, a Dom Toretto-like lead character who shares some qualities with James “Sawyer” Ford from Lost, Han Solo from Star Wars, and even Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

 
But, what happened before Cain? How was the New World shaped? We must go all the way back, dating to Gaia’s (the world in which the series is set which is not much different from our own) version of the Middle Ages to tell an epic tale on how a group of ambitious people ended up in Columbia, known in East Gaia as the Western End of the World?

 
Let’s give a rundown.

 

From the Dunes of the Arkaanaman Empire

Their name was al-Saad, in the Arkaanaman Empire. A noble trader, Bash al-Saad traveled as far as Atlantis, located near the continent of Eura in the Atlantean Sea. There, al-Saad heard Atlantean tales of a land further beyond Atlantis, which many in Eura spoke of as Beyond the Western End of the World.

 
Excited, al-Saad returned to Arkaanaman to speak with Sultan Mustafa Hakim. al-Saad stated he heard the true story of the Atlanteans’ journey Beyond the Western End of the World and requested funding in Arkaan crescents to take him where no man from Arkaanaman had ever stepped foot.

 
Still, Mustafa denied al-Saad’s request and forbade him to speak of such lands to the public under the threat of death.

 
Over time, al-Saad confided in his descendants of the great lands Beyond the Western End of the World. Telling them to never share such tales with the public, he concocted stories of the people living there and what they looked like. He invented different cultures and languages for each.

 
Long after Bash al-Saad died, his grandson, Rasheed al-Saad, met with Eurean traders, who told a tale of a King and Queen from the Southlandic Isles fading from existence. Rasheed caught the next ship to Southland, now the mother country of the world power, the Southpoint Empire.

 
Southpoint officials informed Rasheed the disappeared King and Queen came from nearby Ddraigoch, located to the west of Southland, where his kind would be the norm.
Upon arriving in Ddraigoch, Rasheed met with a talented teenage Knight, George Santos. Santos told the tale of the missing King and Queen and that his own ancestor, David ap Santos, was a good friend and student of the couple. George stated it’d “be a good guess” if the lost King and Queen sought the lands Beyond the Western End of the World.

 
Upon further inquiry, Rasheed found the King and Queen went missing over three-hundred years prior, and the teenage Santos was leading a crew to such lands to annex into the Southpoint Empire, which Ddraigoch also belonged to. Naturally, Rasheed relished the thought of embarking on a journey to the New World and perhaps discovering what happened to the lost King and Queen.

 

Journey to A New World

Intrigued by Rasheed, Santos invited him to join as a crew leader along with his ship’s captain, Sio Leistung, who initially held animosity toward Rasheed due to his olive skin color. However, Rasheed’s intelligence proved superior and he was a brilliant navigator. Feeling positive and negative Spirit vibes, he saved Santos and his crew much heartache and headache when a storm was nearby.

 
Rasheed was gifted in Spirit control, something long tabooed in Eura, however, anyone possessing element control ability, if they belonged to a higher caste, could openly control it. Those from Ddraigoch, however, acted different toward Spirit Masters, allowing them to practice their ability until they united with Southland and Northland in the early days of the Southpoint Empire. When Ddraigoch merged, it too became bound to treat Spirit Masters as such.

 
After three weeks at sea since departing from nearby Atlantis, they reached land. Like in his grandfather’s tales, the New World, which Santos named Columbia after the rumor that a captain named Columbo Pucci “stumbled upon” unknown lands centuries ago, primitive society existed.

 
Debate arose on what to do with whom Leistung termed the Savages, “as they have no real society or religion. Barely human.”

 
Santos retorted, “each culture is unique within its own and perhaps mass multiculturalism doesn’t work. We should leave them to their own business.”

 
“Nonsense,” Sio said, “I’m taking a crew over there tomorrow and we’ll show them how to tend to the land like true humans.”

 

Rasheed Picks A Side

After much bickering between Santos and Leistung, Rasheed found these reddish-skinned, dark-haired people resembled and took to him, despite his Middle Eastern heritage.

 
When Rasheed implied to Leistung these Native Columbian people should be left to exercise free will, Leistung grew furious and threatened to exile anyone taking Santos’ side in the debate.

 
Leistung gave Rasheed a final choice. Columbian society or exile. After considering he had a family and others he wished to bring over, Rasheed placed his loyalty with Leistung. And by doing so, he held his high-ranking status in Columbia, generation after generation, until his great-great-grandson, Shaman, married a woman of full-blooded Ddraigoch descent.

 
Leistung ordered Rasheed to make his surname to sound more Columbian in nature, and therefore, more like a Southpoint name, and as a result, changed all records of his family from al-Saad to Storm.

Shaman’s Columbia

Shaman exhibited similar traits to Rasheed. A thirst for adventure, ambition for a high-ranking office, and pledged loyalty to Columbia, and therefore, Southpoint. King James of Southpoint recognized Shaman’s great political achievements and nominated him as Supreme Leader of the Columbian Colonies.

 
Shaman’s first challenge was mobilizing a Columbian force to fight the Lourdeans and their Native Columbian allies invading from the north and the Western Wild. After decisive victories all over Columbia and annexing some of Kanata and the Western Wild from Lourdes, Storm soon found himself as a key figure in newly crowned King Rooney’s Southpoint Empire.

 
Per family tradition, Shaman sent his oldest daughter to the prestigious Summit University.

 
And if I ever come across an interesting extended story on Shaman’s rule over Columbia, or what happened after King Rooney was crowned, I’ll be sure to include it in a future book in the Lord of Columbia Series.

Your Hero’s Journey: Relay Purpose, Hope, Vision

Write to Inspire the Masses

Ah, the typical American lifestyle.

 
How great is it?

 
Many of us wake up, go to work, make money, come home, relax, eat what we want for the most part, watch our favorite TV programs, go to bed, and repeat for five to six days. On weekends, or our day off, we’re free to do whatever we wish without stress from the workday holding us back.

 

Once Upon A Time

I felt this way. During my hardcore fitness days when personal training was my only gig and my workouts were the only thing on my mind, life was good—no—great. Life. Was. Great.

 
It was everything I ever wanted, once upon a time. I had my dream job, did two workouts, and had each week preplanned. Nothing could beat it.

 
Then, it all changed.

 
For some of us, it’s the epiphany, the self-discovery, the realization that we’re just drones in the game of corporate-owned—everything. Everywhere we look we see reminders of this. Or government-owned—everything.

 
Even our favorite programs, from sports to our favorite shows we’re reminded. The news, too. We’re told what’s in, what’s out, how to look, how to dress, how to act, how to think, how to do this and how to do that. If not, we don’t fit in and we’re outcasts.

 
If we aren’t at a dance club or a bar every Friday night until we reach age fifty (or older) we’re weird. When we choose to remain indoors or keep to ourselves outdoors we’re weirdos. If we’d rather daydream than watch TV we must have something mentally wrong with us.

 
Just everywhere, people are telling us what to do and how to think and it came to the point where I said, “No more!”

 
I’m sick of it. I’m done. I’m finished playing this little game. I want off the ride and I want off the ride now. And even now, I’m still reminded each day of the corporate-government slavery we’re trapped under, starting with federal reserve notes, or the police force, or the military, or a government investigation, and just being flat-out reminded I’m a drone and I should leave my power to others and for these monopolies to carry out their jobs, it’s my patriotic duty to give up some freedoms—enough!

 
I’m done, you should be done, we all should be done playing this little game of macro-chess, or macro-monopoly, or macro-risk. No, I don’t want benefits given to us due to wage freezes back in the 1940’s which is why companies gave the health benefit out through a middleman in the first place and these days everyone’s demanding more of this or more of that. No, I don’t want your socialized medicine, your socialized retirement package, social security, Medicare, or any of it.

 
We’re people and not drones. We’re individuals and not uniformed across a broad spectrum. No, I’m not going to fall for the people are people ruse; you can tell everyone’s different by looking at everyone. Even identical twins have something different about them.

 
Well, everyone’s the same on the inside—no they’re not. We’ve different skeletal structures, different sized hearts, brains, chromosomes, DNA, do I make myself clear?
So no, we’re not uniformed, it’s the grandest lie in the books.

 
Sorry for the long introduction, but this is why I write. I write to inspire the masses and I hope and pray you’re writing to inspire the masses. Sure, some of us might write for pleasure but you can still write what you want with your reader in mind. Always write with your reader in mind.

 

Challenging Mainstream Thought

When it comes to challenging mainstream thought, I assume I’m writing for thought criminals. Even if you’re following me due to receiving my motivational posts, you’re still committing thoughtcrime, which is really libertarianism because I’m trying to motivate you to fire your boss and rely on yourself one day instead of some corporation, government, or whomever you’re making a lot of money for and working really hard to see their dreams come true at the expense of your own.

 
I will never, ever, ever write and tell you guys to conform. Ever. Now, I’m sure I have nonconformists from both ends of the spectrum and the bulk are libertarians or libertarian-minded. And many of you are writers.

 
Let me tell you, right now, to write to give your readers hope, purpose, and vision. If you own a blog, have something in it for your readers. What’s in it for them? Why are they coming to your site?

 
What’s in it for my readers?

 
They can see a different viewpoint than they’d normally see under normal circumstances, mainstream circumstances. The mindless entertainment or the psychological emotional ways both your favorite TV shows and news stations put you under to go along with and abide by their social and political agendas—it’s disgusting!

 
And I don’t care if you watch CNN, Fox, ABC, MSNBC, they’re all one in the same. Owned by corporate giants who care not a thing for you and a lot of the billion dollar profits they receive. Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News and he’s on the board of advisors for Genie Oil. Ben Sherwood is the President of ABC, Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks, which happens to own ESPN. Sherwood also happens to be on the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), who testifies before Congress regarding foreign affairs.
Guys, it’s all a game. Write to wake up the masses. Write to wake up the people.

 

Entertain your tribe. Build your tribe. Know your tribe. Interact with your tribe. Tell your tribe the truth. Research like hell and tell your tribe the truth.

 
Hey, Republican, Democrat, it makes no difference; they’re on two sides of the same coin. Ditto for the media. Sure, they have their differences. Sure, the masses on either side of the spectrum can’t stand one another. But you know what? Look at foreign policy. Seventeen years of the same foreign policy. Ten years of Republicans, eight years of Democrats. Guys, enough is enough.

 

Purpose, Hope, Vision

These three criteria are the main reasons why I type words onto a screen every single day. Thousands upon thousands of words. Give your reader purpose. Let them know they’re better than what they are and yes, they can become more than what they are.

 

And no, they don’t have to follow and play this petty little game in which we’re all subject until we wake up and realize we’re being played by people who tend to care about us.

 
Give them hope. Tell them they can and will change the world for the positive because the more people who get up, or in the writer’s case remains seated, and do something, to let people know what’s up. What’s really up. Through a service, a way that will allow them to earn a living doing what they love, fulfilling their dream, with a serious, but positive and hopeful message. When we unite as one, we can do great things.

 
Give them vision. Open their eyes. Tell them there are other ways and you don’t have to obey and conform. They’re told to obey and conform the second they step foot in public schools, which are run by government. If one goes to a private school, they’re in the government’s hands, too. I know plenty of people who went to private school and public school. They’re a common denominator.

 
But you know what?

 
It doesn’t need to be this way.

 
Truth doesn’t come from authority, which is what we have drilled into our mind in school. Truth is truth. The truth is the truth, and if ninety-nine percent of individuals believe in and spread the lie, passing it off as the truth and one-percent of individuals question the official story and spread the truth, the truth resides with the one-percent questioning the mainstream lie and telling the tabooed truth.

 
Give. These. Readers. Purpose. Hope. Vision.
Guys, give them vision. Write in ways that encourages them to think for themselves, to discover the real truth, and that the truth isn’t what some media outlet, teacher, or someone in a position of authority told them.

 

It’s Okay!

Tell them it’s okay to have differing opinions. It’s okay to go against the grain. It’s okay to go off the path well-traveled. It’s okay to be unique. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be a nonconformist.

 
And don’t let anyone, no parent, extended family member, teacher, anyone tell you how to think and how to act. We were born with Constitutional Rights. We were born kicking and screaming. We were born free. Free to think and act how we wish. We weren’t born to follow and we definitely weren’t born to give up any kind of right we’re born with that comes from a Higher Power.

 

Conclusion

Guys, write your manifesto. Write to inspire the masses. Write to tell people to think, act, feel, do whatever they want. I’m not saying to go out in the middle of Manhattan in the middle of winter and force it down peoples’ throats, as some do, but be yourself, and inspire others to be themselves.

 
Give your tribe purpose, hope, and vision.

 
We’re all born with a purpose and our purpose isn’t working like a slave to someone else, be it corporate or government in nature. Our purpose doesn’t involve making someone else rich. I couldn’t care less if you work for a business that reminds you each day it’s a business. You’re an individual, you’re a human, and you have the right to build your own business, build your empire.

 
Give them hope. Tell them yes, they can. Be honest about the roadblocks ahead, but anyone can get over and around roadblocks. Anyone, if they have the drive, can move mountains. We’re all born with such ability. We’re all capable of utilizing this ability. Move freaking mountains. Yes, it may be hard. Yes, it may sound impossible, but move freaking mountains and you’ll be glad you did.

 
And finally, give them vision. Give them a path to reach their desires. Light the path. Tell them it’s not easy, nor it should be. The greater the struggle, the greater the reward. The greater the challenge, the greater the journey. No, it’s not easy, but the number one rule of writing anything is this: Put your characters into terrible trouble and write to see how they escape it. Put them in more trouble, and keep writing to find out how they escape it.
This is your hero’s journey. This is your path. It’s time for you to embark. It’s time to put fear aside and go for what you’ve always wanted.

 
Thanks for reading.

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens Predicted the Ohio Valley’s Future

When he wrote his famous first line, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ Well, for two cities separated by a river, connected by a bridge, the truth regarding how Charles Dickens predicted the Ohio Valley’s future couldn’t have been more true.

 
For one city, it is the best of times. For the other, it is the worst of times.

 
For one, it’s the age of wisdom. For the other, the age of foolishness.

 
For one, it’s the epoch of belief. For its neighbor, it’s the epoch of incredulity.

 
On the east side of the Ohio, it’s the season of Light. On the west side of the Ohio, it’s the season of darkness.

 
To the east, the spring of hope. To the west, the winter of despair.

 
One city has everything before them. The other, nothing before.

 
One side is headed direct to Heaven. The other is headed in the opposite direction.

 

Weirton, West Virginia, the Best of Times. Steubenville, Ohio, the Worst of Times

Despite a previous article hyping up Steubenville, and Weirton, to an extent, regarding its pros in its cost of living, easy startups for online entrepreneurs, and breathtaking scenery, one city has a dark side, the other, a light side.

 
Two towns, separated by the Ohio River in the Upper Ohio Valley. A land George Washington himself once surveyed, reaching an island in the middle of the Ohio now known as Browns Island, the site of a coke plant explosion in the 1980’s.

 
Two towns where my own family has a rich history, whose counties are derived from famous historical figures like John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson. Two towns which thrived once upon a time, when the steel industry reached its peak, only to fall together into near-disrepair.

 
One city has since recovered and is on the fast track to becoming a hot shopping center in the not-so-distant future. Eighteen new businesses in one year, an increasingly diverse population. One town is charging toward the future.

 
The other? Lucky to see the light of day again after losing yet another round of businesses…but they did gain a Taco Bell! Other than that, I can’t say what other businesses are coming in because, well, it’s a sad story.

 
Weirton, West Virginia is now classified as one of the (small) cities to watch.
Steubenville, Ohio is still losing population at a rapid pace.

 
Once upon a time, the two cities couldn’t have been more alike, both falling together.

 
Today, they couldn’t be more different.

 

The Old Steel Industry

Located just twenty-five and thirty-five minutes outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, these two Rust Belt cities make up your stereotypical Appalachia.

 
Twangy dialects, blue collar-heavy workers, and high school sports-crazed, complete with hills, valleys, and forests, Hollywood has done a fine job when depicting the area in films, one of the more recent films being Super Eight, filmed in Weirton itself.

 
When people think of Appalachia, they often think of oil rigs, steel mills, power plants, farmlands, and coal mines.

 

A writer documenting the area?

Well, the reputation is changing in Weirton, from depressed former steel mill town whose heyday resides in the memories of the Baby Boomer generation to one with a future bright enough to make anyone whose goal was once to leave the area do a double-take and think twice.

 
Why?

 
Opportunity awaits.

 

As for Steubenville?

If it wasn’t for high school football, which reached international news outlets for all the wrong reasons back in 2012, you can Google it, I’m not going to talk about it. But either way, Steubenville High School Football is the lone entity keeping the city going, as they’ve won three State Championships since 2006.

 
Other than football, what else is there?

 
The Fort Steuben Mall is almost finished.

 
As mentioned numerous times, the steel mills are gone.

 
Downtown has seen better days, where old murals remained from a time since lost.
People are closing shops, unable to afford rising rent costs or are no longer able to make a profit.

 
Political corruption ran rampant in the 1990’s, with the police force involved, and rumors state this is still ongoing. Again, I’m not talking about it in this article, but you can do your own Google search. The city was sued for millions, that’s all I’m going to say.
And longtime residents continue to flee, something ongoing since the 1970’s.

 

As for Weirton?

Some say it started with the strip mall last year. Others say it started years ago with the building of Weirton Medical Center, but the long-term plan took time. Well, if that’s the case it’s starting, just starting, to pay its dividends.

 
Even more interesting, as far east as Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, one finds advertisements leading to Weirton. Robinson is a good twenty minutes east, and billboards headed west hype Weirton like none other. From its restaurants, to WMC, to other new and local business, Weirton has become a city on the rise.

 
It lies in the hope of many that Steubenville can one day follow Weirton’s blueprint.

 

Time will tell, but as of now, it remains bleak.

The Winning Hand

Success Doesn’t Involve Luck, it Involves Skill

Building the winning hand involves skill, skill, and more skill. Luck is irrelevant. I’m not saying a few don’t get lucky, but skill is the name of the game.

 

I have one pet peeve about those who can’t succeed. Here are a few redundant excuses.

 
1. He had help along the way I didn’t have.

 
2. He inherited the money I’ll never inherit.

 
3. He had connections I’ll never have.

 
4. He got lucky.

 
5. He had natural talent, I don’t.

 
I can go on and on, but it would take a few thousand words and I know few of you are willing to read that much. What I’m saying is people will play the excuse card time and again. Truth is, the winning hand involves doesn’t involve luck, it involves skill.

 
During my days as a trainer, I knew people, clients and members alike, state they couldn’t lose weight and get lean because they didn’t have the genetics.

 

Okay, some people have poor genetics; most don’t. Most have average genetics which are capable of one attaining a lean look.

 
And most can succeed in their given field if they put their mind to it. Here’s another list…people like lists, so I’m making lists here. To uncover the winning hand, one must:

 
1. Find your passion.

 
2. Research how you can make money in the passion (we live in a society where one can make a living selling ideas. How cool is that?).

 
3. Put together a daily task list to perform. Do this every day until you make a habit.

 
4. Develop a five-year plan.

 
5. Get a “pay the bills” job.

 
6. Start earning money in your passion.

 
7. Evolve.

 

8. Build the winning hand.

 

Find Your Passion

This is easy. If something can wake you up on a Monday morning like it’s a Saturday morning, what would it be? What do you look forward to doing every day? Again, it’s easy. What do you find yourself doing, or wanting to do?

 

Research How You Can Make Money

Yeah, I know, money isn’t the primary goal, it’s the lifestyle. For me as a writer, I’d much rather work from home (in the morning and evening), a library (yes, they still exist), or a place that offers Wi-Fi.

 
Second, I’d rather not work for anyone except a loyal list of email subscribers curious to see what kind of work I come up with next. Not just that, I want to set my own numbers, earnings, and reach a goal. I want to build my own dream rather than work really hard to build someone else’s while making them a lot of money.

 
Last week, I discovered there are more than seventy ways for writers to make money. So, I chose about five niche areas I knew I’d enjoy and started researching them in addition to blogs and websites I’d like to write for.

 

Check out The Write Life, they have a boatload of information.

Put Together A Daily Task List to Perform

You know if you don’t put together a daily list, especially early, it’s going to be near-impossible to succeed in this.

 
So, after you research start putting together an action list. This action list needs to consist of eight to twelve tasks that take thirty to sixty minutes to complete.

 

Don’t worry, because even if you work a full-time job, this might consist of research more than anything else. Choose reputable sources and research them.

 
I do this even today. My go-to is The Creative Penn, but I also like Just Publishing Advice, Self Publishing Advice, Jerry Jenkins, and ALLi.

 

Develop the Five-Year Plan

I derive this from the classic professional sports team model, which includes:

 
1. Three years of building. This is by far the toughest climb and during this time, few people will understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

 
2. Playoff appearance. This relates to you breaking even, maybe quitting the ‘bills job’ which I’ll explain in a moment, and becoming a minor authority in your field. This is the point where you’re going to look back and be proud of how crazy you were for going against your better judgment.

 
3. Contention for the championship. This is where you’re recognized on a national and perhaps international scale. It’s where you’re profiting to the point you can live the lifestyle, fire your boss for good, and soar to new heights.

 
Where am I in this journey? Between Year One and Year Two, so much of this derives from tips I’ve learned via my own research. In many instances, I’m in Year One. My Freedom Flame is headed into its eighth month, I have two books published, one of which is a perma-free novella called Fighting Tyranny, and the other is my first full-length novel called Northern Knights.

 
Though I’ve been writing consistently for a little over three years, I’m still very new. If there’s one thing I’m headed into Year Two over, it’s knowing how to write fiction for the masses. Take Northern Knights, where many of my first readers never would even have picked up an urban fantasy novel, and it’s garnered good early reviews, four out of five stars on Amazon thus far.

 

Get A “Pay the Bills” Job

This is the not-so-fun part, but the good news is you only need to work enough hours to pay the bills. What’s your rent, utilities, car fuel, food, and other expenses?

 

Do the math and give yourself an extra one to two-hundred dollars per month to break even.

 
The good news for us writers is we can pitch ideas to websites, blogs, and a myriad of other outlets and we may get picked up by five to ten percent of them. This can serve as our pay the bills job.

 
Others, whose fields may require a year or so of seasoning, may need to get a dreaded normal job for a time, but that’s okay, because you may only need to work twenty hours a week if the job pays well.

 
If I were to stick with fitness for a bit, I’d love to land a gig at Orangetheory, who pay their trainers $40 to $55 an hour, depending on location and experience. This means my own pay the bills job would consist of fifteen hours a week, and that’s at the low end!

 

 

Even ten hours a week at the high end.

 

Start Making Money in Your Passion

Okay, so yeah, you’ve written a masterpiece….this is if you’re a writer. You’ve written the masterpiece and few, if anyone, is buying the book.

 
I’m cackling right now, because it’s where most question themselves and give up. Don’t even think about it.

 
Here’s why no one’s buying:

 
1. You have one book out. Why the hell would any avid reader take a chance on a new author?

 
2. You have no reviews.

 

Why the hell would any avid reader take a chance on new author if they haven’t proven themselves?

 
So, what do you do?

 
Well, in the world of writing, and if your passion isn’t writing, relate what I’m about to say to your passion, is to do something I learned twenty-three days ago and is already generating positive results.

 
1. Create something for free. Yeah, I know, it sucks, but it doesn’t have to. I enjoyed writing Fighting Tyranny; it was the one work where every character, scene, and the story came naturally.

 
2. Put an ad for something in front and in the back of the book inviting them to join an email subscriber list. Yes, you need to get an email provider. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers.

 
3. Make sure you give them an additional reward for signing up. I gave those downloading Fighting Tyranny a second free novella consisting of how the main characters met.

 
4. Put an additional ad in front and back of your book of the product you’re selling for money. If people like what they read, they may pull the trigger and buy. If they sign up for a subscription, it means they’re interested in buying from you.

 
I know what you’re asking: Why do I need to give something away I worked hard on?

 
Because, if you write like I do, where I’m writing both fiction and working on a nonfiction piece, you’re going to create a nice little backlist.

 
Know why Netflix ran Blockbuster out of business?

 
Because people could binge watch at home.

 
Well, these days, people can binge read at home.

 
What’s not to say five years from now (five-year plan) you have a list of twenty books?

 
Each book is priced between $2.99 and $4.99.

 
You must make between $60 and $100 from one person.

 
What if they prefer hard copy?

 
You just made a lot of freaking money.

 
We live in a binge culture, people. People binge.

 

Why do you think TV networks play marathons?

 

Why does NFL Sunday play a game at one, four, and eight?

 
We’re trained to binge!

 
And that’s why you put in the time and effort to create something for free.

 
So, I’ve been selling Northern Knights for one month and have made $20 in one month!

 
Fantastic, right?

 
Actually, it’s more than seven-figure indie-author Mark Dawson made in his first six months, as he jokes about bringing in $10 in royalties during his first six months as an indie-author.

 
Look, I’m happy with $20.

 
I wish I used something like Freebooksy or Books Butterfly, which may have generated me more handouts, but that’s okay. You live and learn.

 

Evolve

And the final step is to evolve. Let’s use my works, Northern Knights and Fighting Tyranny.

 

How do I get the word out on these two books?

 
Here’s what I’ve done:

 
1. I open-published Fighting Tyranny and set it for free everywhere. I used the aggregators Draft2Digital and PublishDrive to reach different online book stores. For Draft2Digital, I hit Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Overdrive, Tolino, Biblioteca, Scribd, and Playster.

 

On PublishDrive I hit iBooks, Google Play, and a few places Draft2Digital can’t reach. The goal is to place Fighting Tyranny for free on as many sites as possible. It’s also listed on Amazon at 99 cents, but I’m looking to convince them to price match.

 
2. I set up a free giveaway on InstaFreebie, a site where authors can give away books to gain exposure. Not just that, you can connect it with MailChimp and build a subscription list. Within forty-eight hours, my subscription list is over thirty, and this is over a span of two days. USE INSTAFREEBIE IF YOU’RE A NEW AUTHOR!

 
3. Like I explained earlier, I have a catchy orange and brown (don’t judge me, Steeler fans) ad in front of my books for Northern Knights for all sites except iBooks, which won’t allow links to Amazon due to it being a close competitor. This will funnel readers all over the world to Amazon to purchase the Northern Knights e-book.

 
4. Understanding globalism. While I’m no globalist (see my global affairs posts) I do understand the internet is a pipeline to a global market.

 

When I check my blog stats, I see that I’ve reached people in sixty-five countries within eight months, with my main countries outside the United States being the UK, Ireland, India, Australia, Canada, and Sweden.

 

This means I have people coming to and back to my blog in these countries, so they’re ideal marketing candidates!

 
5. Continuing Education. This involves both free research and some investment in courses. Yes, I know we hate investing our money, but look at people who invest for a living. Investors realize one thing: They can get a Return on Investment, or ROI. Think of paying as investing with hopes of getting a return.

 
6. Understanding I’m an Entrepreneur. Yes, if you’re an indie-author, you’re an entrepreneur, which means you better know how to reach others and market your work.

 

No, it doesn’t mean blasting continual buy links to social media. I do this once a week, if that, and only if I’m running a promo. Be engaging, post interesting and informative content, blog, and make your website attractive. Not just that, contact local business owners and see how they continue to stay in business. They can be in any field, not just yours. They’re full of knowledge and they WILL help you out, especially if you’re a writer like I am and pose zero threat to stealing customers.

 
I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

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