• Member Since 17th Dec, 2011
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I'm just here to write.

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I Went to the Other Side, and All I Saw Were Stars · 9:25pm Dec 24th, 2021

Season's greetings, seasoned veterans of the DannyJ Experience. Hope you're all having a merry Christmas. As we head into 2022 for the next chapter of this progressively worsening nightmare that we all live in, I wanted to touch base with you all so that you know what to expect from me going forwards (in terms of writing, I mean; I remain an unpredictable force of nature otherwise).

So here we go.

Story updates:

In 2021, I attempted to update all of my incomplete fics at least once each. This probably sounds laughable to all of you, because on FimFiction, the only updates you saw were one for Dragonfall in February and one for Something Cosmic in September. So in MLP terms, it was actually the most unproductive I've been in years. But that's because I was splitting my attention a lot. In that time, I was also focusing on my long-neglected Fallout fics. Survivor's Testament and Wanderer's Diary: Other Sides both updated this year, but I was also doing rewrites for all of my older Fallout fics while porting them to AO3, as well as a rewrite for Discord's House of Chaos.

So it's not like I was that unproductive this year if we're counting all of my different projects (especially the new stories I haven't even released yet), but regardless, I kind of fucked up this plan. I guess that's what I get for having thirteen different incomplete stories on the docket at once. There's a lot of different reasons this went awry, from the aforementioned multi-tasking, to real life distractions, to the sheer amount of work needed to write chapters of my bigger stories like Fire Burning and Van Helsing. But whatever the reasons, I think it's clear that I might have set the bar too high for myself, trying to write one update per month on top of everything else I was doing. Perhaps that wasn't a realistic goal.

I still want to update everything I've been neglecting, but obviously I need to adjust strategies somewhat, so from this point onward, here's the plan:

  1. Courier's Journal is my current top priority, having been left without an update since 2013, and requiring the most work to get another chapter out. As of right now, I'm working on a full rewrite of chapter one and I'm running a test playthrough for chapter two (which is annoying the fuck out of me with its technical issues, but that's Vegas, baby). I have no idea when chapter two will actually be out exactly, but I'm gonna get it out sometime in 2022 even if it kills me.
  2. To Keep the Fire Burning and Van Helsing are my next top priorities after Courier's Journal. They've both been left without updates since 2018, and their chapters run significantly longer, so I need to focus on them for a while to get them out. Because so few people read Van Helsing, I'll probably prioritise TKTFB and try to get that out in the first half of the year, and maybe push Helsing back to Halloween again. I wanted to have it out this past Halloween, but the last stretch of 2021 really kicked my ass, and Helsing really does need a lot of attention to get right; I'm expecting the chapter to be about 40K words long by the end. I'm not making either of these updates guarantees for this year, but I'm going to try.
  3. Discord's House of Chaos and The Doctor and the Master are next, having also not been updated since 2013, but requiring a lot less effort to update. As a result, even though they're point number three on this list, one of these two will probably (hopefully) be the next story update you actually see from me.
  4. After that's all taken care of, I want to focus on Survivor's Testament, Dragonfall, and Something Cosmic, in that order. Though they all updated relatively recently, they're my popular stories which actually have an active audience, or at least they did when last I left off with them, so I'll try to update them all at least once this year. Maybe even twice if I'm really feeling it, because audience engagement really helps my motivation as a writer, so they feel pretty easy to write.
  5. Wanderer's Diary: Other Sides is next, even though it updated in 2021, just because I have the most motivation for it of the remaining projects on the list. I'm tentatively going to say to expect an update for it this year if I find the time for it.
  6. Beyond this point, we're in uncharted territory. Subject is Sedated, The Winter, and Ragnarok all last updated in 2020, and very few of you actually read them, so they're low on the list. I want to update them all in 2022, especially since I have some material already written for some of them, but if any stories are getting pushed back so I can focus on other things, it'll be these ones. Of the three, I'd say Subject is Sedated is the most likely to see an update, since it's much closer to completion than the other two, and it would be nice to finally cross it off the list.
  7. I suppose I should address War Machine. It's listed as one of my stories, but it's not really mine. It was originally a project of my friend Spifffy, who has since mostly moved on from the fandom. I took the story over for her back in 2014 intending to continue it myself, but obviously, I have a lot more on my plate nowadays than I ever did back then, so that's less than feasible now. I'm not marking it as cancelled because there's still every possibility that I'll get around to it one day or that Spifffy might make a surprise return, but I'm definitely not touching it in 2022 with everything else that needs doing. Sorry.

New stories:

So I mentioned my motivation before, and I feel like that's the real root cause of me having so many incomplete projects. I flip between self-aggrandising and self-depreciation in my public persona depending on what's funnier at the time, but if you'll permit me to be real for a moment, I'm really not that confident in myself most of the time, and to an extent, I do rely on outside encouragement to stick with things.

It's a trend in my writing that the bigger a response I get, the more likely I am to keep going with it. Human, Dragonfall, Wanderer's Diary, and To Keep the Fire Burning all have/had an audience of regular commenters, and so I wrote pretty lengthy chapters on a semi-regular basis for all of them, at least until writer's block kicked in or I got distracted by other things, and the engagement with oneshots like Just Dodge! and Rest in Chaos are probably a big part of why I've written as much as I have for the Borderworld in general. On the other hand, the low level of engagement on my more recent stories like Ragnarok and Van Helsing were a serious blow to my enthusiasm, so even though I'd just started them, progress immediately stuttered on their next updates. Hell, I almost didn't release chapter two of Helsing at all.

This attitude of mine, I think, is why I have as many incomplete stories as I do. I'm always excited for my newest ideas, like I was for Ragnarok, but if it doesn't hit with my audience and the story underperforms, then I lose enthusiasm and mentally lower it in priority, and it ends up in the same pile as the likes of Subject is Sedated, left withering on the vine for years even though continuing or even completing it would be a relatively simple task if I just focused on it for a while. And I believe that at some point this became a vicious cycle, where I drop my stories because I'm not getting any comments, my audience loses interest in me because I don't deliver, and then my next story has even less comments because I'm now known for leaving stories without an update for years on end and nobody expects me to ever actually continue these new stories I'm initially so excited for.

It's too late to do much about that now for the stories I've already released, beyond try to update them all as regularly as I can from now on, but it's a problem that I can address with any new stories, at least. From now on, I'm not going to release any new stories unless they're already complete (or at least complete enough that I can comfortably set a weekly update schedule for them). I actually have first chapters for a bunch of new stories already fully prepared, but I'm not going to release them until I know I can deliver the final product. Maybe if I do that, I can actually build up my reader retention again, and I won't struggle to breach fifty likes on a new story despite having nearly nine hundred followers.

If you want to know exactly what I'm working on in terms of new stuff, there are four stories I'm focusing on at the moment – one dark character-focused oneshot, one Equestria Girls longfic, and two medium length stories, one being a sequel to Doing Good or Doing Well? based on Snyder League, and the other being a Fallout fic set in the Diaryverse. They are, respectively, The Starlight Glamour, The Setting Sun, The Well Wishers, and The Good Life. Since I can't actually guarantee that any of them will even be released this year, that's all I'll say about them for now.

Blogs and essays:

I think I'm done with DannyJ Reviews for a good while. Unless the G5 show is aggressively terrible enough to agitate me into making another one, I think I've said all I have to say about MLP for now, and there's nothing else I really care about enough to riff on in the same way, so that particular ball's in Hasbro's court for the moment.

As for my Borderworld essays, I used to set myself a goal of writing or rewriting at least one each month, but I haven't been able to meet that target for a long, long time. So now I just want to get something out every two or three months. Let's say I'll do four this year?

There's two essays in particular I want to finish for 2022. The first is part six of the Pantheon series, covering known demigods, as it'll be the final essay in that series, and then I can finally call that one finished. The other is the secondary canon essay, following up on the primary canon essay I wrote in 2020, which will finally define which of the IDW comics my world incorporates, a detail I've been trying to work out for many years now. That one's obviously pretty research-heavy.

I also want to get back to work on the History series to cover the Reunification Wars, the Timelines series to cover the mirror universe of Reflections, and the Magic series to start covering magical artefacts, but I know none of you care, so don't worry, all of those are way low on my list right now with everything else I have planned for this year. I only still write my essays at all because they help me organise my thoughts.


I do have some other stories in the works in collaboration with other authors, mostly Posh, but the vast majority of them have been dead in the water for a while. I'm disappointed that I can't promise the release such brilliant stories as Equestria Gear Solid 2: Suns of Shimmery or Hey Kid, Wanna Become Meguca? anytime soon, but I think I and my various collaborative partners have other things to focus on for now. That may change in the coming year, but yeah, they'll all have to wait for the time being. Sorry.

Incidentally, if you're not already following Posh, you should know that I heavily contributed to many of his stories, most especially Pony Gear Solid and Magica Ex Dolori (both of which I highly recommend if you're at all interested in the crossover subjects). I also cowrote Equestria Gear Solid with him, originally a feature-length April Fools chapter of PGS, and it's probably the most elaborate shitpost I've ever written aside from Human and Dragonfall. So please, go look at Posh's story catalogue, and see if any of them pique your interest.

But don't ever tell him that his stories are good. Just call his writing shit, and maybe make fun of him a bit. Never, ever, under any circumstances should you compliment Posh. Trust me.


Other than that, I don't think I have much else to report in terms of writing. The tasks I've set myself here already seem a bit much for me, especially if I become any busier with work in the coming year, but I'm hoping that by stating all this publically and letting you all hold me accountable, I'll be able to better hold myself to these goals. I expect I'll still find some way to disappoint you all regardless, but hey, what doesn't kill you is at worst just permanently crippling.

Anyway, that's all I've got to say for now. Once again, a merry Christmas to you all, and I hope you all have a happy new year.

But if you don't, it wasn't my fault.

Comments ( 1 )

Posh is a butthead

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