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Did I actually write anything this year?

Well, Christ, this has been quite the year. Can't quite bring myself to refer to 2020 in the past tense, because (a) it doesn't seem to have quite finished with us yet; and (b) I want to make the most of Christmas. I'm so sorry if you're in the UK and yesterday's announcements have thrown everything badly askew in your world, especially with regard to your festive plans.

While this has been a bad year for almost everyone, the effect on people's creativity has been a tad unpredictable. Some writers I know have ploughed on regardless. Some have even prospered in lockdown, which makes sense, given how inward-looking (read: antisocial) we scribblers can be. Other creatives, meanwhile, have found themselves paralysed by the rapid spiral of events.

So did I actually write anything, or did I only make YouTube videos about Doctor Who, thrash metal and the like? 

I did write some stuff this year, although half of it was before the pandemic began. Yes, I wrote a new screenplay before March, so thank God for that, because once the pandemic hit, I found myself unable to write fiction of any kind for a full three months. I could write journalism just fine, but several months into 2020, I had no idea what scary fiction even looked like any more. Scary seemed to have been drastically redefined. Scary was now walking around the corner in a supermarket, straight into some maskless goon who was about to sneeze. And perhaps the dark sides of social media and tech, which had infested my first two novels, The Last Days Of Jack Sparks and Ghoster, now felt less troubling when compared to the fact that Zoom had enabled me to see and speak to my mother during a global pandemic. So, from mid March to June inclusive, I played a hell of a lot of Doom and cooked myself many roast dinners. No words, though.

Happily, from July to October, I managed to break my word-fast. I've been keeping my Patreon supporters broadly abreast of that, mainly in terms of my writing process this year, and I hope to tell you more about this thing during 2021. But at the very least, the thing exists, if in rough draft form. And having re-read some of the thing in the first week of December, I'm glad to say I like it. So that's something.

If you're a creative person who has felt unable to create this year, then please don't beat yourself up. Our brains have been so concerned with primal vigilance that it's hardly surprising that we may not have had the space or energy in which to make stuff up. The subscribers to my weekly mailing list The Sunday Confession Booth are all creatives of different kinds, and some have very much flagellated themselves for failing to hit their goals. But really, who could possibly expect to hit the goals they set at the start of 2020? I know I haven't hit them, not by a long chalk. And under the circumstances, I'm absolutely fine with that.

As we head towards the end of the year and take stock of what we did, and especially what we achieved, we have to cut ourselves all the slack in the world. You and I, our biggest achievement has been to survive and do our best to protect the people we love. Everything else has played second fiddle to those key, deep-rooted objectives and that's exactly the way it should be. 

Some of us may have lost 2020 in terms of productivity, but we assuredly won at being human.
Special offer alert! Everyone who has pledged to me at Patreon, at the 'Terrifying' tier or above, before midday GMT on Tuesday December 22, will receive a personalised video message from me, in which I will be dressed as, and probably speak like, Santa Claus. This applies to everyone from my veteran patrons to absolute newcomers to our community, and no contract applies. So feel free to browse the pledge levels on offer and the associated perks. You'll see the time-limited Santa offer at the bottom of the 'Terrifying' tier and the higher tiers 'Oh My God, What's That At The Window' and 'Cardiac Arrest'.

My amazing patrons have been such a godsend during 2020. They've literally helped me pay bills, look after people I love and even invest in a brand new camera with which to make better-looking YouTube videos. In return, I thank them in my YouTube videos, show them exclusive/early access content and enjoy talking to them directly in a private compound (it's not a cult, I swear ta gawwwd), where no algorithm can come between us. If you're a patron reading this, I know I thank you a lot in our private compound, but THANK YOU AGAIN. And if you're considering becoming a patron, then a big thanks to you too.

Ghoster half price on Kindle

Pretty self explanatory headline, huh? Yeah, my latest novel Ghoster is currently half price on Kindle at Amazon UK. Just £1.99! I have no idea how long this will last, but if you've yet to grab this tale of demons, dating apps and digital addiction, then now would be a good time. If you do pick it up, I hope it makes an enjoyable, if chilling, holiday read!

Festive YouTube videos!

My last few YouTube videos have had a Christmas tree in the background, if you're in the market for some festive ambience! Here's my latest, above, in which I share with you some BBC promo VHS tapes (and one DVD!) that I received for Doctor Who's 2005 comeback series. How is that now 15 years ago, by the way?

If the above video doesn't play direct from this email, then you can also catch it here

You'll also feel some manner of yuletide atmosphere in these other recent videos of mine:





Oh! And here are two more directly Christmassy videos from last Christmas:



The channel has done well this year. At the time of writing, I seem about to hit the arbitrary goal of 3000 subscribers, which I'd wanted to reach before the end of this year. So it seems I'm likely to score at least one goal I set. Help me smash it, as they say, by subscribing if you haven't already.
Courtesy of the absolutely indispensable app TubeBuddy, which I use on every single YouTube video I make (it's wonderful for things like titles, search tags and much more) you can see the positive ascent my channel's has enjoyed in this Year In Review video (tap the above pic or click here.) If you have a channel of your own, you can get your very own Year In Review video right here.

TubeBuddy is free to download and use, albeit with limited features. If you decide to subscribe to the service, you can bag a discount by using my own special code ARNOPPBUDDY at checkout. Enjoy! Oh, and full disclosure: if you do join TubeBuddy, I receive a commission at no extra charge to you, which I fully intend to spend on sherry.
One last piece of news for 2020! The excellent Obscura Editorial have published the first Spanish edition of The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, which is also the world's second hardback release of the novel. Judging by the amount of Spanish coverage I'm seeing on Instagram, the book seems to be going down well over there. Hooray! Check it out on Amazon Spain.
Thank you so much for subscribing to this mailing list - and for reading to the end. You are proper hardcore, y'know that?

Please have the finest, and safest, Christmas you possibly can, and I look forward to sending you another missive in the New Year. Until then, perhaps I'll see you on one of the social media outlets represented by the various icons below. Click on any of them to join me on those platforms - and feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think may get something out of it. Byeeeee!
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Here's where I can mainly be found online these days...
My website
My retro-fun YouTube channel
Instagram author account
Instagram rock journalist account
Instagram retro fun account
My Twitter account
My author page at FB
Copyright © 2020 Jason Arnopp, All rights reserved.

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