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    State of the Mono: I Survived + Future Projects

    Hey all!

    I’m sitting right now at the local Hookah lounge I’ve been frequenting for about two months now, and I’m feeling like a personal blogpost.

    I’ve talked myself out of them for the past few months, but… I kinda want to do one now, because this IS my own personal website, so technically speaking, I’m… allowed??

    I wanted to start this by saying thank you to everyone who’s reading this, because you’ve stuck with me!

    This has been, in no uncertain terms, the worst year of my life. Folks in my supporter Discord server know, but this year kept shooting bullet after bullet after bullet at mye this year, and sitting here with you all, I admit there were times I was ready to bail on life.

    I don’t really want to go into details, but I was basically ripped open and forced to examine who I am and how I’ve been living my life for… well, the past twenty years of my life? For those of you who’ve read TEL and TEK, this year was essentially me as Twilight going through the end of TEL, but most important, the entirety of TEK’s lesson in the span of a year.

    It was also a very lonely year.

    One of the most difficult aspects of working on yourself, and specifically on coming to grips with the fact that you’re a relentless people pleaser who puts their entire self-worth in the validation of others, is finding out how many people don’t like it when you put boundaries.

    No one really prepares you for that. Or, for the fact that you have to come to terms that you made that choice and are owed nothing. The second you stop people pleasing, a horrific kind of resentment takes its place. I did all those thing! For so many folks! Why did no one ever DO that for me?!

    And having to sit with that and realize that… no one asked you to. Or me, rather. No one owes me anything, just like I owe no one anything.

    People pleasing, at least for me, I’ve learned, stems from a plethora of issues but none more important than hating yourself. That I people please because, ultimately, I believe I need to make myself someone worth being loved. Cared for. Appreciated it.

    Or, well, used to believe. It’s a work in progress, but as I sit here now, I can firmly say I’ve worked on myself harder than I have my entire life. So much of my body of work is about mental health, about how you MUST work on yourself, you MUST strive to be better, and this year grabbed me by the throat and said, “let’s see you put your money where your mouth is”.

    AND I DID. I DID!!!! Fuck me, I delivered like a fucking champ.

    I fell into the void, surrounded by darkness inside and out, bleeding and dying and coming undone, and the when the comforting poison that is giving up told me the only way out would be clawing myself out of the void, every climbing hold a knife, I climbed. I climbed. I climbed, and climbed, and jesus christ, there is still so much void to climb, but I’m still doing it.

    Of course, this has been a mostly silent journey–or, well, not for my server because God knows a thing I still haven’t learned how not to do is overshare in there, but it is what it is.

    SO!

    I want to extend a great appreciation for all of you who’ve stuck it out. And that life isn’t promised, and I’m not about to sit here and say next year will be better because I’m not jinxing myself like that, but I want to share a bunch of stuff with you all that I’m cooking for next year.

    THROUGH BULLET POINTS!

    • CLASSES!
      I’m taking TWO UNIVERSITY LEVEL classes these next few months!
      • Video Game Writing Course – This one should last about two months, and is basically what it says. Going to learn the basics of not just writing for video games, but the business part as well, including how to pitch a video game, what to do, financial stuff, studio tips, etc etc. My final project is going to be a click and point text adventure, which I hope to share with you all.
      • Showrunners bootcamp – Basically what it says! A showrunner is essentially the HEAD WRITER of a TV series, and I’m going to be learning the ins and out of it. What is needed of me, how to handle a big series, how to deal with other writers, the business and financial aspect, how to pitch a show, etc etc. My final project for this course will be to pitch my own show, which I’m hoping will either be Last Resort focused, or maybe an original project. Maybe reaper!au for those of you who remember that, lol.
    • CAELUM!
      • I’ve been working off and on Weary Travelers of Caelum, slowly chipping away at it. This is also the year I want to finish old projects, and I’m… realizing just how much I love this ‘verse. I don’t want to leave this unfinished. However, one of my new resolutions is finishing stuff before I post it, so any new chapters will be supporter-locked until I’m done with the entire thing.
    • CRIMSON!
      • Still the same as always. Working on getting new Crimson out, which has been difficult because something happened earlier this year that… kinda broke my relationship with the story, and I think also just with my writing in general, so a lot of the latter part of this year has slowly been rebuilding my faith in the story. I’m working right now on a little oneshot set in the ‘verse, and it’s been healing even if hard. But I’m trying. Selfishly, if anyone has been looking to re-read it, I just brought back the MLP version of it, so now’s the time! I read all the comments posted here, so positive feedback on it would be greatly appreciated to hype me up for finishing the original version c:
    • THE LAST RESORT!
      • For those of you reading it, I am aiming to update it soon. I miss my blorbos, and want to work with them soon, but right now I’m prioritizing finishing old fics, or doing small one-shots.
    • ONESHOTS (FANDOM AND ORIGINAL)/COMMISSIONS
      • Another one of my goals is to write more one-shots, both fandom and original, both to improve and get my writing going again, but also to try and get myself in a place where I can more reliably take commissions since my current temp job is slated to end in March.
      • This will also include more Futurama fanfiction. I imagine those might have taken folks by surprise, but Futurama was my fandom before MLP, and I wholeheartedly credit my rewatch of it a few months ago behind the reason I’m still writing MLP all. I was in a place where I felt I would never feel joy from writing ever again, and more than that, my writing and who I was has been so consistently entrenched with MLP for so long that I was convinced it was time to… well, let ponies go. Maybe quitting ponies was what I needed to become an obscure writer and learn to write for the love of it again, and just make writing an occasional hobby for good, and then I’d be happy again.
      • And then Futurama happened. It helped me heal my toxic relationship with writing for validation because, well, lmao, not only was in not MLP, but also it was for one of the MOST obscure ships of Futurama. So, writing them and posting them and feeling that joy of creating for no one else than myself made me look at ponies and give it a second chance. And learn to love that again too. So, I think in retrospect it’ll be good for me to have several fandoms rather than one that I’m so entrenched in.
    • BLOGPOSTS / COMMUNITY
      • Additionally, I want to try and write more blogposts and engage the community more. It was a big part of what I loved when I first started out here, and I want to try and get back into it. Additionally, I do want to thank everyone who’s left comments here. I want to emphasize I read and appreciate them all, and as I learn to become human again, one of my goals is to reply to them more and get that going. It will be a process, so please be patient with me, but I will do my best to try c:
      • AND FINALLY, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, JUST LEFT TO LAST BECAUSE IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE:
    • THE ENCHANTED CAROUSEL, formerly known as Secret Project
      • It is no secret to me that The Enchanted Library ‘verse is… perhaps the most difficult of my projects. I don’t mean length-wise, but just… personal wise. The consequence of writing something so personal it bleeds my blood, and having it be lauded as one of my best works, means that it became the, ironically enough, Discord haunting the Twilight Sparkle that is my relationship with writing. Some way or another, this series wasn’t mine anymore. It became this massive terrifying beast, and trying to write it or update it would drown me with doubts with the stellar hits such as:
        • Why bother, it’s been so long since updating it anymore that no one even cares
        • it’s just fucking fanfiction who cares who cARES WHO CARES
        • why put in the effort into finishing it when it will take so long and who cares the fandom is dead my writing is dead
      • So I realized about three weeks ago that the only way I was going to finish this series is making it mine again. Somehow going back to the Monochromatic from 2015 that was posting this AU for no other reason than for myself, before I was shot into Horse Writer Popularity, when the core of who I was was writing to share with other raritwi fans, not to be the BEST, TO PLEASE, TO BE TOLD I’M A GOOD WRITER.
      • So, a few weeks ago, I made a channel in my server, made it supporter accessible only, and told them all that I was going to goddamn make headway on TEC this year even if I had to make it my only goal. And that started with the excruciating task of rereading both TEL and TEK, which I have never been able to do without stopping at chapter 12 out of sheer hatred and self-doubt of my own writing and self. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it.
      • AND I HAVE! I’ve been reading one chapter a day, liveblogging them in my server, and I REACHED CHAPTER 15 OF TEL. So, right now my goal is to keep it going it until I’ve read through TEK, and then I’ll start writing TEC again.
      • Once I get there, however, TEC chapters will be supporter-only for a little bit while I create a backlog. I know this might be upsetting news, but I want to emphasize this is being done so I can work on my relationship with the story. I want to heal my relationship with my writing, and this starts with not writing for the high of posting it and getting immediate serotonin and feedback.
      • I will, however, be releasing public blogposts recapping my readings of TEL and TEK. I’ve had a really interesting time reading my stories again, and several folk in the channel have expressed it’s interesting reading my reflections on my process and the behind-the-scenes, and it’s something I’d like to share with you all, so I hope you’ll be looking forwards to those soon c:

    And there we go!

    TL;DR this year almost killed me, I had to learn how to be a human again, had to learn how to be a healthier human with a healthier relationship with myself and others, and I’m finally in a place where I can start looking forward to the future and creating again

    I don’t want to say I’m sure next year will be better, because God knows at this point, but I want to try and make it a better year for myself, and I’m excited to do my best to share more of my writing you all, and I hope–OR RATHER, OF COURSE ALL OF YOU ARE SUPER STOKED ABOUT IT, TOO.

    So, in that vein, let me what projects you’re all excited about! And, if there’s any topics you’d like me to maybe more blogposts about, let me know as well! Writing stuff, writing process, I don’t know. I was thinking it would be interesting to write story post-mortems where I talk a little about the process of writing the fic, and my thoughts and stuff? Would that be interesting for folks?

    Let me know!

    And, as always, thank you for your support, and I hope we all have a good new year!

    MWA!

    Sincerely,

    Mono

    12 Comments

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    1. Evgenii Shcherbakow
      Jan 26, '24 at 6:31 am

      Yay, Mono is okay! Be cool and be safe.

    2. A Deer
      Jan 18, '24 at 10:52 pm

      Rise, rise like the Phoenix! It’s a rebuilding process that is long but rewarding when you see what you’ve done. In my experience it isn’t linear and learning to be compassionate toward myself helped a lot. You definitely been through a lot and I admire your strength through it all. From my experience it takes strength to change, to move forward and to care about ourselves. I’ll definitely be rooting and wishing you the best!

      I would really like to read the postmortem stuff and the process of creating the stories. I really like seeing how art is created. It feels nice to see creativity and being in that whole world of people making things. Also those classes you’re taking sound awesome! Learning is adding more creative tools.

      I’m looking forward to all the stories! And now that I’m returning from my slumber I shall feast. As they say- A new year, a new deer

    3. Kapuchu
      Jan 6, '24 at 6:21 pm

      I’m unsure how much it means coming from a stranger, but for keeping your head out of water during last year? For continuing the fight and clawing your way back up? I am damn proud of you. You deserve someone telling you that, and you can also be damn proud of yourself for it.

      As for what I’m looking forward to, I’m very curious about your recaps about old TEL and TEK chapters. I might even go re-read them myself. I remember being very enthralled with them once, and it might be fun to re-experience them. Get to re-experience a certain someone getting thrown into a bookshelf for the first time again.

    4. Princess Fluttershy
      Jan 5, '24 at 10:45 pm

      Greetings from Germany.

      Well I’m reading this and your Masterworks in the Enchanted Series.
      I realy love it and I think it would even good Stuff tor a Movie.
      Maybe someday you made a Team of tallented Artists like 2snacks, Argodaemon, Magpiepony, Minty Root, maybe even Shawn Keller (Margarita Paranormal) and bring your Storys in Movie Form (Even a Audiobook would be great).
      I’m sure many would support you with Donations and Help.

      The lonelyness I know, I guess there are many lonely People, who get some Happyness from the Adventures of many colorfull Ponys.
      After the 2. Avatar Movie was out, there was the Description of the “Pandora Depression”, because the real Life is never that nice as it is in the Movie.
      Maybe for many Pegasister and Bronys, this is the same with Equestria.
      Sometimes I also think, the Life there is much more easy.
      Of course there are Conflicts too, but it is so much more easy to settle an Conflict with a good Talk.

      Like you with Twilight, my Ponysona of Princess Fluttershy is also a Display of myself.
      Part Twilight with the Nerd Side, the big Knowledge and the way to teach everywhere, Part Fluttershy with many Fears, Shy in some things and often not sure if I do the right and that I often accept the Ideas of others more as my own.
      My Ponysona has now start a Family in their AU (Friendship is Kindness) and has a Daughter with Big Mac.

      I know MLP is not real, but I often feel sad about some Char, like Marble, who has lost Big Mac to a Belle (Beauty and the Beast) Copy, the rarely shown Pain of the Apple Siblings for their lost Parents and the missing Trys to reform Tyrek, Chrysalis and special Cozy Glow, who is just an Kid in the Age of the CMC.

      I’m sure you not do the Writing full Time, after all you need to have Money to eat, have a warm Home and Power to use a Computer.
      But not force yourself to much, because if you are happy, Twilight in the Storys will have it more easy too.
      I need to continue to read the encanted Caroussel, but I have restart the enchanted Library and later Kingdom.
      The last in the 3. Part I have read was the Intro with Discord.
      I still not know if it will be 3 Parts total and if yes, how you can get maybe half of the complete Story in one Part, but I hope you are happy enough and have enough Strenght to finish the Story with an happy end for all.
      After Twilight and Luna there are still Celestia, Cadance and Discord.
      First I was thinking it will be one Part for each Princess, but maybe Cadance not need an own Part.

      I think Cadance is the saddest of the Princesses without knowing it, because she has lost Shining, what also mean theres maybe no Flurry Heart in that Universe.
      Also I wonder how the Story end for Discord, after all it was the Princesses who have start the Problems, by acting like the old Age Luna.
      They have betray him, so he has punish them and there was no Fluttershy who has befriend him.
      I just hope the Storyline not end similar strange like for Example Fall of Equestria, where all returned to normal without anythink the figures have learn from the past.

      Nice what you have planed, but stay the same Person.
      Your writing is great and maybe the Classes help you to made it more easy for you, just not change it to much and keep your Writing Style.

      Video Game Writing
      Maybe you could write with People who have already made Games.
      Many People start with a Visual Novel, what are mostly a Book with Pictures on a Computer.

      Comics like “Fix ( https://derpibooru.org/tags/comic-colon-fix ) would be another Way to bring your Storys in another Form.

      I think the most important in Wring is to write what you like.
      Don’t let anyone else tell you what you have to write, after all it is your Story and no else know the Ponys in the Storys like you know.

      Goin back to 2015 could help.
      If I remember right the enchanted Kingdom was very much in the Sad and negative Mood.
      The best in the enchanted Library was the repeating Running Gag of Twilight Jumpscaring Rarity.
      Also I miss the easy Moments where Twilight and Rarity was together in the Library, just doing their work.
      New of interest is the Relationship between Luna and Pinkie and how the Bearers of the elements will come together.
      I guess they will, after all they have already appear in the Story, but I hope they will not turn Discord in Stone.
      Like Twilight has say it in the “Fix” Comic, banishement and petrify a enemy justmade the Enemy even worse after they retour and they always retour.

      The Problem to read own Storys is normal, theres no bigger Critic as the Writer themself.
      Writer always thing the own work is not good enough, but the Amount of Fans show you well the writing is great.
      For myself it’s one of my Faforite Storys, next to What a Strange Little Colt, The Empty Room and Little Pony.

    5. Ferret
      Jan 2, '24 at 1:24 pm

      I hear that. And fully behind you writing what makes you happy. n_n

    6. Jadesaturn
      Jan 2, '24 at 9:41 am

      Love you Mono! I know that I don’t talk much in the discord so it may be hard to tell, but I do love all of your work. I hope this next year will be kind and gentle to us all!

    7. Lingo
      Jan 2, '24 at 6:07 am

      Still rooting for you! One step at a time, you got this!

    8. JMP
      Jan 2, '24 at 4:45 am

      Happy to hear you’re excited about the year to come. Hoping this year will be a kinder one to you then next year.

    9. Cedric Bale
      Jan 2, '24 at 12:28 am

      I will, however, be releasing public blogposts recapping my readings of TEL and TEK. I’ve had a really interesting time reading my stories again, and several folk in the channel have expressed it’s interesting reading my reflections on my process and the behind-the-scenes, and it’s something I’d like to share with you all, so I hope you’ll be looking forwards to those soon c:

      Yes, please! 😄