What the hell is Space Janitor? An explanation

What the hell is Space Janitor?

You know what I’ve been asking that myself.

I’ve had Kieranmajury.com for around two years, and I hadn’t been posting consistently.

Something needed to change.

What I needed to do was mix things up a little.

You understand there is a part of me waiting to get ready.

Can you relate?

Here’s the thing. You and I will never be 100% ready. There will always be something standing in your way. The one bit of kit. The one final piece of the puzzle. You know what I’m talking about?

Let me be clear, I’ve missed out on a lot of good in my life because there was a part of me that would say “You’re not ready,”. Sadly I listened to the voice.

Something had to change.

Glad you asked.

What the hell is Space Janitor? Something to get me writing again.

There’s a guy I follow on twitter: Jose Rosado. I recommend you follow him too if you’re on there.

His advice was simple.

Write 500 words every day.

It may sound obvious when you read it, but when you love writing and storytelling, it’s easy to get stick in the weeds.

When it comes to writing and blogging, I want it to be perfect.

You know how this ends.

There is no such thing as perfect.

Perfect is the thing in our head, and there it will always stay. We want our ideas to be an Athena; springing out of our Zeus heads fully formed.

A belief such as that will lead to a lifetime of inaction.

I needed to let go of a belief system that no longer served.

What the hell is Space Janitor? Something simple.

It became the mission to write every day and publish it to my blog.

I worked out I needed to pick a project I could engage in. Something fun for me to write. It would have to be active. What do I mean by active? As in I didn’t want to be reacting to real-world current events. It would have to be a work of fiction and something I like.

What do I like?

Sci-fi.

OK. What kind of sci-fi?

Something Judge Dredd with Futurama. Satirical to an outsider but played straight by the characters.

You can’t have it being about cops or delivery people. What else do you like?

Ghostbusters.

Cool, it’s a sci-fi setting so not ghosts. How about you keep the exterminator aspect but broaden the field. You work in a cinema, are there aspects from there you can bring in?

Make the character a cleaner?

Sounds good. Since it’s the written equivalent of a three-panel comic, why not make the hero an animal. It’s a sci-fi, people will accept it.

I’m more of a dog person.

Great. Now give it a naff name.

Space Janitor!

Majury you magnificent bastard, you’ve done it again!

Thus Space Janitor was born.

That’s how I came up with Space Janitor. It really was as nuts and bolts and that. Something episodic, so if I get bored, I can switch up the stories.

What the hell is Space Janitor? A learning opportunity.

When I upload Space Janitor to WordPress, you get two ratings. One is a readability score and the other an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) score. Red means wrong, amber means OK, and green is good. Space Janitor has also been an opportunity to “get good”.

You know what it’s been a lot of fun getting better at making those lights go green. When I started uploading the indicators were a distinct mix of red and amber.

Then I learned a few tricks to get them to go green.

To keep the readability green, I would need to keep the paragraphs short. Not use the same word at the start of each sentence. I avoided using passive sentences as much as possible. In fact, that’s the toughest aspect. I’ll have to rewrite a sentence several times to get to the 10% passive rate.

What the hell is Space Janitor? An opportunity to improve my SEO.

Getting green on SEO is more of a challenge, and I’ve employed a couple of cheats to get it to go green. You may notice that the word Space Janitor followed by a (002) or (084) etc. I have to include the SEO title in the first paragraph.

You may notice that later entries have a subtitle. Again Space Janitor 001: Into the fray is more searchable than Space Janitor 001.

There’s always a link back to the first entry. Again SEO likes inbound links. At the moment there’s no outbound. I may put in an affiliate link at some point to try and make a bit more money but nothing appropriate sticks out.

The reason I link back to the first entry rather than say the previous or next is out of laziness. I have a note pad with all the codes and links so I can copy and paste them in, minimum fuss.

You’ve probably noticed infrequent use of pictures. Two to be precise. One to break up the writing and the other is a picture with all the right pin dimensions. Thanks to Emily Dyson, I have learned the value of using Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog. (Give her a follow, get massive value)

Also, 300 words are the minimum for something to be searchable. Therefore Space Janitor is always around 300 words. Again I cheat it by having.

I think that will do you for me teaching you bout SEO. If you found it interesting, would you mind letting me know because I can do more on the subject?

Space Janitor is a place to test out my own structure system.

If you’ve been here any amount of time, you know how much I swear by my Simplified Story System (read it here). It’s a distillation of everything I’ve learned with some of my own additions.

Using this structure speeds up the writing process so much. I know what points I have to hit and when by.

Here’s the anatomy of a Space Janitor post. If you can read my handwriting, it’s self-explanatory.

What the hell is Space Janitor?

I also want people to keep reading, so I end every entry with a question. Here’s the thing, each entry has to begin with Space Janitor. That means the questions are directed at Space Janitor.

Space Janitor is an epic adventure that no one knows where it will go next. (Not even the author)

When I write, I like to plan and plan and plan. Structure, restructure and then structure some more. This obsession with getting all the pieces in place is part of what has held me back.

Space Janitor is the first thing I’ve written where there is no clear plan. It’s part of my system to learn to let go of worrying about how “good” something is.

For example, currently, Space Janitor is imprisoned by stray dogs in a rubbish dump. It’s located in a subsection of the space station. I did not know that is where he would end up. I thought he was going to end up as some sort of deity to this tribe. Turns out the tribes’ leader is a bit more advanced than I first expected.

Also, I’m not the narrator of the story. There is a character who is telling Space Janitor’s story. We haven’t met him yet, even though they’ve interrupted a few times. It feels like when Space Janitor meets him, we’ll know who they are. Until that time.

Proof that you can do it too.

Now I want to take a moment to talk to you. Yes, you, you might not think I’m talking to you, but I am.

You have to write every day. It’s good for your soul. There’s no data to back me up, but you know it’s right.

You’re more creative than you realise. I want to read your stories. You have a great imagination you just have to believe in yourself.

Do what I did:

  • Stop waiting to get ready, you never will be
  • Write 300 words every day. You know your arm and leg muscles need exercise. How come you neglect your creative muscles?
  • Publish it somewhere. Expose the world to your work. Many will hate it, some will love, but you’ll realise other people’s opinions don’t matter.

I look forward to reading your work.

Space Janitor is a way to build a habit.

Here’s a word of warning about writing and publishing every day. You’re going to get really good at it. You’re going to get so good at it your body is going to take over, and you’ll have no control. There have been days when I have wanted to stay in bed and be lazy. My body has tricked me into the car. Got me to the office and by the time I’ve realised I’m editing the latest instalment of Space Janitor.

There’s also something deeply satisfying of seeing all the boxes on your insights filled in. Look:

So satisfying

Proceed with caution.

This is the other thing about writing every day. Eventually, there are parts of your brain that will start saying “Let’s write a bit more,”. “Another sentence, one more”. I had a day where I did 3000 words, and I can now measure it, so I know I’ll have a 10k word day. I’m excited for me, and also I’m excited for you.

Look, this was only supposed to be 300 words. A bit of an explainer it has now expanded to over +1500 words.

If I, a 33-year-old who struggles with concentration and can’t communicate too good. Tell me this:

What’s your excuse.

Happy writing, make sure you publish too.

All the best,

Kieran.

****

Are you interested in reading Space Janitor?

In that case would you mind reading from the beginning because it’s a fantastic place to start.

You can find the first instalment of Space Janitor by clicking here.

Also, would you mind signing up to my email because you’re a legend.

Thank you and have a great day,

Kieran


 

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