I teased this a couple of posts ago, and I suppose its time to pay it off. I’m not getting any sleep tonight either with a pack of teenage hooligans roaming the neighborhood on foot for since 1:30am
So long story short, I’ve spent my down time trying to figure out why I was feeling so frustrated, (and thus burnt out) with my writing before my long break. I came to a couple of conclusions: I wasn’t writing for me, I was overly concerned about offending people, and I’m still trying to find my exact niche on writing.
The not writing for me thing is ironic, since during my time on twitter, I was constantly encouraging people and telling them that if THEY don’t enjoy what they’re writing, it will show through in their writing and it won’t be their best work. I’ve studied public speaking and communication, and let myself get too wrapped up in the admonitions to tailor your communication to your audience. That’s fine if you have a specific audience you’re reaching out to. When you’re trying to write something that will appeal to wider demographics though, you have to set those admonitions aside to a degree and be true to yourself. Otherwise your writing or words won’t be genuine. People pick up on that too, at least on a subconscious level.
Twitter was a horrible experience for me in terms of creating that worry about offending people. Despite all the talk about how great the writing community is, I saw alot of clique behavior. Erotica authors aren’t real writers. If you do this in your erotica (such as mentioning bra sizes), you’re a crappy writer and I won’t read you, etc…
The main gaggle of female erotica authors would even ghost you if you didn’t support their beliefs that women shouldn’t be held to any conduct, dress, etc… standards and similar extreme SJW ideas. heaven help you if you supported a male erotica author also. Kind of sad really.
I could (and maybe will do) a whole separate post on my thoughts there. It does impact my writing after all. LONG story short however, suffice it to say I do believe in women’s sexual empowerment, but I also believe in common sense limits on everything. Wear a short, tight dress and flaunt what you’ve got for example. Just don’t get mad if you’re dressing sexy and guys (or other women) flirt with you or check you out. You have EVERY right to be completely safe dressed like that. No should always mean no as well. How you dress does nothing to change that. Getting bitchy when you get harmless attention when you’re dressing to get attention is immature at best though.
As much as I love sex and sensuality, I also believe some things belong behind closed doors. That’s another thing that seems to set me apart at least from some of the younger erotica authors. I’m libertarian enough to believe anything kinky you want to do behind closed doors is fine. Common decency and general self respect dictate some things should stay private, not flaunted in public though. Bottom line, I’ve learned to stop caring what the twitter crowd thinks. Shame since Twitter could be a good marketing tool.
Then there’s the whole finding my niche thing. My Witchfire stories have been an attempt to see if I could combine superheroes and erotica in a real way. The trouble with that specific genre is that the internet is loaded with sites catering to pubescent boys and outright misogynists, that glorify raping superheroines and “putting them in their place”. They completely dehumanize woman, and mock strong, capable women. That’s the last thing I want to contribute to.
At the same time, you have women fighting the worst elements of humanity in these stories, so there’s a question realism with never having it happen. My original thinking was to keep it rare, not glorify it, and also have the heroine(s) escape / turn the tables, or at least get back at their attackers later. Avoiding it entirely would be easy if I was only writing a sexy story. I have been trying to spin a real, ongoing story between the sex scenes though. Intrigue, personality conflicts, human problems, etc…
Part of the problem with Witchfire was that I was rushing the content also. I think it made the story chapters far more sloppy than they should have been, and took a few aspects of the stories in directions I didn’t intend to go also. If I pick up work there again, I’m likely to start over from scratch and treat the existing content thus far as rough drafts.
I admit, I’ve also felt dirty at times writing erotica. My sexy, passionate side is balanced by a fairly strong religious and spiritual side as well. To thine own self be true however. I can’t pretend the sexy side doesn’t exist. I have a real talent for smut also, lol. I know ultimately I’d like to evolve into more of a mainstream fiction writer who includes some very racy scenes. Yes, the unicorn known as porn with a plot for you cynical people, LOL. Getting there means accepting all of me though, and seeing what that allows me to grow into.
And there you have it. My continuing path to self-realization thus far as a would be author.