I’m crazy. We all knew that already though, right?
As I have in many years past, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as we insiders like to call it. (If you are participating as well and would like to be my “writing buddy” my username on the NaNo site is ‘HelloCheney’)
And, for shits and giggles and so I can cross something else off of my 30 Before 30 list, I am also participating in NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. It’s something I’ve tried waaaaay too many times to count here, and unlike NaNoWriMo, it’s something I’ve never finished. I don’t know how it has been possible for me to spit out 50K+ word novels in 30 days on multiple occassions but I still can’t remember to update my blog with a few sentences on a daily basis.
So now that you know what’s going on in my crazy world this November, let me put something else out there…
Back in August I mentioned in a post about coming out of the writing closet that I had written an erotic short story. Since the time of writing that blog post, I have actually published two stories to Amazon under a pen name that will not be wrestled out of me even if it prevented me from getting attacked by fwolves. As much as I love sharing my writing with others now, and as much as I want feedback and a following when it comes to my writing, I just. can’t. let. you. read. my. porn. Sorry.
Anyway, my stories have showed dismal sales. Dismal. I am a member of a few erotic writers forums to try to get the lay of the land when it comes to publishing the smut, and some writers are making hundreds or thousands of dollars a month working in this genre. And that, really, is why I wrote the stories. Not because I have a passion for writing erotica, not because I’m a closet pornographer.. but because it seemed like a quick and easy way to make some money. And, in a way, it was quick and easy. I banged those two stories out in a day or so each, and formatting them for publishing, including making covers, just took me a few hours on each one. It’s easy.
So why do my sales suck? Because apparently the things I write aren’t, um, naughty enough. One of my stories is just a plain old straight sex in a car story, and the other is a bit more risque, because it involves some teacher to student domination. (Let me just put it out there that it is REALLY weird to be writing about this on my blog. Sorry grandparents, if you ever find this!) So what is selling like hotcakes these days? Step-porn. Like, step-father/step-daughter step-sister/brother…. In my opinion? EWWWWWWWW!!! But apparently it’s what sells, and it’s what sells enough for people make a living writing it.
I’m not going to go into more details just yet, except to say that maybe after NaNoWriMo is over I will swallow my morals and check my squeamishness at the door, and I’ll try publishing a step-porn story. You know, just to see how that goes.
So. What is the point in telling you this really dirty secret?
I got paid yesterday for my stories, for the first time. Let me say that again, more clearly:
I was paid money for something that I wrote and published.
Ok, one more time:
I am a paid and published author, making money on what I write!
Now I need to take a deep breath…
So. Do I feel like I sold out? Do I feel like I sold myself short for not working hard at the novels I’ve been plugging along at for years and just waiting to publish them? Do I feel like a dirty whore for being excited about making money writing smut? Am I embarassed? Am I ashamed?
No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
Because all I ever wanted to do was make money with something I wrote. I’m not one of those people who is going to say for you “I’m writing for writing’s sake,” because that is just redundant, and if you are a real writer, you would know that saying that is just redundant. Real writers write regardless of whether they are going to be paid for it, they write because they have no other choice, they write because I have to. I write because I have to, and whether I am writing my epic tale of how things disappear, whether it is my zombie web serial, whether it is one of three manuscripts I have (finally) in the hands of other people, whether it’s NaNoWriMo or whether it’s journaling – I am writing. I am always writing. Because I can’t stop. That’s neither here nor there.
The point is, I do care about making money on it, unlike tons of writers who swear they couldn’t care less. I care a lot. Because I don’t have a choice as to whether this is going to be something I will do for the rest of my life, it just is. I want it to support me so I don’t have to do OTHER things to sustain my life. You know, I don’t want a day job so I can eat and be warm and clothe myself and my child. I want to make a living writing, and this thing that I’m doing here? Writing erotica is just putting a toe in a door. It’s a piece of me now, but it’s not going to define me. You know what DOES define me?
All I ever wanted was to make money from something that I’ve written. All I’ve wanted is for someone to choose to open their wallet for my words and help decide their worth. So I’ve done that, now. It’s happened, and it keeps happening. And I am so violently, furiously happy about that.