Don’t Give Up!
A pep talk for those just getting started in writing Erotica
So you found the nerve to write something that really speaks to you on a sexual level. You broke down your emotional barriers, faced those uncomfortable fears and sensations, and finally wrote that fantasy that you’re always thinking about that just does it for you. Your stomach twisting in anxiety, you finally get the nerve to post it out into the cold, cruel world of the internet, knowing that someone, somewhere, is going to love your fantasy as much as you do. They might even pay a couple of bucks for it.
I’m going to tell you now, it’s going to hurt. Either the silence as you watch your story get read nearly 8,000 pages a day while no one has the guts, care, interest in actually pressing some stars. Or worse, when someone finally does speak up, but they’re actually really dickish and want to tell you how you suck. And let’s be clear, the person opening their mouth has never written a story and put it out on the internet. This is a fact because if they had they wouldn’t be such a douchebag to another author. They would understand how vulnerable and painful it can be to write erotica and they would press a few stars, maybe give some helpful advice or words of encouragement and be on their way.
So I have never read Twilight, or 50 Shades of Gray (Grey?) or pretty much any damn popular book out there in ages because for one, straight relationship. And two, I used to live with a bunch of cynical twenty-somethings that spent our days tearing people apart because they were there. In front of us. Having the gall to exist. Heaven help if they were happy at the time too. I was good at it; I have an amazingly sharp tongue and could go bitch so fast your head would spin. Then I grew the fuck up around the same time my parents died and I was homeless (funny that.) Now add the anonymous nature of the internet into the mix.
You’re a writer. You know how powerful words can be, and damn, they just don’t go away when they’re on the internet next to something you wrote. What that person might be tearing apart saying is juvenile, poorly written, full of mistakes, crap plot, creepy and wrong, whatever, you still poured all your hopes and dreams into. And yeah, maybe it’s not Falkner, but really, were they expecting Falkner when they read your description of two people fucking. Seriously?
Don’t give up. Don’t. Just don’t fucking do it.
Your bitchy reader wasted a couple hours of their life to read what took you days to create, sometimes months if it’s a long story, just to spit out ten words of pain in a review. Not worth it. Not worth responding to, not worth the self-conscious tearing pain you feel wondering if you’re faking it through life because you don’t have some validation to tell everyone that you’re a real writer, or you chose to focus on a craft that is never really going to be accepted mainstream even though everyone, and I mean everyone, is pretty much wired to like sex. Really—if someone gives you shit for writing sex, feel free to point out how their existence came about because of it. No one would exist without sex but somehow the world has made it into a damn shameful act.
What makes a good erotic story good is the author’s ability to get vulnerable enough to make the experiences in the story feel real. In doing that, you as a writer are opening yourself up to a world of pain. Sorry. Really, really sorry. But the person you become can be better for it, I promise.
People talk about taking sex courses as opening their eyes to their body and the way they interact with the world on a daily basis. The same can be said for writing erotica. Your story may look like some stereotypical fuck fic, but what you went through as a human being to create it, only you truly understand. You might have had a sexual epiphany. You might have started a new day with more confidence and a better understanding of yourself and the world.
Don’t let some mindless hater take that away from you. They didn’t get an epiphany. They didn’t have the guts to put themselves out there. They just had an expectation that wasn’t reached and wanted to hurt you for it. Again, so sorry. I was never the type to talk shit on the internet, but I did say a lot of nasty crap in general when I was younger. I read plenty of fics I didn’t like, but I know when it’s about me now and keep my damn mouth shut.
That said, criticism can be the best damn thing for a creative person. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the process and all those very overwhelming, terrible feelings of insecurity as we struggle to create something beautiful (or just raunchy as fuck. XD It’s its own beauty.) It might sting to hear that your writing is subpar, but let it fuel you to be better. Just don’t let it stop you.
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Not to me, not to your loved ones, not to the reviewer. But for yourself, well, that is a damn complicated relationship when it comes to creating. Once you can get under all that initial pain and hurt and can see what’s going on, ask just what you want out of it all. Take a writing course, push to have more experiences in your life to help make your writing feel more realistic, read a book about self-esteem and owning your life. Have sex. A lot. Don’t take things so seriously.
Pain is one of those beautiful things in life we all avoid but tends to force us to change when we’re finally hit. I know because I’ve had a fair share of real pain, and that doesn’t include people talking shit. An abusive childhood, ten years of foster care, adopted to have my parents die, homeless repeatedly and just fucked up in the head with depression/bipolar/PTSD. I’m currently writing this post with a fever, no joke, after two years of chronic Lyme disease while popping HC to keep my adrenals from dying because the Lyme knocked them out possibly permanent. You are talking to the actual walking dead that if I run out of meds I can and will die. Within two hours if I’m physically injured at the time of not having my meds. I’m some weird zombie and it could be permanent.
It can put some things in perspective when you’re staring at the screen, your pride taking a bruising over some stranger that didn’t like your story. People that like to complain are always the loudest while managing to not have anything of use to actually contribute to the conversation or society in general. The ones that soldier on and live the life they want usually save their energy for doing just that, not bitching on the internet.
Don’t give up. Learn, grow, adapt. Take an emotional punch and ask for another one until you stop feeling them. Don’t stop living the life you want. The pain is worth it. I promise.