This week has been a bit challenging. I have stayed on track with #NaNoWriMo2019. But I have missed my 10K daily step goal twice. I have not felt well. My kitchen stays trashed no matter how much I clean. But perhaps most disappointing of all, Shared Burdens will NOT be published on @Literotica for Veterans Day (US), called Remembrance Day here in the UK.
I edited and submitted it in plenty of time. I had a previous story rejected because it was a re-write. So, I put a note to the moderators that this was new material. The previous version, Esther’s Story, was something like thirty thousand words and told strictly from her point of view. Shared Burdens is almost twice as long at fifty thousand words, and it is dual points of view, hers and Sergeant Mike’s. I went to the trouble of saving all the comments and telling them that they could take down Esther’s Story if that was a problem.
I waited and two days later, they rejected it. Said it was duplicate material and I would have to delete the old one. DUH! I explained all that before. I gave you the discretion to do so.
Yes, maybe I could argue my case with them. I did that once before, though I forget which story it was for. But, WHY?
Since coming back, Lit has not been the home it once was for my writing. They use to periodically delete a certain number of your one-star ratings because they recognized the severity of the troll problem on the site. They don’t anymore it seems. So, my stories have lower ratings. I can actually anticipate and watch the trolls attack good stories.
But for me, worse yet is the significantly lower number of comments. The reason I bother to publish at all is to share a message of hope and make a difference in people’s lives. Since I am not getting money for this, comments are my paycheck.
Combined with these ‘rejections’ of stories, it is disheartening and wearying. Since Alan had relieved me of the need to earn money from my writing, all I want is to create inspiring stories and share them with people who will appreciate them.
I thought coming back to Literotica was the way to do that. Now, I am feeling uncertain. I am even questioning whether sharing my writing is the way to go at all. It would not change who or what I am. I will always be a writer. Unlike authors, writers don’t need audiences.
“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”
― Allen Ginsberg
“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”
― Margaret Atwood
And my personal favorite…
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
― Cyril Connolly, The New Statesman, February 25, 1933
It is true. I write the stories I want to read. I am one of my favorite writers. I discover new things every time I read what I have written. Maybe that sounds arrogant. Maybe it is. But it is the truth.
As a reader, I finish less than a quarter of the books that I start. Probably only ten percent actually. More often than not, I find myself re-reading old books, stories and writers that I love.
Because much of what passes for fiction these days reads more like television. It is about actions and dialogue. It appeals to only the visual and auditory senses. You rarely get true depth in characters. For me, as a reader and a writer, ‘rules’ like ‘show, don’t tell’ and never use adverbs have killed the true art and beauty of writing. Especially in the romance genre.
The truth is that I do write lit-erotica. I ruin good erotica with a literary style and depth of purpose and meaning that is not common to either the erotica or romance genre. Yet, conversely, I write too many graphic sex scenes to fit within the high brow and narrow world of literary fiction.
Not fitting neatly into anyone’s box, not belonging anywhere is old hat to me now. I am even cool with it. Actually, I wear it like a badge of honor and shout it from the rooftops, or at least all over the internet.
So, I am left to ponder…if I don’t belong @Literotica any more, where do I belong?
Don’t get me wrong, I do not intend to quit writing, any more than I do breathing. But is it worth the hassle of sharing? I used to think so. Readers’ comments fueled my writer’s soul. But these days people can’t seem to be bothered. Few of them take the time to leave those comments. So, what is the point for me?
I would not be the first writer to hide their writing away. There are many who have, especially women, whose works were discovered only after their deaths.
But that is not me either. Something inside of me screams out that this is a message. Not merely for me, but for others. I have always said if even one person read my stories and was encouraged or changed then I had done my job.
I still feel that way. I am not questioning my purpose so much as the means. How do I get my niche writings into the hands of the few readers who like me crave something more, something different?
It seems that of late, doors are closing. Amazon is not the place. Even Literotica is not the safe space it once was. I have toyed with WattPad but its audience is much younger than my demographics. So, where?
Where do you go to find writers that you like? Where do I go? How do we effectively connect writers and readers? I have more questions than answers at this point.
So, I will go off to write more stories. What becomes of them may be uncertain at this point, but getting these people and their stories out of my head and onto the screen is not. I am happier and more motivated to write than I have been in…forever?
My stories may not have found that safe space and home in which they can flourish. But I have, in our @HomeCrazzyHome.
I will keep you updated on where you can find Tara stories if they are your cuppa. And if you know of any place that you feel they might fit, please let me know.
Until next time, goddess bless.