I have a few bad habits when it comes to offering up my writing for reader consumption, but the biggest is my need to apologize for it.
Maybe I don’t want to offend, or maybe I’m just not sure I’ll be well received, but I have to stop myself from explain why I wrote what I do. My knee jerk reaction to make an excuse in case someone doesn’t like it. If I say I’m sorry out the gate, then it’ll make me feel better if you don’t like. You know, because I already knew you wouldn’t.
For instance, there are two stories that I’d planned on posting today. One a BDSM told in first person and another that’s a m/m piece of erotica titled Whisker Burn (You can find the first part of it under the Dark and Taboo tab). I kept changing my mind because I wasn’t sure someone wandering on to my site would understand why I wrote or wanted to post either piece. I started to post it with a disclaimer, but then that was stupid. I’m an erotica writer, if you come here you should expect to read erotica and whatever form I choose to post it. I ended up moving the first person POV to Monday and am still debating if I’ll post the rest of the m/m at all.
It’s a hard habit to break.
I think making excuses weakens my writing or people’s perception of it. If you don’t like it because of content or grammar or voice, than you don’t have to read. I have to write it though. Because I can’t help myself? Lol. Because there’s so many stories living in my brain that I have to share them, and this is my place to do that sharing. Sharing is caring.
Do you find you want to make excuses for the things you write? I’m probably all alone in my insanity. That’s okay. 🙂
Maybe I’ll post a small part of Whisker burn later this evening. It started as a piece of flash and has turned into a 5K words story over the last few days. The things that turn me on…
If you feel the need to ‘have’ to warn people, just write a little intro at the top. No apologizing though 😉 All you’d need is to say, “This is a M/M romance I wrote.”, something simple and most likely the people you think you might offend won’t read on. But….I don’t really think you need to apologize, though I find myself doing that sometimes as well.
It’s not that I feel I have to warn them. I think I’m just worried what they’ll think (that’s no matter what the story content is). Though, I will say that the content may not be suitable for the easily offended in the future. And I’m glad I’m not alone in needing to apologize.
Not all alone at all. I write almost anything I want, but I am hesitant to offer it to someone to critique without an apology of some sorts…like I’m new at this. I think some of it is in response to criticism. It makes me a little gun shy. It still bothers me my mother doesn’t like my poetry, but she does admit poetry is not really her thing as she puts it. I think it’s like being shy though, the more I put myself or my writing out there, the more I get used to it. I learn there is not as much to be afraid of as I thought….those irrational fears I can’t name, but make me pause.
That’s it! The being worried about being critiqued. It frightens me… Which always makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be writing if I’m so worried about being critiqued. It’s just not as simple as that though. I can’t help sharing even when I’m scared to do so. Thanks!
I laugh at what I write but I never apologise. If people don’t want to read it, they won’t be reading your blog. We need to believe in what we do – next time try and bite back that apology! Bel x
I’ve laughed at some of the dialogue I’ve come up with.
Believing in what I write is the hardest part. I think on some levels I know I’m at least haflway decent, but that doesn’t make me any more sure. I am going to try to stop explaining myself though. Thanks 🙂
What I’ve read of yours is very good – comparable with a lot of published work I’ve read. x
Thanks for saying so. A confidence boost.
I often find myself critical of my own writing and sometimes scrape stories or just leave them unfinished because I don’t think they are worthy, but using a pen name does help me to not worry about what people will think of me based on my stories. I have also found that some stories I haven’t particularly been happy with have been well received by some. And some is all you can expect as a writer of erotica. What turns on people is so varied and personal that you can never really appeal to everyone.
My ego is so daggone fragile sometimes it’s scary. I’m hoping my belief in myself improves soon…
trust your game 🙂
Haven’t heard that in a while. 🙂
I like Heidi’s suggestion, above, about a one-liner telling people what genre you’ve just written. I know what you mean about putting yourself out there and people critiquing it! Our biggest worry should be delivering to our readers. I think, as far as genre goes, you write what you write, and if you step outside of your typical genre, then you should “caution” your readers/fans that this is not what they’ve come to expect from you. Many bestselling authors handle this by using a different name for their alternate-genre stuff. Like (romance writer) Nora Roberts writes sci-fy thrillers about a female cop in the future under the name J.D. Robb. Stuff like that. People should be able to come to an author and know what they are getting, unless they are “warned.” Branding, for authors, is like product packaging. (“Milk chocolate,” vs. “Dark chocolate, with nuts.”) Does that makes sense?
That makes sense. I think about reader expectation sometimes. If I cast my writing bet wide, stating I write any and all types of erotica, does that mean the reader will expect it now? How much mind should a writer pay to what the reader wants? I don’t want what I write to be too dictated by reader opinion, but I understand the need to be conscious of brand. I’m just talking out loud.
A one liner about the kind of post or genre it is seems a great idea. However you have nothing to apologise for, ever so it should be a bold statement not an apology. Having said that, people should be encouraged to read things that they wouldn’t normally, unless of course it is likely to be a serious trigger. Keep doing what you are doing, you do it really, really well xxx
I’ve definitely gotten a lot better about this. It’s more reminiscing about it. Thank you for your comment!