So, I’ve been thinking about this post all week.
The results for the 3rd round of Smut Marathon posted yesterday, and I was feeling very blah about the whole thing even though I’d done well. Molly was shocked I wasn’t more pleased with how it went.
I was trying to explain it yesterday and wasn’t doing a very good job of expressing my feelings. Since the voting started I knew I was going to need some kind of decompression post, but I didn’t want to write it.
Here I am, writing it anyway.
I struggled with this round in every way. I try to write without thinking too much about what I’m doing, but I’ve always had issues with confidence in connection to my writing. I’ve had issues with confidence in connection to pretty much everything I do and I don’t know where it stems from to cut it off.
Forever ago when I started writing and posting it on my blog, I was anxious about it. So much so that I kept a totally separate blog with just my writing, my main blog was to talk about dabbling in kink only. I was too self-conscious to reveal that creative part of me because it leaves me open to criticism.
I hate that I’m a fragile flower, but here’s me admitting just that.
I’ve talked openly about my attempts to self-publish. I made a go of it some years ago, but being nervous about my writing combined with the fair to poor feedback I got squashed that attempt. It was borderline dangerous to my mental health so I just left it. Both ebooks are on amazon, but I’ve done next to nothing to promote them. I wanted to take them down, but DomSigns (TheDaddy™️) told me it wasn’t a good ideal. Perhaps it’s a cop out and a need to bury my bad feelings, but I just wanted the whole thing to be something in the past that I don’t have to think about.
I have terrible feelings/self-esteem issues wrapped up in my writing, and this competition is bringing every single one of them to the fore.
As we all know, the assignment was to do a character sketch of an imperfect character. Here is mine
The trod of Paul’s foot as he walked across any surface always heralded his entry. A heavy black lift in his shoe brought both legs nearly level, but nothing could hide the limp.
She loathed the way they stared at him as he crossed the room, seeing only that humped man who didn’t belong instead of the way his eyes lit up. The talk dimmed as he shuffled by to their table and their haughty stares grated at her. Paul never noticed, never seemed to care. That laser focus, the one he used to crack complex code, was all on her.
What their pitying stares missed, she always saw. They missed the way his hazel eyes changed like quicksilver as his lips took control of hers, kissing her with careful command when he reached her. They missed his piano playing fingers, long and warm, brushing higher and higher up her thigh. They missed the sensuous curl of his mouth, unaware of the capable way his fingers fucked into her, patient and precise, seeking out her orgasm until she trembled with it.
They saw disqualifying weakness, but she saw a man with the strength to lift her to heaven.
I wrote some other things (and I’ll share one at the end), but I’ve found it’s better to go with my first piece.
No malicious intent, but I was nervous about submitting it. It’s written from the perspective of the person who loves someone with a disability. I’ve watched the way people stare at my mother, who has issues with her legs that cause a great deal of impairment. It’s rankled me for most of my life. I don’t have a disability so I worried about the reception.
The initial reaction was pretty much everything I feared would happen. It made for a long week where I waffled between standing by what I wrote and encouraging others to venture outside of the norm (within reason), and feeling like the worst human being on the planet. I’m almost reluctant to try things like that because I don’t believe I have the chops to write it well enough. I know saying that may get me in trouble with TheDaddy™️, but fear is a deterrent for me. It always has been.
Combine a fear of upsetting someone with a fear of sharp criticism and I’m all set.
I admit after this round I was feeling very put off by the whole thing. I wanted to drop out really badly and struggled not to tell Daddy or Molly what my story was before voting was completed (Also, to dispel any questions about that, I want my pieces judged fairly so I stick closely by the rules and neither know what I write).
I have a good draft for round 4 and I’ll probably read through and submit it soon, but I’m way less confident about the whole thing now. Not that I was super confident to begin with, but I struggled to rouse the creative juices yesterday when the newest assignment popped up into my email.
Writing isn’t hard, barring bouts with writer’s block. I don’t typically agonize over the actual writing process. I don’t typically need much in the way of motivation to put words on paper. I don’t do multiple drafts because I’ll nitpick a piece to death if I do. But part of me is struggling to stay in it. I’m worried I’ll overthink the whole thing to death. Let’s not talk about the things I do mentally to myself when I’m competing against others. There’s a refrain of not good enough that’s on repeat. This should be a competition to just write better than I’ve written before, but tell my head that.
My brain is a weird place.
Anyway, here’s one of the unedited stories I wrote that didn’t make the cut.
He was a beast
The prom king looks disappeared the second he stepped on that landmine. Serving the country meant nothing to him when he no longer looked like the man who left for war. It wasn’t enough to steal his looks, it took his sight and half his hearing. Digging himself out of his hole of despair became impossible. He looked like a monster, so he became the monster.
No other nurse would stay. He roared, tossing expletives and refusing to move. Money can buy many things, but it couldn’t buy people to tolerate an asshole.
She refused to leave him. Each roar of pain was answered with a tender touch, each expletive with a sweet word.
War had stolen his sight, but she was a perfect being in his dreams. The smell of her stronger in those night time dances, her touch inducing a fever that hardened his cock and made him come with just a whisper of her fingertips on his skin. He always woke with heated cheeks.
She peeled away his bandages, uncaring of his scars, and helped him relearn the world. Helped him learn how to love and be loved. Helped him tame the beast
So, there are my feelings in a nutshell. I’m constantly working through them. TheDaddy™️ told me to stop letting those thoughts get the better of me, and I’m working on stopping. It’s a process, I think.
A hearty good luck to those in this next round.
Honestly … I liked both
Thank you. I wasn’t sure it fit well enough
I think we overthink..
That’s definitely my problem
I must encourage you to continue writing and to share your feelings. Before I became a jury member, I joined the (Dutch) Smut Marathon twice. Believe me, almost every contestant comes to a point once or twice during the marathon when the results ware bad or the response was ugly.
Writing is about being really naked. At least, that’s how I feel. You share your most intimate thoughts and your story is your creation. Your baby. You did your utmost to write what you feel. And then there’s this review that is bitchin’ about punctuation or wording.
Still, these comments aren’t there to make you feel bad. They give you hints and tips to improve your writing skills. You shouldn’t start writing what the judges or the audience asks, but you may want to take some of these reviews into consideration. You will notice that your stories will become better, will be better read, will get more positive response. And that will increase the pleasure in writing and improve your confidence. Really, it will.
All it takes is perseverance, and a thick skin to take some of the negative comments and reviews.
Someone once told me that people who take the time to review and comment your work are your best friends, because they care enough to support you in your path to growth. Those who say nothing, but just walk away and think negative thoughts are the ones you should fear more.
I really hope you will continue with the Marathon. Try to stick you from the crowd. Be yourself.
I can only imagine how hard it must have been in the week leading up to the results not to tell anyone which was yours. I love what you wrote, not only because your writing was poetically beautiful but because I learnt so much from it and the subsequent discussions. I also really love your other entry. You’re a great writer and I hope your success in the Smut Marathon is helping you see that.
I know I have said this before, but I will definitely say it again, over and over: you are a GOOD writer!
That said, I totally understand how rattled you were when you saw the comments on your entry long before anyone knew it was yours. I would have reacted exactly the same as you, biting my nails, wanting to tell people I never meant it like that, etc. etc. etc.
Never doubt yourself with things you have written, because what you are writing is good and you are exploring new grounds. That is part of what the Smut Marathon is about.
Please keep on challenging yourself and keep on writing.