Come dance with us! This is the first of a series by some writers who are relatively new to the erotica "genre." Marina St. Clare, Helia Brookes, myself, and whoever else wants to join in. Helia came up with the name "Beginner's Ball." It will travel from blog to blog. Please feel free to jump in and comment - we're hoping those more experienced writers will find this just as interesting as us newbies do.
Why write erotica? Because for too long it scared me.
When I started looking through Randy’s work looking for a piece that would work with the topic I had in mind for this, I was drawn to the image above.
For me, it illustrates the line of demarcation.
Where air and water meet – the surface.
Windows. Inside. Outside.
Mirrors. Reflections into infinity.
What is shown to the world. What is kept hidden.
Skin. Touching. Skin.
The artist has this to say about the piece above. “This is an example of just “playing around” to see what happens. Some very interesting things can happen when you give up control and let an image create itself. We may not want to delve too much into our subconscious mind, but it is part of us.”
That’s what writers do, only we use words. It’s interesting to me how words, abstract thoughts converted to symbols, can make us feel something. Happiness, sadness, fear, amusement, arousal. For as long as I’ve been reading, I’ve been drawn to words strung together in a way that arouses me.
(There was a great discussion about what books first “turned us on” back in January during the soup course of the blogland progressive dinner hosted by Helia Brookes and Jeremy Edwards).
But for a long time I resisted that pull. Wrote stories and took the sex out of them. Even when in my mind as I was creating the story, it was the main focus. No wonder the stories didn’t work.
For years I’ve toyed with the idea of writing erotica. Even wrote some, but kept it to myself. Didn’t even share it with my husband until a few years ago. Focused on other sorts of writing. But even there, the erotic refused to be denied. It’s part of who I am as a writer. As a person. So, in the past year several things happened that made me realize it was time to stop letting “being afraid” stop me. It feels good to not be denying that anymore.
But now that I’m doing this, I have to deal with the realities of writing. When the words don’t come (yes, pun intended). Endless fussing with a piece. That moment when you let go and send something out into the world. Rejection. Hmmm, just noticed these are all negative. Can you guess where I’m at?
Yes, it’s interesting when you give up control – I had “plans” for this bit of writing. But that’s not what wanted to show up.
A few years back I almost had the chance to work with the artist above. That didn’t come to pass. On the one hand I was relieved – I’d submitted work to the project on a whim, a brief moment of bravery. What was I thinking? Of course I would have gone through with it – I’m a daring chicken. On the other hand I was disappointed. I viewed it as a missed opportunity, and still do. An opportunity to do what? To test myself. To discover something about myself. I’m actually not much of a risk taker. Have spent most of my life playing it safe. But there’s a part of me that is very much the bungee jumper.
That me is writing erotica and sending it out into the world. That me started this blog. That me contacted the artist to find out if he’d let me use his work to help illustrate it. I was so pleased when he said yes, because I love all of his work, please go take a peek.
When the idea for this Beginner’s Ball came up, it was thought of as a way to have an open discussion about all the questions that us “newbies” might have. How did we get started? Is our writing accepted by friends, family? Do we use a pen name or not? Nuts and bolts. Where to submit work. How to deal with rejection. (I just got one in my inbox – it was short and not sweet – and yeah, it stings a bit – always does.)
I’m still trying to answer my question in a more thought out manner. If erotica scared me why am I drawn to it? Why not stick to the other writing? I know I’ve sort of asked this question before, but here goes again – why do you write erotica?