Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beginner's Ball #4 - Sharing the dance


So now that you've written some zesty little story (or two or three or forty), what to do? Tuck it into a drawer? Or do you harbor some long-simmering desire to share it with more than just your lover? Maybe even get it published?

Years ago, when I read Susie Bright's How To Write A Dirty Story, and got to the chapter "A Devil's Argument Against Publishing" - well, I was taken aback (I've always wanted to use that phrase). Yes, the world of publishing is a cruel and heartless world full of ogres. And if you write something full of passion and just keep it to yourself, or maybe just share with one other special person and never ever never think of publishing it, you're the better person for it. But. What if the writer of some of my favorite works (be they poems, novels, or smutty stories) had decided to keep it to themselves? If Shakespeare or Whitman or Susie Bright for that matter had opted to not share? I personally thought that would be dreadful. Also, on some level I felt it as a slap for wanting to maybe have someone else - a stranger no less - read some of my deepest, darkest fantasies. That was my own guilt and shame slapping. Thank pron I'm over that! Sorta. Kinda. Maybe.

But basically, I'm a fairly shy person. I was the classic wallflower in high school. Never raised my hand. Got sick to my stomach before having to give an oral report. I've joked about being invisible at times. Yet, I'm a writer. And I like to have other people read what I write. Now I get up and read - sometimes even perform - in front of people. But that's poetry. I've been doing that long enough that I don't stress too much. This erotica stuff is new. I like doing this blog - which is read by friends and strangers alike. But when it comes to sharing my erotica/porn/smut/whatever, I find that I seem to have two left feet (or is it two right feet?) when it comes to sharing the dance that is my writing.  

Sharing as in ... sharing with a spouse/lover, sharing with a close friend or another writer or sending it out into the world to be considered for publication. But rather than ramble on about what I think, I figured we'd get a discussion going in comments about this subject. 

So, here's some questions:

Do you share your writing with your spouse/lover? Some? All? When? Why or why not? What's been their reaction? If you have worries, have they been realized or are you just stressing/obsessing for no reason?

Do you have any close friends (in as I've heard it called, the meat world) that you share your work with? What about other writers? Do you have a writing group that you've brought some of your erotica to? 

Do you have a plan for submitting your work? (I'm assuming you're going to.) Or is it haphazard? How do you decide where to send something? Are you picky or don't you care? Do you stress about it? (Not going to get into the acceptance/rejection thing here.) 

And for those of you who've been published, has that changed any of the above for you?

Okay, is that enough? Hahaha. Probably too much. Now I'm going to go do the dishes and come back and answer my own questions.


33 comments:

Erobintica said...

Okay, dishes are done. And yeah, it's late. What can I say, Mr. E is away on business. :-(
I always have trouble getting to sleep when he's gone.

Do I share my writing with him? Yes and no. I've shared a few things. I have too much unfinished and I want to show him finished. Though there is that last piece that I submitted (still waiting to hear) that he has not seen for two reasons. 1) I wanted to test myself to see if I can get a sense of when something is ready to go. And I'm afraid if I show it to him before I hear back, that either he'll spot some horrific screw-up and I'll feel like an idiot, or
he'll be seriously underwhelmed and I'll be sure I shouldn't have sent it. 2) I still haven't shown him some of my ... intense stuff (I stole your word Donna). I'm not sure what I'm worried about. He knows me pretty well. But I still have that "what if he thinks I'm *insert negative term here*?" And usually what happens is I stress about his reaction to something and then he's very ho hum about it.
*Waves*

As for other people - I've shared a thing or two with others - I guess the stuff I've posted here has been read by friends. But I am still holding back a lot. Oh, I would love a writer's group to share erotica with - sitting around a table with wine and yummy food - talk like we do in our blogs. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone in my day to day life that I can talk about all this stuff with ease. Which kinda sucks. I like to talk.

Do I have a plan? ROFLMAO I'm quite disorganized. I'm not disciplined and I tend to write in spurts. Have yet to be able to make that "set a block of time aside and just write" thing work. As for deciding where to send something - I'm still floundering with that. Oh, I know where - I get the ERWA notices and I keep my eyes open as I click around. But as with other writing, I have a hard time actually getting stuff out the door (real or virtual). I'm also notoriously bad at figuring out what an editor wants (I mainly have experience in submitting poetry - which I'm sure is different - but only up to a certain extent) - and I think I often send stuff that isn't right. And I think I worry too long about it and then oops, the deadline has passed. The other thing I do is send something out, and then freeze, unable to send anything else out until I hear a yea or nay.

Okay. Well, it's late and I bet nobody is going to even read this tonight. But I wanted to get this started. I'm sure I'll have more to say. ;-)

Craig Sorensen said...

Nice post, Robin!

My wife is my first line editor, and a very good one. Though she's not a fan of erotica in general, she has always supported my aspirations, and I daresay is a fundamental part of my development as an author. When I explored some rather dark stuff in my writing, I worried what her reaction would be. Ultimately, she has always been positive about my work, and in that specific case, she chided me for holding back.

She was right.

I've shared with a few of my good friends, though erotica is not their cup of tea either, and have gotten some positive responses, which is always heartening.

A few years down the road from my first publication (and boy was I nervous leading up to that) I have to say I didn't start with a specific plan. I had objectives, and I got to know the online markets and began to submit. I ran into a few closed doors and persevered, moved on to anthos and the cycle goes on.

But the key thing is to keep writing. Sometimes I have no idea where I'll try to sell something, and that's okay. Even when I'm writing for a specific call, I write for my sensibility. Sometimes that does not match the editor's.

Yes, you do need to know what the editor wants (don't send a BDSM story to a editor who loves sweet and tender romance) but most editors want variety and individualism in submissions. Know the general timbre of how they assemble collections, and give it a good shot. If your work is well constructed and in the ballpark, I think you'll gain respect. It's not a bad thing to not make a collection or a periodical. I submitted three times to one editor before I broke through. Since then, I've done very well with that editor.

Keep writing. Keep having fun.

JM Stone said...

Hi Robin!

At least I'm not too late to this one ;)

I've shared select pieces with my husband. I'm still working on clueing him in to what erotica is about(writing erotica that is) and have a pretty good idea which pieces will give him the oogies. So, those don't get shared. I have a group of online friends that have access to my blog, but other than broad compliments, no one has said anything specific. I haven't shared it with anyone else in my real life. That kinda sucks.

I have a friend who's an erotica writer who is willing to read what I write and critique, she's actually the one who nudged me into letting go and getting explicit. It's been a fun ride so far.

I agree, though, that having a writers group to sit and talk about this stuff with would be awesome!

I haven't submitted anything yet, but I have a threesome piece that will go out at some point over the summer(there are two CAS that it fits into). I also have a car piece(inspired by the recent car posts everywhere!) that I hope will get sent for submission at some point - it actually has an outline! I don't normally write with one.

I have a day job, and a very demanding home life, so setting time aside to write rarely happens. The best I usually manage is getting up early and writing before work. So no, I don't plan a damn thing.

Oh! But I have a book in progress. Uh huh, a book. I started it last fall and it started developing this really distinct sensual subplot - I set it aside at the time, because I didn't know how to handle that. Now I'm writing erotica, so I'm just gonna let it fly! Woohoo!

Oh, and yes, I stress. I stress about everything.

Crap - gotta run, late for work!!! I'll post more tonight or over the weekend :)

~~J

Erobintica said...

Hi Craig. Thanks for encouragement to keep at it. One of the things I find I do is give up on a place too easily, rather than be persistent.

It's interesting that you say your wife isn't a fan of erotica - neither is my husband. Oh, he'll read something if I ask him too - but he's happy to leave it be "my thing." I'm glad that she's been able to be supportive even of your "dark" stuff. I know I'll get brave here one of these days and show my husband some of the stuff I'm nervous about his reaction to.

Jen, I see you have this same issue. You used the word "oogies" - and I knew exactly what you were referring to! ;-)

Well, I gotta eat some breakfast. BBL (hehe, I just got a button from Alison with that on it yesterday)

cerulean said...

I remember the first piece of erotic fiction I wrote, mixed with breathless romance and clearly autobiographical in many places. I made the mistake of sharing it with my lover who couldn't deal with the emotional aspect of the story, his role in it, and a fear that I might want him to make the fictional part come true. If I remember, the gal got the guy to dance the most sensuous dance with her--naked. I loved that part. Anyway, there have been sightings of him in Siberia, still running and looking over his shoulder.

After he fled, I continued to write in this genre but only when my head would be so full of thoughts and ideas that I had to let them spill out on paper. I'd get it out of my system, read them a few times, and then destroy them. "What if I died and my family found them?" *insert gasp here* "My pure and virginal image would be destroyed! They would be scarred for life!"

But I'm not pure and virginal and my effect on others' lives is really quite small. I love sex and I love writing about sex (among other things) and there's really nothing wrong with that. I have yet to mention my recent submissions to AT's site to hubby (it's a titillating hobby at this point, not something I've made a long-term commitment to do on a regular basis just yet), but the bulky letters and packages from AT are starting to draw questioning stares from him. I will have to make a decision soon. Without going into TMI mode, I can say, he would not approve.

So, no, no one reads my writing before I submit it. I've never been a "draft" person. In college, I always hated courses that required it. I write stories and essays in my head and got it down on paper as close to deadline as possible in order to be done with it. Otherwise, my obsessive personality would have me changing a single word or a comma 24/7.

Oh, there's more, but I think this answers some of Robin's questions. I'm in a different place than many of you, but I'm learning a lot from the blogs I've found to be comfortable, I'm having fun, and best of all, I get to write.

cerulean

Erobintica said...

cerulean - sightings of him in Siberia, still running and looking over his shoulder - this made me laugh - had a great mental image (aided by recently reading a National Geographic article on frozen baby mammoth).

Not to get too personal, but what is it your husband would not approve of - what you write about sex, or just the plain fact you're writing about sex? I know I worry about crossing some line (in my writing) that makes my husband uncomfortable - though of course I give him little chance by not giving him much to read.

Seems we all need to have a brave moment. ;-)

cerulean said...

Too complicated and personal to explain for this venue but yeah, the brave moment will happen in its own good time. And it will be fine.

Marina said...

OK - trying again! I think my other attempt to comment got eaten by the BlogMonster!

Great post! Let's see - I have a friend that proofs stories that I submit for contests or posts on the blog. She's a great proofreader, but she rarely comments on content. I occasionally tell my husband that I've posted something, or that I've entered a contest. But, in general, that's still a very awkward, uncomfortable situtation. He doesn't understand why I do this writing, I don't think he likes it, and I think he feels it somehow reflects on him. I have a few other local friends who will check out the blog if I prompt them.

That why I love this blog community - I appreciate the friends and the feedback -- don't get too much of that in my "real" world.

I don't really have a writing plan. With work and home life, it's tough. I often end up writing late at night. I haven't worried too much about submitting things for publication. I have a few things that might be worthy, but I guess I'm waiting for the right fit. I'd love to have something published somewhere. But, I tend to just write what speaks to me at the moment. And, I'm awfully inexperienced - don't feel suited to writing for some of the calls!

Robin - I love Randy's artwork! Always wonderful!

Cora Zane said...

Sorry Mr. E is away,Robin. It's a bummer with the man gone. My hubster has to travel to work at times too. It's especially tough at night. :*(

As for the questions....

Do you share your writing with your spouse/lover? Some? All? When? Why or why not? What's been their reaction? If you have worries, have they been realized or are you just stressing/obsessing for no reason?No. I don't share my work with my husband or family. My writing is strictly forbidden, and everyone here knows it.

Hubby, who is my BFF, and from whom I hold back no secrets - he didn't initially take well to me writing erotica/ erotic romance. He read part of my very first wip without asking, and it bugged him for 3 days before he came to me about it. We discussed it in a civil manner, and it sort of boiled down to this: I don't check your porn stash, so leave my smut alone.

He wasn't comfortable with it at the time, and I didn't want him to be insecure because it is what it is - fiction. By now (a few years after that first story) he's settled in and has gotten used to the fact I write chick pr0n, and he even recommends my books to friends or whatever. Still, the rule is the same: my stories are off limits. Period. It's just best for us this way.

Do you have any close friends (in as I've heard it called, the meat world) that you share your work with? What about other writers? Do you have a writing group that you've brought some of your erotica to?I know a few other writers offline, and we've been to conferences together, but I haven't shared my writing with anyone in the meat world - unless you can count friends I met online, have never met face to face, but that I now talk to offline. (via phone)

I do have a crit partner, who is also a writer. We pass stuff back and forth all the time and we trust each other with everything under the sun. We've talked for hours long distance on the phone, but I've not met her face to face. Yet. I'm sure we will eventually, once fate puts us in the same part of the country at the same time. :P

My RWA group - the only writer's group I belong to - is also aware I write erotica and erotic romance, but they aren't huge supporters of epublishing or erotica. It's disheartening at times, but I just deal with it, am friendly to the friendly folk, and go on my merry way.

Do you have a plan for submitting your work? (I'm assuming you're going to.) Or is it haphazard? How do you decide where to send something? Are you picky or don't you care? Do you stress about it? (Not going to get into the acceptance/rejection thing here.)I usually have a pretty good idea where a story has the potential to be published when I first start shaping the idea. There are about 5 publishers I mostly target, and I know they publish what I write. That's the key - go where they are looking for your kind of work.

Honestly, the most difficult part with deciding where to send something depends more on the length of the story than anything else. Most epublishers I deal with don't take manuscripts less than 5k words no matter what the genre. Print anthology publishers generally want between 2500-4k words. So you write something for print and it gets R'd, you have to go back and rework it for an epub. Once it's at the 5k target range or longer, though, if a story gets R'd at one publisher, you can go back in clean it up a bit, find any flaw that might've kept it out of the running, and send it out again.

R's happen and they suck, but it's just part of the process. The old saying holds true. You won't get published if you don't put yourself out there.

And for those of you who've been published, has that changed any of the above for you?The only things that have changed since getting published (and I'm still groping in the dark, trying to make it into paper print) is my stress level, and the whole tax thing.

You know, I think about all these questions and it seems to me it all comes down to preserverance. Keep going even when you can't find like minded souls, when you can't find a publisher for a story, and when you get R'd...etc., etc.

Just keep writing. Keep submitting. And do it because you love to do it.

Erobintica said...

Cerulean - that's fine. Hope I didn't make you uncomfortable by asking.

Seems there is definitely something about spouses and our writing. It would be very interesting to hear from some writers that do share easily with their spouses and whether it was that way in the beginning or something they grew into. (HINT HINT)

It's making me think a lot about why I don't share with my husband more. Is it the content? For me - I'd say yeah - sometimes - okay, often - I find I'm writing things that we haven't really talked about much, if at all. Hmmmmmm.

Marina, it's interesting that you have to ask friends to check your blog - I have to do the same thing - though I usually don't bother. I find it curious, because if I had a friend writing erotica and doing a blog, I'd certainly be checking it out. Maybe that's just me.

Cora, My writing is strictly forbidden, and everyone here knows it. I laughed when I read this, then as I read the rest of your comment realized that you were serious. So, an interesting arrangement.

Thanks for the comments about editing and submitting. And the perseverance thing - seems that Craig mentioned that too.

Very interesting. Glad I decided to leave this post topside for a couple of days - it's a very thinky one.

Craig Sorensen said...

Robin wrote: It would be very interesting to hear from some writers that do share easily with their spouses and whether it was that way in the beginning or something they grew into.There was definitely a growth period. She accepted my erotica early on, but I think it took some time for her to embrace it.

Cora wrote:

if a story gets R'd at one publisher, you can go back in clean it up a bit, find any flaw that might've kept it out of the running, and send it out again.
I want to add a thought to that. Yes, I've had a few stories that I edited after rejection and got published elsewhere, but don't always assume that a rejection means there's something wrong with your story. It may simply have not been a fit for that editor and/or collection. Sometimes you can turn a story around as is and get an acceptance because it fits the next call. I've had as much success at this than re-editing and turning around.

This is based on feel, and is refined over time. But I don't feel you start by assuming that there's something wrong with your story when an editor says "no thanks."

Helia Brookes said...

I'm not typical here since I followed Jeremy into writing (and I feel like kind of a fraud because I'm still working on only my second story ever! I go through phases of writing erotica, other fiction, non-fiction, and computer code, plus I tend not to make a lot of progress on any front at once...)

On the other hand, I can talk about this from both sides, because I was the non-erotica-writing spouse for a very long time. I've always tried to be supportive of Jeremy in every way I can, but I do remember feeling an emotion I can't even name when he showed me his first piece, years and years ago. Nothing as strong as discomfort--more surprise mixed with my own awkwardness/shyness about verbalizing what is so largely non-verbal. I needed some time to get used to the idea, I suppose. It helped tremendously to know that Jeremy was supportive of me too--that there was no pressure for me to even read it, let alone love it.

What a minefield this area can be for relationships! It combines the most difficult task--communication--with fear of potential rejection on both sides, then layers on the general weirdness of our society's approach to sex, which I doubt most of us can completely avoid.

I quickly grew comfortable and then delighted to read Jeremy's stories, although almost immediately it became a problem for me to keep up with him. (At this point I'm ashamed to say that I've probably only read a third of what he's written!) I see finished pieces and generally my feedback is "I loved it and here are the specific things that made me laugh" or "Not one of my favorites."

But going the other way, I do actively use J's excellent editing skills. As painful as it can be to face that there's a lot more rewriting I ought to do when I thought I was done, I'm much happier with it afterward.

Oops, this is running way long and I have to go. To be continued later...

Erobintica said...

Helia & Craig - I've got comments to make on your comments, but I'm running late - gotta leave in one minute (haha yeah right) for my poetry workshop - I'll check in later.

Erobintica said...

Okay, of course, I'm the first one here, so I have time to putz around on my blog. I love technology! (at times)

Craig - Thanks for your comments. It's nice to know there was an adjustment period. Helps to know that there is hope that even if there is initial ... uncomfortableness, all is not lost.

Helia! I was looking forward to your comments, seeing as you are in a unique position. Don't feel bad about only being on your second story. And it's great to hear this from the other POV.

Okay, folks are arriving, gotta go. BBL

Cora Zane said...

Craig is absolutely right about this - just because you receive an R, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with your story.

He said:

This is based on feel, and is refined over time. But I don't feel you start by assuming that there's something wrong with your story when an editor says "no thanks."I didn't mean to imply that getting an R is a sign something is wrong with a story, I'm only saying that I always go back in and reread what I submitted to look for flaws - typos, redundant phrases, stuff that might make my story look a little less polished against someone else's story in the slush pile.

I look for stuff I might not have noticed even after self-editing multiple times before initially submitting it. It's amazing the things I miss only to find later once I've put the manuscript down for a while.

But like I said, sending it out that second time truly is a bit like straightening a tie before work. The tie is on and it looks good - just a tweak before leaving the house. ~_^

Craig Sorensen said...

I agree, Cora.

I always reread a story that's been rejected before sending out again.

While one should not assume something is wrong with a story that was reject, one should likewise not assume that it's perfect! ;-)

Erobintica said...

Yeah, I know I always read over poems when they're rejected. Sometimes I make changes, sometimes I don't. Since I know several editors that I've sent stuff to (and been both rejected and accepted) - that often it's just what they're compiling. Sometimes a piece very similar to the one you're sending arrives first and is chosen. Not good if there is not a theme.

And yeah, I know poetry is not the same - but it does inform how I look at the whole process of sending stuff.


I'm so happy - Mr. E got an earlier flight and so he's home already. *Insert very large grin*

cerulean said...

Robin,

So cool to be so glad to have your beloved home with you.

Helia Brookes said...

That's so great that Mr. E got home early! I hope you are celebrating. :*)

This morning I thought I had lots to say about submitting, but really I don't. Jeremy's in a position to advise me about that too and it's worked out so far. Yes, I've got it pretty good!

Oh, one thing: there was at least one call I had a story idea that would have worked for, but I didn't get going on it and the deadline passed. In the rest of my life, I find deadlines very helpful. For my writing, I find them paralyzing and/or they suck the joy out of it and turn it into a chore. Weird, but for now my plan (if you can call it that) is to write first, then find a niche for the completed pieces if I can.

Thanks for another great post, Robin!

Sophia said...

Robin wrote: It would be very interesting to hear from some writers that do share easily with their spouses and whether it was that way in the beginning or something they grew into.My guy has known about my work from the beginning. He's not a writer and doesn't read erotica, but he's always willing to read and line edit my writing. He's been incredibly helpful and supportive.

To echo some of the comments on rejections...It's true, sometimes perfectly wonderful stories will get rejected because they don't fit a specific market.

It's the editor's job to craft a specific product with a particular voice and style, be it an anthology, a magazine or a website. So an editor looks for pieces that will work to project that.

I guess that since I have that in the back of my mind, I don't write spontaneously. I'll examine calls for submission and create something specifically for that publication.

But what's most important to keep in mind is that if writing brings you joy, then keep doing it.

Erobintica said...

Thanks cerulean - yeah, it's very nice.

Helia, I've done that several times - had an idea for a story for a specific submission call ... and never wrote it! I do jot down the ideas, so I guess I could still write them. I do tend to be very good at procrastination. Part of the problem is that there are SO MANY things I like doing and want to do that it's hard to find time for all of them.

Sophia, thanks for your comments. It's cool that your guy is willing to read and edit stuff even though he's not a writer.

There seems to be a mix of folks that either write for specific submission calls or just write or a combination.

Fantasia said...

I share ... because I think that words are a gift! and fear ... is the miss-use of imagination! No one has to read it and, although shy in person, behind a blog ....
In fact, if your bored, why not give my challenge a go and try this:
http://pillowtalkpress.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/eating-head-challenge/

Erobintica said...

Fantasia - asparagus! Oh my, tomorrow I think I'll cook myself up some (I love it, my guy hates it) and take your challenge. Thanks!

JM Stone said...

Hi again!

Oy. Well, I think I'm finding my self all too personally in to midst of being able to answer the "sharing" aspect of this post. I've been working on nudging my man towards acceptance, gently mentioning it here, discussing it there...

Friday(prompted, I think, by getting two buttons from AT) things rather boiled over. He's uncomfortable with it, and has come right out and said so. That he feels he doesn't know me, that he isn't a part of this "new" part of my life, that he can't be a part of it, and it's chafing at him.

I wanted to post about this over the weekend but no luck - there was never any time where I was by myself.

So I think the next few weeks are going to be...something.

Gotta run...have to be to work at 6:30 today!

Erobintica said...

Hi JM,

I think I'm going to do a whole blog post sometime this week with the subject "I haven't changed..." - because I know that folks might think that of me (luckily my guy knows what I'm like - he understands that - I hope). But I know that nothing has changed at the core.

When you said that your guy came right out and said he was uncomfortable - and he doesn't know this "new" you - that's when I thought - but this isn't new, it's just been ... hidden, for lack of a better word (I"m not an early morning writer).

It's probably more true for erotica that folks will think that we're writing about stuff that we actually want to do (some stuff I do, some stuff I don't - but the idea of it gnaws at me). Maybe non-writer types don't understand - though I think the analogy of a writer using murder in a story doesn't mean they're gonna go out and kill someone is a valid one.

Best of luck JM.

JM Stone said...

Thanks, Robin...it's definitely something to work on.

I almost think that if I can write one, submit it, and get paid for it, that'll be different. Then it's a job. Then it's a vocation, and not something I'm doing for a hobby - which means I'm enjoying it.

Did that make sense?

So, I'm going to give it a run again. I'm going to work on a different piece(my current WIP would likely give him the hives) and have him proof it. Something in his comfort zone. Something he might feel was inspired by him, that will soothe his ego.

Oh. Yeah, did I forget to mention his ego was as uncomfortable with it as everything else?

I look forward to your next post! I need to get working on something for my blog, but I don't know what yet. Might just go off the handle or something.

JM Stone said...

Oh...yeah. Not going into work today...started to, and apparently the work we did on the truck over the weekend didn't fix this issue.

*sigh*

Erobintica said...

That sucks (truck). Haha. That rhymes. Geez, it's too early.

Giving him something else to read and proof is probably a good idea. I have yet to give Mr. E some of my ... more complicated (ha!) stories. But I'm determined to.

Donna said...

Sorry to be late to this absolutely fascinating and very nourishing discussion. Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences.

Now my husband is my first and usually only editor for my erotica. It wasn't always that way. I also have one fabulous writing buddy who helped me with my novel, but I usually don't bug her with the ordinary anthology submission. I show her my literary work and essays. But she helped me become the writer I am and we have a great working relationship. A good writing buddy is like a romantic partner--hard to find, but a treasure I would not want to lose. We meet for a literary dinner every few months and I always feel nourished in more ways than one.

I used to belong to a writing group which helped a lot at the beginning, but we've disbanded and it seems outgrown each other anyway. Part of it is that I write erotica and they don't. But they were very supportive of my early efforts. Again, it all helped me take one more step along this tough road.

So back to the husband. Actually, it did not start out terribly well. He read one of my first literary pieces and said, "Well, you won't win a Pulitzer."

I was wounded, not because I planned to win any time soon, but it didn't seem like a supportive attitude. But because I cared about my writing, even then, I got up the nerve to express my feelings to him and he respected that and apologized. Fairly soon after that I wrote my first story that got published--and won a prize of $300. That seemed to impress him, lol.

The erotic elements in my stories appeared slowly and I remember so well the first time he read a no-hold-barred dirty story of mine and got a boner. That was sweet. But really it took about a year of adjustment for him to accept my passion for my work. Now he supports me in lots of ways. But I did feel like I'd become a different person when I started writing, or a person in touch with new parts of myself. It felt like a mid-life crisis--stressful.

So, the spouse can be supportive, but it's never simple. I guess I've really rambled on. Wish we could be sitting around a fire with some wine!

Thanks you, Robin, for this thought-provoking post.

Erobintica said...

Hi Donna - late is always fine - and I'm going to respond to your post even though ...

I have to keep scrolling waaaay down to read it while I type, haha.

I've never been part of a ... general writing group where people have different genre's they write in, so I don't know how that would be. My poetry writing groups do sometimes stray off to some memoir or song lyrics, but so far no fiction. I've brought my erotic poems to those, but not stories - I probably wouldn't even consider that. I think there are only a couple of members of one of my groups that has even read ANY of my stuff at my blog.

Wow, your husband said that Pulitzer comment and lived to tell about it? ;-)

It's very interesting to me how what our spouses think of our work (to the extent they know it) weighs so heavily yet doesn't seem to deter us from writing, at least not in the long run.

Thanks for stopping by, Donna. Ah, sitting around a fire with some wine - this discussion would go on till daybreak.

ste said...

I'm new here, and I just thought I'd chip in... I'm just starting trying to write erotica. I've scribbled down various ideas/scenarios before, but I just got stuck into the writing exercises in 'How To Write A Dirty Story' last night. And I felt a bit giddy that I'd finally got stuck in, but also a little overwhelmed by how hard it all seems!

I have a vague idea that it would be nice to have something published some day if I ever get to be good enough, but I really don't know if I would. Maybe I'll start a blog! For now, it's just for me, but I hope to rope in a friend for reading duties eventually!

Erobintica said...

Welcome ste! So glad you could join us. It is hard at first. I was sure that everything I wrote was crap and nobody would ever want to read it - that is if I let them!

go for it!

ste said...

Cheers for the welcome! I'm glad to have found your blog. And I will go for it!