Warning: Just ahead is another writer-whining-about-writing blog post. Hang a hard right to avoid this road hazard if you aren’t interested!
Ok, I’m having trouble producing ACTUAL helpful content for this blog, and I’m sorry for that, but I feel I am really getting a grasp on what is needed for revisions and self-editing. I am, ALSO, really grasping that there are SOOOOO many writers in the world, producing a shit-ton of work, and almost none of them are making any money. Some are even losing money.
And it’s not that I’m writing for the money and fame and money and groupies and money. I’m writing because I have to write. But writing is not the same as publishing, or trying to get published. You publish to make money, get your voice out in the world, and put good stories in front of people. And if you don’t have enough money for your needs, writing for a little extra money becomes a very important reason to publish.
It’s the artist’s eternal dilemma. Do you try to make money from your art, the thing you actually feel good producing, until it sucks you dry, OR try to work some soul-sucking job that pays (and creates) the bills.
I feel I’m getting close to producing the absolute best manuscript I CAN produce, and it will be up to an editor/agent/publisher to take it any further, unless I do decide to join the ranks of the self-published. But, keeping a watchful eye on publishing and marketing and readers has really opened my eyes to how very superfluous my work is. Completely unnecessary. Won’t likely be noticed or acknowledged.
Part of that reason for my self-doubt is that the tone is erotica, and it has been made VERY CLEAR to me what other writers think of erotica. I can’t ignore that I have written romance in a visceral style, and I like writing that way, so I have to label it erotica or risk misleading potential readers. BUT, now, I get to cringe when other writers go on a rant about erotica, and how it’s the downfall of the written word, and erotica writers are stealing more than their fair share of the market, and surely they are tricking all those readers into reading such filth, and, and, and… I mean, I quickly learned to not bring up erotica in face-to-face discussions, because the usual expression of disgust, even if it’s a micro-emotion, is such a kick in the head.
I want to tell you, and myself, that the writing is important. The story is important. Getting your voice, your work, out in the world is important. People need your story, and my story, but, lately, I’m just not so sure…
I think the problem is that I may not have enough of an ego to publish. You don’t have to be a raving egomaniac to publish–plenty of authors can pass for normal folk–but you do have to have that absolute certainty that you wrote a Very Important Story the RIGHT WAY. Better than any one else could have! And it’s rather fitting that after so many years of hard work, THAT will be the thing that stops me.
I’ve sat on this post for week, and written and re-written some version of it many, many, MANY times over the past seven months. That’s why I haven’t been posting very often. I guess coming to realize the sheer depth of my own mediocrity is a little too eye-opening for this poor, fragile, sensitive artist.
But something made me write out this whole mess of insecurities and doubts, AGAIN, and show it to you. Because anything less would be inauthentic to the writing process, which I have promised to show in this blog, unfiltered, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. Even when it feels self-indulgent and whiney. (And, this post feels really, REALLY self-indulgent.)
Strangely enough, a firm conviction to be as authentic as possible may be the most important habit I’ve developed in the weird grab-bag of writer’s skills that I’ve picked up.
But, can resolute authenticity pass for ego? I guess we’ll find out…