Friday, May 20, 2011

Writing for yourself

I have this WIP I've been working on for almost two years, perhaps longer. It started right around the time Firsts was accepted for publication from Loose Id and has been referenced in numerous interviews in response to the questions "What can readers expect from you?" / "What are you currently working on?"

I wrote the first 12k or so before hitting my writer's block, and I tell you, it sucked. As any author knows, writing when your creativity is tapped is like trying to milk a bull. It just ain't happening, folks. Sorry, thanks for playing, please claim your consolation prize. It's also no surprise that last year, during my writing drought, I was going through one of the longest bouts of OCD-inspired depression I'd experienced in some years. I was also at a job I loathed and in a constant state of panic about losing that job due to my OCD.

Yeah, not fun.

A lot of things changed last year at the same time. I began CBT as in an effort to battle OCD (which was amazing -- as much as I knew about OCD then, I know 10x that amount now, which makes dealing with spikes so much easier). I also manned up and quit the job I had needlessly worried over (honestly, I actually hear some of the customers I once helped stopped going there because I was gone. Suck on that, bitches), and got a job where I didn't have to stress much, if at all, over anything.

Is it any surprise I began writing again?

Funny as it is, when I began writing Lost Wages of Sin, it was less out of inspiration and more out of wanting something out there while I continued work on that other WIP. Of course, I quickly became enamored with the world (true fact -- LWoS reminded me how much FUN writing can be. I hadn't enjoyed working on anything as much as that story in a painfully long time). I never intended LWoS to spawn into a series, but spawn it did, and I'm enjoying every minute.

If you're wondering, the original WIP in question is nearing completion (though will likely exceed the word count goal) and will hopefully be out this fall.

Here's the punchline, though...I don't think my readers will like it.

I really don't.

Well, except Sarah Ballance and Nikki London, who are reading it as I write. It's dark and creepy and very sexual, and while I am damn proud of the story, it just doesn't seem like something my readers will enjoy. At least, those readers who expect comedy with my writing (according to some, I'm good at that).

So why am I writing it? Because I wanna, dammit. Because the thought entered my head and refused to leave, and those are the stories I want to tell. I doubt I'll want to see the reviews of this book (should it even be accepted anywhere), but that's okay. It's something I did for me. And hey, maybe I'm being pessimistic or whatever, but I also refuse to shutdown a project I love because bloggers might not like it. Someone out there will. If don't write what I want to write, why the heck am I doing this to begin with?

Hopefully I'm wrong. I mean, every author wants their stories to be universally adored, and I'm not exactly someone who views the glass as half-full to begin with. So, hey, stranger things have happened. I've read books much, much, much darker that sold well and were critically acclaimed. It could happen.

And if it doesn't, oh well. You live and you learn, and then you get luvs.

2 comments:

Sonya Clark said...

As a new author who very much wants to succeed, I've put a lot of pressure on myself to try to write what sells (namely erotic romance since that seems to be what sells the most in digital publishing). And every time I try, I fail. (I will keep trying because its gotten to a point where I hate that its defeating me.) It is very heartening to read about someone who is writing for themselves, the story they want to tell. Thanks for sharing that.

Rosalie Stanton said...

The pressure to write what sells was another factor that contributed to my writer's block. I felt I had arrived!!! -- oh shit, better prove they sent the invite to the right house! It was horrible.

Really, over the last couple years, I've worked on not letting the bogus stuff interfere with the process. If I'm not going to write the stories I want to tell, why bother?

It sounds like you and my friend, Nikki London, have the same issue when it comes to erotica. There are many very popular presses that accept material even if it doesn't have the explicit heat level that, oh say, mine do. :)

And I won't pretend to be a pro at this stuff (ever, ever, ever, ever), but if you need any help, I'll do whatever I can to be a reliable resource.