Wednesday 31 October 2012

And the next step is...!

Phew, let me tell you, self-publishing is one great big stack of jobs to get through. Ever since I've started it's always seemed like there's been something else I should be doing in the near future in order to help my new vocation along, and it's a lot to digest.
I found out about most of these things pretty early on during my research prior to publishing: blogging, tweeting, foruming, networking, sorting out publishing on different sites, and a whole host of other minor stuff. Needless to say it was totally daunting. I spent hours just reading through pages and pages of Smashwords documentation to make sure I got everything right before putting up my first story, and, like I promised myself, I took it nice and slowly. A couple of months down the line I'm starting to get a lot more comfortable with publication just using Smashwords (although I'm still waiting on a whole ton of financial paperwork to sort out before I can actually get paid), and I feel like it's time to start networking a little and making my work more visible online.

So what've I been up to in that regard? Well this blog's been the start of it. I'm still a complete twitter newbie so that's still on the back burner. I've been trying to get involved with a couple of forums though, specifically Kindleboards and Eroticaforum, although the latter seems to be in a bit of a hosting-limbo right now and I still haven't heard back from the admin. Hopefully a touch of socialising will integrate me a bit more with some of the online writing community and net a bit more attention for my stories. On top of that, now that I'm comfortable with Smashwords I hope to start getting published on Amazon soon.

As intimidating as all of this was when I took in the whole package a few months ago, little by little I've been working through the steps of what I can do to make this venture a success, and I'm happy to be passing the hurdles one at a time as they show up! There's a lot more looming on the horizon though, and I've definitely got a long way to go yet.
Persistence and perseverance!

Sunday 28 October 2012


It's always a struggle trying to find a steady rhythm when you need to be self-motivated about something - heck it's hard enough finding any sort of rhythm at all. Right now I'm tackling not only a loose schedule of one ~5000 word erotic short a week, but also the weekly modules of my degree and monthly essays looming on the horizon. I feel like things would be a heck of a lot simpler if I was doing just one or the other, because right now I often feel like I'm compromising the first area of work if I spend too much time focusing on the second. Hopefully down the line I'll have more freedom to defer modules of my studies or take a month off writing when I need to knuckle down, but for the time being I can't really afford to neglect either in these early stages.

So how do you find that sweet spot of productivity on such a vague and loose schedule? I'm not a fan of setting strict guidelines and work hours for myself (even though that works out great for some people) as it tends to circumvent the whole benefit of being self-employed in the first place. Right now broader deadlines seem to be working pretty well for me. "I'll get one story done within this one week period", "I'll take two weeks here to work on this essay", "I'll need at least three days to get this chapter read".
As long as there's plenty of planning ahead, plenty of wiggle room, and plenty of time to get everything done, my sporadic schedule seems to go just fine for me.

Plus, if all else fails I know for sure I can fall back on "Just sit down and do it".
And I mean, that simplest solution is really the best one when it comes to any form of creative media. Time and again I've come across people who've been very talented in one area or another, but never get their dream off the ground because they tend to treat it as a hobby rather than work.
Spoiler alert: no job, no matter how fun, ever stops being "work". Creative pursuits can be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, but there's still some element of an uphill battle there every time you sit down to focus on them.
So I just sit down and do it. Just do it. Just write, even when you're not feeling into it. I'm going to make this my goal in order to hit my self-imposed deadlines in the future, and I know for a fact that plenty of uninspired beginnings have turned into productive several-thousand word sessions once I get in the mood!

I don't think there's ever a point where most writers feel completely and utterly comfortable with their own productivity, but there's definitely a point where you start to become more and more comfortable with meeting the demands you set for yourself!

Thursday 25 October 2012

Beginning the Blog

As an aspiring erotic author I'm going to kick off a blog of my own, hopefully as something that'll allow me to interact with and update readers in the future, but also as a bit of a personal record of how things are progressing and what sort of developments I see over the coming months.

So how about a little bit of an introduction!
I'm a relatively young writer, currently passing the time at home working on a second degree in English Literature after having graduated a year and a half ago with some average grades and a minorly useful qualification in Creative Arts under my belt. My days are pretty quiet, pretty free, and even with my studies I have a lot of spare time on my hands. So what does that leave me to do? Sit around at home half the day? Waste money I don't have on leisure time? Get a part-time job I'm not likely to enjoy all that much? Well, that last one sounds like the most productive option. Luckily for me I stumbled upon the world of erotic adult fiction through sites like Smashwords and Delilah Fawkes' infamous thread on the SomethingAwful forums. Writing has always been my passion, the freedom to work from home and flex my creative muscles is something I'd readily do day in day out even if I wasn't making much of a living from it. The prospect of making actual real money though, well, safe to say it's a dream come true!

While I'm still a bit of a fledgling writer in terms of my talents and accomplishments, I feel like three years of study (plus an ongoing interest in my spare time) has at the very least left me equipped to hop into the world of self publishing and get to work on something productive. I've been looking into the area of short erotic fiction for around three or four months, and publishing for the last two and a half (although that second month  ended up not being very productive - end-of-module assignments have to take priority!). So far I have seven short stories published, and my goal is to get roughly one done a week, subject to the demands of my studies. It's a slow burner, but I've sold ten titles on Smashwords, most of them very recently. From everything I understand this is a business that picks up steadily over time, and already I'm starting to see the results trickling in!

Anyway, that's enough of a ramble for my first post. See you in the future for more erotica blogging and updates on how my quest to be a professional smut-writer is going!