So, I may or may not have written a smutty short story that is about to be published in early January.*
I’m pretty nervous for a couple of reasons, the first being that it’s the first thing I’ve ever actually published (besides my goofy webcomics, and well, those are different, not to mention “self-published”); and second, the short story in question is a bit smutty.
Maybe even more than a bit.
And that carries with it a whole level of awkwardness to it that I’ve never really had to deal with before. In the really real world, I can barely talk about smut without blushing or stammering, so to write a short story that is… er… “erotic” is pretty daunting.
I also feel a bit nervous because I’m such a slow writer that I don’t really have anything else to show for myself. All the other writers I know have written tons of things, and even if one particular story isn’t your thing, they have enough of a body of work that you can keep reading around until you do find something you do like. When all you have to show the world is just one, lonely, little short story, it feels as if it is too little, and maybe even too late.**
A fourth reason I feel nervous is that since I’ve never published anything, I don’t quite know how to go about telling people that I’ve done it. Do I affect a blasé attitude and pretend that this is no big deal, and that “Of course, I published!” or do I tell everyone I know, “Hey! I can has published a short story! I are a writer naow!”
I’m sort of leaning towards pulling my hat down over my eyes and ears, and just making a whining-groaning noise until February, and if anyone can decipher what it is that I’m saying, then they win! Or lose, depending on what you think of the story.
I’m also a bit of an idiot when it comes to things like grammar. In many ways, I don’t feel like I know enough to actually write anything worth reading (but that could just be the insecurity speaking. I think in many ways, having a goofy webcomic has taught me that the world is big enough that someone will love your work, grammatical errors and all.) Don’t get me wrong: the short story was edited by an incredibly patient and eagle-eyed editor. But even the most amazing of editors can only do so much, considering what they’ve been given, you know?
And last but not least,*** I worry that some readers will wonder why I even bothered to write a prose story in the first place. I’ve had people tell me (in the distant past, and yet the barbs still sting) that I shouldn’t bother doing ___ because I’m just not as good at it. I should concentrate on whatever it is that they feel I should be doing.
Besides being hurtful (and always said in a matter-of-fact tone,) I don’t think the critic realizes just how bored I get doing the same thing day in and day out. I am always working on a variety of projects, some of which at their best might be considered mildly successful (for a given value of the word) but most of which will be considered failures, or “learning experiences.” Just because I’m not as good at them doesn’t mean I am going to shy away from them, or that I even should shy away from them.
It just means that you, the viewer, may not get as much out of my projects as you would like, and believe it or not, I worry about disappointing y’all.
* Spoilers: I totally did write one. When I get my act together, I’ll start writing more about it as the marketing stuff at the publisher starts to kick into high gear. until then, I don’t want to accidentally blog something I’m not supposed to!
** I saw an article on “When Do Great Artists Hit Peak Creativity?” and the author pulled something clever around with the golden ratio, but all I could think was “Alice Neel painted until she died! She never really gained fame until her 50’s and 60’s!” I have known more than a few artists who felt that if they were not famous by the time they were 25, they were a failure. I can only hope that there is no such stigma attached to writers, because I am a really slow writer! And… um… a bit of a late starter.
*** “last” as in “I need to finish this list before it gets too long, so I’ll nip it in the bud here, but there’s really quite a bit more I have in my head that is worrying at me.”