Wow. Things have sure been a whirlwind around here! I am struggling to keep up with emails, conversations, phone calls, messages, comments, etc. If I don’t reply to you, please forgive me and write again. I appreciate each and every one, truly. This is *not* an “I’m too busy for you!” diva moment. Please don’t stop writing to me. But since going on Twitter and now trying to set up a Facebook page/account as well as Google+, I have been a bit overwhelmed. Facebook is being horrible (more on that in a later post), and Google+ is confusing the heck out of me. I have vaguely heard of Goodreads and tried Shelfari once long ago (didn’t like it), but I am doing my best to get my name out so that when Kat hits the virtual bookstores in March people will at least have some idea who I am. My fear is that Kat will be a colossal flop and that the publisher will decide that means non-sexual F/F domestic discipline is a no-go for any future commercial ventures. Sales really do matter. I don’t mean just for the possibility of publishing a Kat sequel (though I am of course hoping for that chance) but also the possibility for any other F/F writer who wants to explore beyond the usual erotica genre. I respect and like my many DD/erotica author colleagues, but from the very beginning I have wanted non-erotic DD fiction to have its day. Now that Kat is being given her day, I’m afraid she will disappoint. That people will find the whole spanking-without-sex thing weird. Kinksters will find her too vanilla and vanillasters will find her too kinky. Not sexy enough to be erotica, not innocent enough to be vanilla, not romantic enough to be romance, not “out” enough to be lgbt, not “in” enough to be Christian family values…
My first-born got her chance for the limelight, and I am clucking and fussing over her wondering if she is really ready. Straightening her dress and tucking her hair behind her ears trying to help her make the best impression. Maybe it is good that March is six whole months away.
The jitters are compounded by a self-imposed (but externally enforced) vanilla writing deadline in just over two weeks. Yeah, that. Yikes! First draft of my prospectus due. Eek! I have written 15K words in the past three days (kink, not vanilla), and I am resolutely sticking to Anne Lamott’s tried-and-true writing rule of “keep butt in chair”. Now if only I could keep butt in chair and clicking finger off all the fun internet sites! It is hard to know the difference between sound relationship building vs. just having fun at the expense of work.
On the other hand, all of this focused writing has given me confidence that I *can* keep on even if I don’t get the response I want initially. It’s also helped to give my passion an outlet. It is very hard to sit on my hands for days and weeks waiting for A’s approval to go ahead with what I want to do (and need her permission for). Taking control of my kink writing and finding other outlets for it has helped me to feel more capable in my vanilla writing and interactions. I have a book contract, I think to myself, and I smile. I no longer have to prove myself. I have to work hard and persevere, but someone has already said that my work is worthwhile. Kink or vanilla, it’s still the same writer. I have options now.
In the week since I signed my book contract, I’ve nearly finished a new manuscript (a Christmas story–will share a sneak peek on Sunday). Came up with ideas for a third manuscript to write after submitting this one, too. Part of me fears that I have used up all of my best writing on Kat, but then I realize there is a lot that I want to write that has nothing to do with suicide attempts or shyness or the aftermath of rape. Kat is my first-born, but I want a large family. I hope my next children are better adjusted emotionally.
I have also been aware that very few other authors share as much personal information as I do on my blog. I have been thinking hard about this and wondering if I need to modulate what I share. Do I need to make my blog more professional and less chatty? (Says the woman who just inserted a bunch of silly sassy comments into the sidebar…) That sounds, honestly, boring. If I’d be bored writing it, wouldn’t everyone be bored reading it? Besides, you would all need to find someone new to tease and scold. :) I like being silly and having fun. The publisher doesn’t have any policies for authors online except for the usual common-sense play nice suggestions, so it is up to me.
Wouldn’t you all be bored if I started posting 10 Tips to Getting Published and so on? I know I didn’t start out as an author blog, and to be perfectly frank there are already a lot of really good writing-help blogs that have a lot more money and resources and experience than I do.
A person I respect very much once told me, “Everyone wants to find someone to be a mentor, and then they find out that there is no one else.” He meant that we have to become the kind of person we wish could mentor us.
I may never find my holy grail of non-sexual F/F DD fiction author who yet still understands my Christian and prudish under-layers. (If you find her, please send her to me!!) I may never find anyone in the kink or vanilla world who can understand me and help me with my path-blazing. I have found, however, an amazing assortment of readers and authors and supporters who welcome me with open arms despite all of my craziness. This patchwork quilt of support, I need to keep reminding myself, is neither small nor insignificant.
I will struggle, and keep struggling, to be the kind of mentor to myself and others that I always wished I could have.
If you don’t like it?
I’m sure there’s a good blog for you out there somewhere. We’ll all find our places eventually.