Today is a sad day for me personally in terms of my writing and the struggle posed by trying to be an erotica writer. I had formed a bit of a niche with Callie Press, a talented writer who would come and go, appear on the radar like an Airbus for a few months and then fade off into the sunset like a topless cowgirl with her hat tilted just so and her fiery red mane billowing in the wind. Unfortunately, I have noticed a bunch of my reviews missing in the last few days and, upon closer inspection, I see that those missing reviews are Callie’s. It’s not a fact, but I have come to accept that Callie is gone. Maybe she’ll pop back up in a year like nothing has happened, but in the meantime it is one more comrade who has taken to an early erotic-literary-grave. It’s sad that so many people have called it quits in recent day.
What’s next for Literary Erotica? For Smutpunk?
I was joking with Shelby a few days ago that we will succeed in this writing game simply by outlasting everyone else. Writers seem to be dropping off like flies into halogen bulbs. I wonder why this is. Maybe they had unrealistic expectations of glory and fame. For me, I enjoy working on my craft whether I’m selling one book a month or five a day. I really don’t care that much. Of course, I’d love to have a mansion in San Francisco like Danielle Steele, but I don’t mind eking out a living for myself and my kids in a soul-crushing day job while secretly donning the King Smutpunk cape at odd hours of the wee morning and middle of the night to cut smutpunk into virtual stone. It is what it is. Sometimes I work really hard writing for no reward. Other times I’m a lazy shit who hasn’t written a fucking word all week and for some reason people are buying my books. I’m lucky to have some loyal fans who I adore. I’ve met some very interesting people through my smutpunk writing, so I doubt I’ll be dropping off the map. I think it’s a slow, steady slog for me. Who knows?
How to protect yourself?
Try to surround yourself with decent people. Don’t fall for the hype. There are some snakes out there (see Sarchasmo V. Whiteprick for an insider’s take on this). Beware of snakes! Keep them at arm’s length. Set reasonable goals. I often think to myself, if I was only 100 times more popular I could be a full-time writer. Well, becoming 100 times more popular is a lot like hitting a 7 run home run to win a baseball game. It’s not that it’s impossible, it’s that it can’t be done in one stroke. It takes years of hard work honing craft, publishing, having small setbacks, small successes, and then perhaps a surge is possible, but nobody starts with a surge. What fun is that? That’s like cumming before sex. Not fun at all. In fact, I think there’s medicine for that.
All in all, if we set realistic goals and find some supportive people, like the folks on #SmutStreet on twitter and the luvies at SmutStreet Von Bitchensteins, then you should be able to tolerate the heartbreak and loneliness that comes with being a writer. I hope you do. I’m openly looking for new comrades.