Know Thyself and Pay Attention

NOTE: This blog will sometimes have adult language. Readers can count on my being blunt. The writing here is casual in the sense that I will write much the way I speak. It may or may not be perfectly grammatical. I make no apologies. Also, I use the ban-hammer. I might warn you before I drop the hammer; I might not.
Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to my face in my living room. Don’t be shitty. Be kind instead. It uses less energy and is better for everyone.

Writing is obviously a pretty solitary pursuit. As an introvert, by and large, this makes me happy. But it means that I have spent a ton of time in the past looking for advice on writing. I’m not alone. Most writers I know spend at least a little time searching out there in the wide Universe, looking for the one true path to productive creativity.

For sure, there’s plenty of writing advice on the ‘net. The The Office of Light and Letters–the National Novel Writing Month people–has built and continues to build a wonderful and supportive online community. Chuck Wendig is a no-nonsense, no bullshit source for common sense writing advice. I like Kris Rusch and her husband Dean Smith for a different and contextual take both on fiction writing and on the business of writing fiction. People throw up memes on Pinterest and Facebook all the time with advice for writers from other writers both contemporary and historical. It’s actually hard to escape other people’s writing advice now that I’ve gone looking for it.

My experience, however, is that about half (or more) of it is non-applicable to me.

Whenever I take the advice of some other more experienced writer too much to heart, I almost always fail–sometimes epically. Writer’s write. If I don’t write then I’m not a writer. The bottom line is that I write more when I ‘meta’ my own process.

Writing is an internal process. Spinning something viable out of your guts pretty naturally means your insides and your baggage will be all over your art whatever it is, in subtle and not so subtle ways. There is no external advice that is going to be universally applicable to such a messy business. When I pay attention to what works for me and drop the “how I should write according to X” off the proverbial cliff, the whole thing goes better and I’m more productive. Figuring that out made my life much easier.

Note that I’m not applying this to the business of writing fiction. That’s a whole other topic. However, for me, these individual internal rules apply to literally everything that involves the methodology of the craft and art of writing–plot, character development, sentence and paragraph and scene and chapter construction, even writing software. Pick your poison! Some advice is helpful but much is not. Sorting it all out takes some time and attention.

This includes getting my butt into the chair to write at all.

In fact, that’s my best example. Most advice I find on the net involves the regular application of the butt to the chair and the fingers to the keyboard. I’m not arguing against that truth. Writers gotta’ write. But such advice usually includes a heavily weighted rider something along the lines of “And Write Every Day Forever And Ever, Amen”.

The year I tried to write every day was the least productive year I’ve had since I got serious about this joy ride. Instead, I learned that I hyper-focus. If I want to write a book in a timely fashion I need to set it up first (and the way I do that is very much my way!). Then I need to write the original draft all at once over the course of four to six weeks. If I don’t, I stumble and start to over-think everything on the page. Those projects take me years to finish. I believe that I lose my train of thought and it takes me much longer to get it back than it would have just to finish the damned draft in one fell swoop. Because I’m stubborn, I do manage to finish those projects. It’s just much more difficult to get even that one draft done.

If you write, don’t write my way. If you write, figure out the way that works for you–even if it’s “write every day”. 🙂

“Know Thyself” is an old but still relevant aphorism. But the only way it works for me is to also “Pay Attention”. External advice has value. I just find that my value for it is limited.

A Note

This is just a quick note to say that both Lily and Alistair are live at Smashwords! Next stop, All Romance Ebooks!

Going Hot

Alistair is live on Kindle!

Book two of the Descendants of Lilith is up on Kindle! Currently, I’m wrestling with formatting on the Smashwords versions for both Alistair and Lily. If I can get them to a certain standard Smashwords will publish them to Kobo, I Books and Nook. I’ll put up a notice here when I manage that feat!

Here’s a blurb:

Kenelm Sutton, a retired military officer and a survivor of Waterloo, hears that a young lady of Quality is going to be auctioned off at a brothel. The other interesting tidbit that he gathers is that the woman in question may also be a Daughter of Lilith, just as he and his lover, Alistair Temple, Earl of Ravenwood and famous rake, are also Lilith’s Sons. Though they hide in plain sight, the Children of Lilith are hybrid human/incubi/succubi.

When the two men investigate the rumor, they find that it is true. They purchase Harriet Stanville with the cash in their pockets. But all is not quite what it seems. Ravenwood and Sutton were never supposed to be there at that auction, let alone make off with the prize. Someone wants Harriet. Someone wants more than Harriet; they want Ravenwood’s attention. Evil is abroad and the three new lovers are its target.

In a timeline a breath away from ours, the lives of the descendants of Lilith are complicated. But with courage, flexibility, lust and joy, love is there for them to share.

Here’s a look at the cover.


Getting Started

I’m an erotic romance author who tends to specialize in polyamorous menage romances with same sex interaction. I like to write in a number of sub-genres–everything from contemporary and historical to science fiction. While I’m very focused on writing menage, you never know. I’m very character driven both as an reader and a writer. My characters often take me to interesting emotional places!

Currently, I have one book on Kindle. “Lily” is an alternate history novella that takes place during the Regency era in London. Unbeknownst the majority population, there exists another kind of human. They call themselves Lilith’s Children and their mythology says that they are the Goddess Lilith’s descendants. But over time, any minority population will interbreed with the majority and all Lilith’s Children are human/incubi and succubi hybrids. It’s confusing and dangerous to be a Lilith’s Child, even for those who are members of the aristocracy. Some of them have even forgotten their Lilith’s heritage. Late on-set puberty and an erratic array of traits that come to maturity at that moment make Lilith’s Children’s lives both easier and more difficult.

I really love this world that I’ve built, so much so that I’m not done building it yet! I have a second book that is very near completion, requiring only a last round of edits and a cover, and a third that I’ve nearly finished writing. The fourth novel is in a rough, unfinished first draft.

Generally, I expect that I’ll use this place to keep people up on what’s going on writing wise. But should anyone stumble over my little corner of the universe, I’m amenable to erotic romance book related discussions. Or even discussions about the writing process as I stumble around in the dark figuring out just what mine is! Just ask in the comments.