If you have not yet read the “About” section (link above) or the “Welcome to the Insanity” entry that opened this blog (scroll down or see link to the right) please do so now and then continue to read this entry. If you have, please proceed.
This message will be featured on every entry I post here. Unfortunately it is necessary.
Warning: this entry is a long one. Future entries will be less wordy. Which is counterproductive to the “Writing Blog” idea but, I understand your time is important to you and I should just get on with the point already. This first major entry has too many points to be short and sweet. Stick with me, it is worth it. I think.
For as long as I can remember I have been writing in some way, shape or form. In Jr. High I wrote about 100 cheesy angst ridden poems and stories about various random topics only a teen mind could conjure. In High School I excelled in any class where writing and reading were a requirement and started a National Enquirer like magazine with a friend in which we made up outrageous rumors about the teen dreams we were pasting up on our walls. At any given time if you asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up” I would say “Sports Journalism.”
School days came and went and I continued to write random stories, adult angst poems and attempted a ridiculous number of “amazing movie idea!” scripts. Through two Bachelor’s Degree programs and several different clerical type jobs, I wrote. I’ve got notebooks filled with ideas, random thoughts, and even a handful of complete stories.
This past week I was cleaning out a couple drawers in my room and found 3 notebooks full of writing ramblings. One of the notebooks was clearly one I kept on my desk when I worked at Fox Sports, as a Treasury Clerk, where notes about Bank of America transactions got mixed in with character dialogue and story notes. It struck me how even when I was inundated with overwhelmingly large responsibilities handling money for one of TVs largest sports networks, I was writing.
When I worked at Paramount I spent most days pestering my cubicle neighbor, also an aspiring writer, about writing movie scripts and analyzing movie stories. When my time was up there I attempted a freelance writing career where I would write movie taglines and radio ad scripts for the studios. It failed to make me feel productive and I was still telling myself writing could not be my “career” so I went back to school to learn Graphic Design. And, you guessed it, continued to write.
While I was looking for design jobs I was supplementing my time with writing news, reviews and articles for a teen entertainment web site, and when I needed a bigger outlet I created my own site for a more mature audience. In October the online writing ended, for reasons I will not discuss here in this blogspace.
There was a bit of personal blogging mixed in between these fits of writing, but that got shut down for reasons I will not discuss here in this blogspace.
Most of you already know all this. There is a reason why I am recounting it though. See, in all that time writing was, for all intents and purposes, simply a hobby I did while I was doing “real” work, or, looking for it.
In recent weeks, maybe even months, I have come to the decision that writing IS my real work. It is my life, my desire, my happiness. And the source of all my stress but that’s part of the process. So I sat down, take a moment to smile, nod and return to topic…and wrote a long letter to three people who are important to me, who this decision might matter to, and then never sent it to them. In the end the letter was really to myself. It was my way of letting go of whatever was holding me back from being what I have known I wanted to be for my whole life. Writer.
The first step in this really came in November when I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – a 30 day writing exercise where you sign up to their web site, get advice and inspiration from other aspiring and even some established writers participating in the same exercise, meet a word count goal and say you finished the first draft of a novel by November 30. I missed the word count but finished the first draft. And it did its job. I was ready to continue to write more stories, and I am considering editing and expanding the NaNo story.
That was the first “mainstream” story I have written in many years. And now we come to the fun part. What do I mean by “mainstream?” That is how I distinguish between the PG-13 story I wrote for NaNoWriMo an the dozen or so I have written in the past five years that fall under the category Erotica. Gay Erotica to be exact. I found a section of gay erotica stories on a web site I am a part of and wondered if I could write one. I tried it, posted my story in the section, and got a lot of great feedback. So I wrote another, longer one. Got more great feedback, and continued to create stories in the genre.
In October I uploaded one of the longer stories to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing* site for eBooks. It is priced at $0.99 and has 5 reviews. Only 2 of those are from people I know. I then compiled the best of the shorter stories into a compilation and published that as a collection. Pricing it at $0.99 as well. It has 1 review, from a friend. But I have not done any kind of advertising on either title. During November I did a free download 2 week promotion where the first book got over 400 downloads and the 2nd one got over 200. That is 600 people I do not know who had eyes on something I wrote.***
So there you have it kids. I have decided that what I want to do with all my heart, soul and being, is write. I currently have 4 stories I am working on in varying stages. 2 are mainstream and 2 are erotica. I have no idea which will take shape first, and I have considered writing them all at once. Which could lead to some fun future entries.
This is where I will conclude this entry. Thanks for reading.
*KDP is a free service for Amazon where writers who want to self publish can do so and make their books available for download on Kindles and any device that has the capability of running the Kindle app.
**I created a nom de plume (pen name) – Anastasia Reeves. I did so because at the time I was still writing for the teen market and felt it best not to be able to Google my real name and come across the eBooks. Although I am no longer writing for a teen audience it was suggested I keep the name to differentiate between genres.
For anyone interested in reading the erotica, here are the links. Remember, I warned you. These books contain explicit gay sex. Written by me.
“Boys in the Band” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NN22KQ
“Naked Truth” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T86YC2