There I was, sitting at the dining table in front of my laptop, sweat beading on my brow, gulping red wine, typing and deleting and typing and deleting and doing a lot of creative swearing. This was my fifth revision, or my fiftieth. I’d been working on the manuscript forever. You know that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize something you poured your heart and soul and time into is actually a giant nugget of crap? Did I forget how to write? Seemed like it. The task of yet another revision loomed in front of me. There was not enough wine in the world. I needed a break. A fresh start. A diversion.
What better than good old porn!
I put aside my work in progress and got started right away. The new book took me six weeks to write. Six weeks of pure, unbridled freedom. Instead of dread when I opened my laptop, I looked forward to continuing the prurient adventures of my passionate heroine, mining the darkest corners of my imagination for novel experiences that would titillate, offend, render speechless whatever audience dare lay their eyes upon the text. No editor sat on my shoulder scrutinizing each sentence. No inner critic bashed me over the head when I over-used adverbs.
It was just what I needed. A release. A breath of fresh air.
Like everything new, I learned from it. I mean, I learned that I could churn out smut with the best of them. But I also had to come up with a cover, front matter, a social media presence, a blurb. The experience helped prepare me for whatever was to come next. I bombarded my friends with pleas to buy my book. I looked for reviewers. I marketed.
I did not tell my dad the name of my book or my pseudonym. Because when I say erotic fiction up there in the title of this post, what I mean is the nastiest sex book you could ever imagine coming out of the brain of someone not currently incarcerated for deviant behavior.
And I freaking made thirty-eight dollars. Score! Nothing like receiving money for something you had fun doing.
Bottom line is this: I didn’t have to take things so seriously. When I came back to my work in progress-the very one I wanted to rip into a million pieces and incinerate-I came back with fresh eyes. I came back lighter. Sure, I had work ahead of me. A lot of work. A freaking shitload of motherfucking work and it continues to this day and will continue forever. But that is the very thing that makes me a writer.