[5 minute read]
I am responding to the #WickedWednesday prompt ‘Time’ to take the opportunity to look back on how I have developed and grown as a writer and blogger in the last year. When I started this blog on NYE 2016 I was initially writing for myself, and blogging into the silence (just a handful of followers).
Once I began to use Twitter this changed, I found lots of like-minded kinksters to bounce ideas off. I got feedback about my writing, discovering other people’s blogs and different ways to do things. I learned to use Twitter to share links (my own and other people’s) I participated in the regular memes which bloggers use like a pinboard to post stories, pictures and opinion pieces which also gave me the opportunity enjoy other people’s submissions. It became clear that it’s important to give feedback to other bloggers on their posts, in reciprocation for them reading my work and commenting.
I reached out to several other bloggers whose writing I particularly appreciated & began to make real friends. I met up with @BibulousOne – having shared DM’s which let to each of us writing posts on being ‘Boarding School Survivors’ which cross pollinated! He’s a charming guy who reassured me that I would enjoy Eroticon, that attending could help me make like-minded friends. He kindly DM-ed a few contacts to ask them to look after me there.
I was ‘virtually’ befriended by Elliott Henry who always encourages me in my writing, his participation made me curious to enter the #SmutMarathon. Getting an email from Marie Rebel suggesting the same thing, I felt I should give the writing competition a try. Unfortunately I only qualified for the minimum rounds, but it made me question my writing standards and styles. Reading the entries in successive rounds and their constructive criticism helped me learn. Congratulations to everyone who participated, particularly those who lasted the course until the finals.
May More did very well in the Smut Marathon. She and I became firm friends at Eroticon, although we knew from our DMs that we were on the same page! Visiting this wonderful conference, I met people I admired (Cousin Pons, Cara Thereon, Molly Moore, Jaime Mortimer, GotN, Masters’ Eye, Kayla Lords, John Brownstone, Luv Bunny and Tabitha Rayne) to name just a few. I attended several educational talks on diverse topics. I left the conference with fired-up creativity, I was determined to push the envelope when I got back to writing.
Another attendee at Eroticon was Anna Richardson, the entrepreneur who created FrolicMe, a site which provides classy erotica for women and couples. Chatting with her I was keen to become a contributor and I’ve since written erotica and non-fiction pieces which she’s published. Frolic Me was also the catalyst which brought me together with my some-time writing partner @PJAWoode. Never having co-written before, this has represented growth.
I’ve tried my hand at taking erotic photographs for #SinfulSunday, but always more lighthearted shots than skilful (Elliott calls me the Queen of the selfie-stick). So I was particularly delighted when my picture was used as the sidebar of E-Lust. I also adjusted my reviews on adult toys, by farming the task out to Vampy Valentine, a collaborator who injects a twist of humour into the whole proceeding.
I have got better acquainted with many bloggers through my regular Saturday interview slot so am massively grateful they’ve given the time and opened themselves up to scrutiny. There is much to be gained from knowing what their roots and preferences are, and I particularly like their responses to my ‘film’ question. I’ve made the connection with Michael (@DomSigns) regarding tech troubles and May has also explained the intricacies of links.
I have recently joined in with the Smut Relay – where the instalment you write must follow on from previous episodes yet leave room for later writers to continue the thread. I’m also practising being more brief and concise, participating in #FridayFlash a weekly meme on @fdotleonora’s site which stipulates you tell a story in a maximum of 500 words, the less the better!
I continue to forge partnerships and collaborations, my latest being with @Aguyinpanties. He’s shared both his feelings and his well-crafted erotic short stories on my blog. I am very happy to have had a 2-part story published on the U.S. site Bellesa which features female-centric erotica. Working closely with the Editor there I gained a crash course in editing which helped me inject emotions and change of pace into my writing.
A fellow blogger Swirling Fire has taught me the importance of content warnings, not only when setting up my blog post but also when tweeting about it. This important lesson has not come easily to me, I have inadvertently touched on her triggers by re-tweeting things without adding the necessary CW tags. At the very least a #NSFW tag helps people avoid/prepare for seeing overtly sexual images, people such as she have certain content words blocked from appearing in their feed. I’ve also discovered that noting the ‘reading time’ on posts increases reader engagement, allowing people to plan whether they have time to read a piece now, or to schedule it for later.
So from my humble beginnings as someone who reviewed books and thought I could maybe craft a sexy short story, I have learned and grown a lot this year. With a ticket booked for 1 day of Eroticon 2019 I am hopeful of continued improvements for a steady trajectory, maybe getting ranked a little higher in Molly’s esteemed Sex Blogger Top 100 next year.
Click on the link to see who else is participating on the theme of ‘Time’
– image is from Pixabay.