Tag: Blog Posts

Challenge Completed!

At the start of this month, I challenged myself to write a new 800-1650 word blog post for every day in May, by the end of the month. It is now 9:11 PM on May 31, and this will be my 31st and final blog post for this month, completing my challenge!

 

  1. May Challenges, Past and Present
  2. Where Do I Get My Wonderful Ideas
  3. So You Have An Idea
  4. A Burgundy Evening
  5. You Know The Tune
  6. Being An Invisible Writer
  7. The Nature and Nurture of Pain
  8. Twitter, Huh, What Is It Good For?
  9. Why I Don’t Write Reviews For My Fellow Erotica Authors
  10. Why He Thinks You’re Pretty
  11. Finding Words & Thoughts
  12. Got Mentioned in the “Loving BDSM” Podcast!
  13. NOT In A Single Word
  14. Why I Don’t Use Trigger Warnings
  15. In Which I Battle Myself To Write This
  16. “This Has Never Happened To Me”
  17. How To Suck Your Own Cock
  18. Rejection Letters
  19. Stop Kinkshaming Ammosexuals
  20. Aaron Gold’s “Don’t Mind If I Don’t” Podcast
  21. Myself As Well
  22. Avatars & Objects
  23. Is It Okay To Fantasize About Being Raped?
  24. Hobbies, Skills, and Passions
  25. Is It Okay To Fantasize About Raping People?
  26. Is It Okay To Write Rape Fantasies?
  27. How To Have An Orgasm (Solo)
  28. How To Have Multiple Orgasms (Males)
  29. How To Write An Orgasm
  30. Where To Start The Story
  31. Challenge Completed!

I started my Goodreads Blog (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7514047.Richard_Bacula/blog)  

on April 16, 2014. Between that day and April 30, 2018, I had managed to write a whopping FIVE blog posts:

1. Jagermeister Night

  1. How To Be As Sexy As A Dead Deer
  2. The Nature of Storytelling
  3. Size Is Everything
  4. “Amazon.Com Has Rejected Your Product Review”

 

I’ve never been good at blogging, but it’s something that one needs to do in order to create a platform and to let the world know that you exist, and that you’re interesting. So this year–after utterly failing last year’s challenge–I got the idea of writing blog posts instead of erotic stories. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been a success.

I increased my total blog content by six fold, I got to say a lot of things that I apparently wanted to say, and I had fun. I mean, I’m tired, but it’s been fun doing this! I have more of a feel for writing blogs, and I have more practice now. This makes me more likely to write more in the future.

One of the other things that makes me more likely to write more blogs in the future is that I now have a WordPress blog set up in addition to my original GoodReads blog. It’s a better website, with lots of neat features that have helped me out, and that I think will help me out in the future.

One of the problems that I’ve had as a writer became painfully clear to me this past month: I’m not a tortoise–I’m a hare. I’m not slow and steady; I’m fast and furious. I can get a lot done in a limited amount of time, but then I tire out, and I turn to other things. Usually, the chaos of my life and my Fucking Day Job take hold, and lots of time passes before I get back to whatever writing project I was on last.

When it comes to attracting blog audiences, you need to produce regular content, and getting to the keyboard on a regular basis just isn’t my thing. I’m not capable of doing that until I can write full time, and don’t have all the distractions that I have now (like paying rent). But what I can do is to, next chance I get, write a bunch of new blog posts like I’ve done this month, and to have WordPress automatically post them at regular intervals. I can sprint, then I can rest while WordPress tortoises on for me.

That makes me a LOT more enthusiastic about blogging!

Also, I live for feedback. One of the things that has kept me motivated this past month is watching all the Notifications about people around the world Liking my posts, Following my blog, and generally noticing that I exist. This hasn’t translated to sales, but enthusiasm and morale is just as important in many ways. So I say this:
If you want me to keep writing this blog regularly, give me feedback!!

I can use the help to nudge me in this direction. It doesn’t have to be Comments on my posts (although those are ideal and awesome!). You can just send me a tweet @RichardBacula, or an email RichardBacula@Gmail.Com, letting me know that you read something I wrote here, and what you thought.

At this point, 9:37 PM on May 31, everything is written. Some of it won’t get published on WordPress until tomorrow or later, and it’ll be later still before I get everything up on clunky old Goodreads. This might be my last blog post for a while, or it might not. Part of that depends on you, and part depends on me.

Thanks for your support this past month!

(I’m gonna go drink until I pass out.)

How to Suck Your Own Cock

[Disclaimer: I’m going to leave it to your imagination to decide whether I’ve done this, whether I’m doing it right now as I type this, or whether I’ve simply researched the subject thoroughly in other ways.]


First and foremost, it helps like hell to have a long cock. Think about it. If you’re 5’4, and you have a 3’ cock, it’ll be easy as pie to reach your pie-hole with that beast. I mean, if it’s proportionate, you might not be able to fit your mouth around it… but you’ll sure as fuck be able to REACH. You can lick your own crown, tongue your pee-hole, whatever. You can make it work.

The longer your cock, the easier time you’ll have reaching it with your mouth.

For most guys, that alone won’t do the trick. For most of us, we’d need to use some special maneuvers.

One of the ways is to lie flat on your back, then to raise your legs up until they’re perpendicular to the ground, then to keep moving them forward until you’re resting mostly on your shoulders, and your waist is above your face. Open your mouth, pull your own hips forward, and try to carefully work that cock into your mouth. Don’t jerk when you pull, and don’t pull so hard that you strain/pull a muscle or damage your back.

This is something that you don’t want to cripple yourself over.

If you can get any part of it in your mouth at all, it might well be just the tip. That’s okay–use it. Suck on it, tease it with your tongue, and so forth. This should help you get longer and harder, and maybe get more of it into your mouth.

Again, don’t hurt yourself. I’d hate for anybody to try to sue me over this, and I don’t think that anybody would come out of the trial looking very good.

If that simply doesn’t do it for you, if you can’t get your own cock in your own mouth, then you’ll have to try something different.

Method #2 is to sit on a couch, with your hips as close to the edge of the couch as possible. You want to be perched on the frame, and then you want to curl forward and down to bring your mouth closer to the target. It helps if you’re dealing with a Hard target, so feel free to play with yourself and such. Just don’t use any funny-tasting lube.

Next, reach both arms down and grab the bottom of the couch. Pull yourself gently forward. Again, don’t jerk. Again, don’t hurt yourself. But pull yourself down cautiously and steadily. If necessary, use one arm to maintain the force needed to hold the position, and use one hand to position your cock closer to your mouth.

If nothing else, you should be able to lick the tip.

A large belly is a problem here, because it means you can’t curl up the right way. That’s why Ron Jeremy can’t suck his own dick anymore–his belly gets in the way. That’s a tragedy, because it was once his claim to fame, his signature trick. If that happens to you, the only thing to do is to lose weight and slim down.

Method #3 is similar to #2, but more horizontal. This time, you need to get into a bathtub (or similar structure), and put your knees over the side of the tub. Your spine should be perpendicular to the tub, sideways from how you normally (I presume) lie in a bathtub. If you have hot water in the tub, that might make things loosen up and make you more limber, but it also might make it harder to stay hard. Use your own judgment on that.

You want to again curl up. You want to have the backs of your thighs against the side of the tub, and you want to grab the outside of the tub with your hands, to pull yourself forward and down so that your mouth lines up with your goal. Again, this position is very much like #2.

If and when you get there, when you finally get your cock in your mouth, it probably won’t be all that satisfying. It’ll probably be a bit like tickling yourself–being on both ends of the sensation will mute the experience for you. But there are guys who come this way, and that’s another issue you’ll have to deal with. Do you want to come in your own mouth?

That’s something you might not know until the moment arrives.

If/when you get your cock in your mouth, it’s not going to be an ideal position. The upside of your tongue will be on the upside of your cock, not on the more sensitive underside. You’ll have to use your arms to do a lot of the work, pulling yourself forward and back, so you can fuck your own cock with your mouth (the head is going to be doing most of the movement in any of these positions). Sometimes it might help to pull the loose skin that covers your cock forward, to get more of it into your mouth, into the reach of your tongue.

If you succeed in all of this, you might not come the first time. You might have a back or neck ache. Again, be careful. With sufficient practice, though, and horniness you might well be able to finish this way, to come in your own mouth. You probably won’t like the taste, although that’s subject to the individual.

Needless to say, don’t worry about whether or not this makes you gay–it doesn’t, not any more than using your own hand to jack yourself off makes you gay. Homosexuality is all about what you do (and how you feel) about other people, not what you do to yourself. I hope by this point in history, men wouldn’t worry about that sort of thing, but I’m adding this disclaimer anyway: Sucking your own cock–even swallowing your own semen–does not make you gay in any way.

I mean, you’re still a filthy pervert, but that’s a separate issue.

In Which I Battle Myself to Write This

“You don’t have to write anything,” I told myself. “All you have to do is to open up a new tab with Google Docs in it.”

Yesterday, I wrote something like 4-6 blog posts, which started catching me up on my goal. I figured I could probably get ahead of schedule today, without much effort. But everything has been effort today.

It hasn’t been a bad day; it’s been an inert day.

I’m not in a bad mood; I’m just effectively paralyzed by… I don’t know what. My mind, I suppose. My ADD is full throttle, so I’m constantly distracted by stuff. I’ll sit down at the computer, and three hours will have passed. What happened during that time?

It’s a mystery.
I looked up obscure shit on Wikipedia. I argued with some twat who was wrong about something stupid, and who won’t learn anything from the experience of me walking them step by step through the echoing halls of their own ignorance. I watched some pointless videos on YouTube. I pissed most of my day away, doing nothing.

And even as I told myself that there was still time to accomplish something productive today, I told myself back that I didn’t want to do anything productive. I want to do nothing. I want to do glorious nothing all day, all week, and for the rest of my life.

It’s a trap that I’ve fallen into before, and it can be hard to get out of.

So I’ve learned to fool myself into being productive. I tell myself that I can always procrastinate later, that I need to do something, just ONE thing, then I can get back to the abyss of mindless online nonsense. Or I can watch something on Netflix. Or I can pet the dogs for an hour. Or I can stare out the window, or at a wall. But I have to do one thing first: I have to open a tab with a blank Google Document in it.

This is a trick, and I know it. Fortunately, I’m stupid enough to fall for it, and I’ve been writing non-stop for over two minutes now. I’ve battled me before, and I know a lot of my weaknesses. A blank page is one of them. I’m compulsed to put something on it, and once I have that something, I’m compulsed to add to it.

My ADD, and my OCDish tendencies can cut both ways, and against my worst judgment, I use them to cut my way slowly forward, to make myself do something productive.

My doubts kick in. Is this even a good blog post?
I parry with my own laziness: it doesn’t matter if it’s good. As I learned in school, “D” means Done.
My anxiety lashes out at me. Am I saying any of this right? What if it nobody knows what I’m talking about? What if it offends people somehow? What if….
I dodge the attacks, using my own procrastination to avoid even thinking about the questions, let alone answering them.

And here I am, 511+ words down, with a minimum goal of 800.

Things are flowing faster now, and I’m getting into the zone a bit. I’m able to type out my thoughts freely. I’m in familiar territory, because I’ve fought myself this way many, many times before. I’m fighting an enemy so familiar that we might as well share the same brain, except the enemy IS my brain, or parts of it.

I spend a few minutes trying to look up an applicable quote, something somebody once said about attaching a yoke to their own lusts. It was an eloquent idea, and a sound strategy, but all I’m getting right now are Bible quotes, and I’m pretty sure none of them are close to what I have in mind.

The point of the quote–and of this blog entry, if there is one–is that when you understand that you can be your own worst enemy, and when you study this enemy, you can adapt to an extent, and you can overcome yourself. I’ve spent depressingly close to half a century analyzing my own thoughts and actions, watching myself carefully to figure out how I’ve screwed myself up in the past, and how I’ll screw myself up in the future.
I suspect that I’m not the only one who has this kind of problem, the problem of self-sabotage, the problem of being my own enemy.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who uses this kind of solution, manipulating myself coldly toward my own agenda of self-improvement and productivity.

But I also suspect that there are many people out there that don’t have it down as well. I didn’t, decades ago. I get a little better every year. And I wish somebody had told me, had shown me, many years ago how I could fool myself into being more useful in my own life.

As a writer, the first step is always to look at a blank page.

That’s often also the hardest step, because the thought of a blank page is sometimes the scariest thing in the world, something that you’d rather kill your entire day–and even eventually your lifespan–than to face head-on.
So break it down, to the basics.
Set your goals small, starting with opening up a new document.
It’s an easy goal, and you can lie to yourself that it’s the only goal, something worth doing just for itself.

But when you get there, and you’re looking at that big, white Empty, push yourself to go just one step further, just one tiny step, and
Write.

One.

Word.
If you’re like me, that’s the hardest part, the biggest demon you have to slay.
It’s a deceptively complex project (but don’t let yourself catch on to that!), because in order to write that one word, you have to have a sentence or a half-sentence ready. And once you have that first word written, it’s easier to finish that sentence than not. It’s easier to finish that half-sentence than not, and if you have half a sentence, it’s usually easier to finish that sentence than to not.
And once you have that first sentence down, the second sentence will come pretty easily, as will the one after that.
And before you know it, you’re at 1056 words, and even a D means Done.

Finding Words And Thoughts

It’s the 19th of May, and my challenge this year is to write a new blog post for each day of the month. So far, I’ve written only TEN blog posts! That’s not great. I need to catch up, and I need to do it fast. I’ve set an 800 word minimum for my posts this month, so if you’re following my blog you should probably expect to see a number of upcoming posts that are short and hopefully sweet, things that I churn out quickly in order to get to the next post.

I’ve gotten quite good at doing that kind of thing with short stories, but blog posts are a different kettle of fish. With writing short erotic fiction, especially stuff in the 800-word range, the only thing to focus on is the sex itself. There’s no time to say much else in that kind of project, although other stuff can be squeezed in. With blog posts, it’s all saying other stuff, which is less in my area of expertise than with writing highly-detailed sex scenes.

As I’ve mentioned before, the key to cranking out a lot of writing fast is learning to get out of your own way. You have to push all of your doubts aside, shove your insecurities into the basement and lock the door. You can’t spend time second-guessing or third-guessing everything that you type, because you’ve got to get through the word-count and move on to the next project, then the one after that, and so forth.

This is also where it becomes important to be what they call “fluent in writing.” Writing is a kind of language all its own, different from and more difficult than speech. Being fluent in writing means that the time it takes to translate the thoughts in your head onto the page are minimal. Ideally, you can more or less type out your thoughts as quickly as they occur.

Learning fluency in writing takes time and effort, which is why most writers hand out advice like “write every day” or “keep a daily journal” or so forth, because learning fluency takes a lot of practice. When you first start writing, it’s difficult because you have all this stuff in your head, and it’s hard to get it onto the page properly.
You might envision a tall, muscular, dark-haired man with a mustache, with a basket-hilted longsword on his hip, a cloak on his shoulders, and a top hat on his head, riding a black seventeen-hand Shire stallion with lovely brown eyes that match his light brown leather horse tack. This man is riding quickly, but not at a full gallop, and he’s in a forest of Scotch pine. The full moon is high in the sky, but the forest is still dark. He’s in a hurry to reach his true love, but he’s wary of the bandits that sometimes set upon unwary travelers in this forest.

You might, in your early years of writing, write that down as “James rode Augustus through the woods,” and then be completely puzzled why your friends and family aren’t blown away by what is–in your imagination–a very powerful scene. That’s because you haven’t learned the language of writing yet, so important details were lost in translation.

Fortunately for me, I have wasted decades of my life arguing meaningless minutia with people on online message forums. I started out on dial-up Bulletin Boards, and continue to some degree to this day. More fortunately for me, I have always had in my head an inkling that I wanted to be a writer someday, so as I was typing furiously back and forth with all those people online, I tried to use it as practice. I put forth some level of effort in everything I wrote, trying to make sure that things were well-spelled, well-punctuated, and whenever possible cleverly phrased. The net result of all this is that I am fairly fluent in the language of writing, to the point where I can usually write rather smoothly, with little to no need for serious editing or rewrites. Usually.

Another helpful factor is that I have always been a big reader, and it is always helpful when learning a new language–such as the language of writing–to immerse yourself in that language. The more you drink in, the easier it is to spit back out. You can subconsciously learn all sorts of rules and subtleties of the language that aren’t taught in school, and you find it easier to think in that language as well, minimizing the translation required to put your thoughts to paper.

All of which is to say that when it comes to blog posts, I know that I’m capable of the speed which will be required for me to catch up to my goal, and to complete my May Challenge for this year. The main obstacle will be finding enough material to write about. All the fluency in the world is of absolutely no avail when one runs out of things to say.

Being An Invisible Writer

Conventional wisdom is that independent authors can’t ever achieve success by going around asking everybody they meet to buy their books, especially if they do it by spamming out social media posts, emails, and what not, asking people to do exactly that with no other introduction. Conventional wisdom is correct.

What you’re supposed to do is to come at things a bit more sideways than that. You have to create a “platform,” some kind of format or forum where people come for something other than your for-sale writing. Once you have the crowd good and hooked on whatever free thing or things you’ve been giving them, then you casually mention that oh, you’ve happened to have written something that happens to be for sale, in case anybody is interested. By this time, the people all know you, and they presumably like you, and they’ll be much more likely to be interested in whatever it is you happen to be selling.

Conventional wisdom is very likely to be correct again… but it doesn’t do me any real good at this point.

I’ve put in the time and effort to study my craft at a national university. I got my degree, but it’s not bringing me any money, so I have to have a day job to pay my bills while I try to fend off the student loan jackals repeatedly. I’m not asking for pity here–it’s all perfectly normal, and I’m not exactly a starving artist. But if I had it all to do over again, I’d do things differently, because the only real skill I picked up in college is writing itself.

I have the skills it takes to weave (hopefully) compelling stories, full of interesting characters and/or situations. I do not have the skills required to make a podcast, or to have a YouTube channel, or whatever else it takes to build a decent platform. So it seems to me a bit like going to law school, then graduating to discover that all lawyers must hand-build their own office before they can take any new clients. It’s a bit frustrating.

Not only do I lack the skills it takes to build a pre-existing audience for my work, I also lack the time. It can take years of dedicated work to build up a decent base of potential consumers who are all interested in you and what you have to say, and I’m in my mid-forties. Taking on what is essentially an unpaid second job, in a field I’m uninterested in, and spending a few years at it before seeing real results, just doesn’t seem like something that I’m realistically able or likely to do.

All of which means that I have to find other ways to let the world know that I exist.

I mean, sure, I’m going to try to work on my platform, and my brand, and so forth. That’s one reason why I’m dedicating this entire month of May to adding to my much-neglected blog. Blogs, actually, because in addition to my old Goodreads blog, I’ve set up another blog on WordPress, and it’s seeing some activity already. I only started my WordPress blog five days ago, and I already have 13 followers. That, plus my 150 followers from my Goodreads blog means that I have a potential platform of 163 people. Maybe it’ll increase significantly by the end of this month, and much of my irritation and hand-wringing about platform-building will turn out to have been for naught. I doubt it, but that’s okay–I have other plans.

Because I don’t envision much success with building my own platform, I plan to try to figure out ways to use other people’s platforms. For example, this year I’m focusing more on submitting work to anthologies, because while I only get a one-time fee for that kind of work, the people putting together and selling the anthologies are going to do the heavy lifting when it comes to promotion. The people will hear about the anthology because of the antho-makers’ platforms, and when they buy the book, they’ll read it, see one of my glorious stories, and think to themselves, “My! Who IS this Richard Bacula chap, and where can I read more of his wonderful writing?” Then they’ll go to Amazon, see my 30-something titles currently available for sale for as low as 99 cents (ahem!), and perhaps make a purchase or two.

Similarly, I plan to look into doing some guest blog posts on other people’s better-supported, better-promoted blogs. If you’re reading this, and you have a blog with any kind of decent following, and you might like a guest post from yours-truly, let me know.

For that matter, I’m always open to co-writing short fiction with other authors. There are plenty of authors who have the opposite problem that I do–they’re significantly better at promotion than they are at the actual writing part. For that matter, there are non-authors who have a platform and a following, and who haven’t really considered breaking into the erotic fiction market, and who could use a talented co-author like myself. Again, if this sounds like it might describe you or somebody you know, contact me or have that person contact me.

As things are, I feel that my main obstacle is simply getting the world to know that my writing exists. My sales currently make my writing a fun hobby that brings in beer money, or the occasional minor windfall like when my BDSM novel (which happens to be free for Kindle today if you want to check it out) “Letting Go” was mentioned in Women’s Health Magazine a couple years back.

I guess that’s all that I’ve really got to say at this point. I’ve got some other irons in other fires, and some secret schemes to rocket me to the top, but nothing really worth discussing at this point.

See you next time!

You Know the Tune

I had it in my head that I was going to write a post about the musical comedy TV show  phenomenon “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” today, but that’s not exactly what’s going to happen. It’s a very good show–smart, funny, sharp, and raw–and I think that it should be drawing a much, much larger audience than it has been. I wanted to write a post that would give a breakdown of the show, and maybe encourage some new viewers.

But I’m not going to do that.

The show does far too many things, far too well, for me to try to sum it up in such a way as to get the right people to understand that they not only might enjoy the show, but that they might well need to watch the show. At the same time, this show is definitely not for everybody.

If you want to know more about the series, and if you’ll like it, google around. I’m betting there are plenty of articles on it. You can also go to YouTube, and try watching any number of the musical numbers from the show, or perhaps start with Rachel Bloom’s song/video Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury.

In fact, even if you have seen that one before, I encourage you to watch it again. It’s a classic.

Initially I was too busy watching the show to really notice how good it was. The songs were funny, sweet, sad, and often were skillful parodies of songs, singers, or genres. I was just going along, watching this show, making note of good aspects here or there, minding my own business, having a good time.

Then the dangerously talented Rachel Bloom reached out of the television, grabbed me, threw my emotional self into a goddamned wall, and I was crying.

I don’t cry often.

I’m not saying that this song will make you cry. You may very well not have the same emotional buttons and triggers that I do, and you probably don’t have the same view of the same world that I have. But what set me off was a painful recognition of captured truth unleashed into my heart and my brain. I’d never seen that episode before, and I’d never heard Rachel Bloom sing that song before, but I knew it by reputation.
I knew it because I’ve seen women that I love singing their own version of it to themselves.

I knew it because men have our own versions of this song, and I’ve heard those playing in my head many times after making a horrifyingly painful mistake. The song itself is part of the pain, the self-inflicted insult to the injury.

This song “You Stupid Bitch” is about “self-indulgent self-loathing,” and takes place after the character Rebecca Bunch (played by Rachel Bloom, of course) has her zany romcom-style stalking antics blow up in her face.

This is the point where you, my readers, need to either click on that link and watch the video, or to consciously decide NOT to. I’d have some kind of trigger warning here, but I believe that the sort of people who are likely to be triggered by this song have already sung their own variations countless times, personalized versions just for them, that would hurt much more than listening to this song will.

When you’ve watched the video, come back here and scroll down to read more.

The first time I watched this song, it started off being kind of amusing. Then it became a bit uncomfortable. Then it was amusing again, then suddenly insightful into one of the largest problem in many doomed relationships (“Yes, Josh completes me, but how can that be, when there’s no me left to complete?”).

It goes right back to amusing again, as she invites the audience to sing along with her, to help heap abuse on her, because “Yes, I deserve this!”.

The part that got to me–that still gets to me, every time I listen to this song–starts with “he sees me for what I am,” as Rebecca launches into a stream of familiar words that have been weaponized against women, using those words to cut at herself the way I’ve seen far too many other women attack themselves after fucking something up somehow.
Bloom plays things perfectly, using the word “bitch”–that sharpened sword of a word–sparingly at first, then increasingly to the point of discomfort, then holding off for one final pointed stab at the end. There’s the playful kick to the side, the “and lose some weight,” the kind of pointless, gratuitous, self-hating thought that occurs to people when they’re in that kind of self-abusive mood.

With this song, she crafts the image of a demon that we’re all familiar with either first-hand or second, and by doing so she captures this demon into a less harmful form. Women will watch this song, and it might sting them, but it’ll sting less than the song that their own demon sings. And the next time their own demon starts singing to them, they’ll remember this performance, and the dark humor will undercut the damage of their own self-flagellation. By skewering this demon in painful parody, Rachel Bloom is creating a tool that countless people will be able to use in their real lives, to help survive and endure some very harsh moments.

And she does this while singing beautifully, looking stunning in her glamorous dress.
Rachel Bloom is a force to be reckoned with, and she’s spend three years attacking some of the biggest chains and torture implements that women are subjected to, both by themselves and by society at large.

This show deserves more attention.

May Challenges, Past And Present

In 2015, I issued myself a personal challenge: write one brand new erotic short story every day in the month of May. I set myself a 700 word minimum per story, and told myself that the stories didn’t have to even be GOOD, just not horrible.

It was a struggle, but I succeeded, and I turned those stories into my “Short Strokes” series, which is available on Amazon (I suggest “Short Strokes: The Complete Collection,” simply because it’s the best value for money by far).

I did this challenge for a number of reasons. For one thing, I wanted to have more titles for sale under my name. The more titles I have, the bigger chance somebody stumbles onto one, and the bigger the chance that they fall in love with me as an author. Or, at least, that they enjoy what they read enough to pick up a second title.

Also, I did it to improve my writing.

One of the problems that I had as a writer early on was my own perfectionism. I could–and did–sit and tinker with a single short story for years. I had trouble knowing when a story was finished, because I could always revise it to be just a bit better than before. As an author hoping to make a living with my work, I needed to be able to actually finish my work, and to do it in a timely manner.

That’s the other issue–time. I wanted to practice meeting deadlines. I wanted to be get better at not only finishing a story, but finishing it within a specific timeline.

My first May challenge was a good growth experience, one that sharpened my skills as a writer in both of those areas, and more.

In 2016, I issued myself another May challenge. This time, I’d again try to write a short story for every day in May, but I’d up the minimum word count to 2,500!!

Again, I succeeded.

It was rough, but I hammered out 31 new short stories in one month, and most of those are up for sale on Amazon.

On the final day, late at night, I still had one story left to write, and only a couple of hours left before midnight. I was completely out of ideas. I was fried. I was damn-near brain dead. I’d learned that the only way to do this kind of challenge was to force myself to get out of my own way, and to

Just
Fucking
Write!

Desperate for an idea, ANY good idea, I went to twitter and started reading through the tweets by @MagicRealismBot, a plot-generating bot that I follow. Almost immediately, I found an idea that I knew I could work with.

From memory, it was “A game-show host is climbing an octopus. She will never make it.”

About an hour and a half later, I’d finished writing “The Octopunishment,” my first tentacle-erotica story, a pornographic Greek myth about an afterlife of sexual torment for a woman who dared insult a god.

I’m particularly proud of that story, especially considering the pressure that I was under. It turned out damned good, and I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it.

In 2017, I again issued myself a May challenge. Same as before, but this time I swore to have a minimum word count of 5,000 words!!!

And I utterly failed to accomplish my goal.

Like, it was pathetic.

I wrote two stories that month, and only because anthology submission deadlines were due. My life upheaved, and I found myself in the midst of several crapstorms that I won’t even get into.

The point is, WOW, did I fail!

So here we are. It’s May again, and I’m going to try another challenge. I’m low-balling it a bit, because my defeat last year stung, and because my life is pretty busy due to my current Fucking Day Job.

This year, I’m going to focus on my much-neglected Blog that I started in 2015. Currently, I have something like five posts. If I meet my challenge, I should have 31 more blog posts to add to that by the end of the month.

Starting today.

Starting with this post right here.

I’m thinking that I’ll aim for 800 words minimum per post. Word-count usually comes pretty easily to me, so I should probably have a ceiling as well.

What’s a good limit? 1,200 words? 1,600 words?

I guess I’ll figure that out.

Got any other advice for me?

If you’d like more information on my previous challenges, I did a couple of interviews about the subject with my friend and fellow erotica author Angora Shade for her blog back in 2016. I encourage you to check both interviews out, along with the rest of Angora’s blog!
http://angorashade.blogspot.com/2016/04/story-day-may-challenge.html

 

http://angorashade.blogspot.com/2016/06/story-day-in-may-ends.html