August 20, 2015
Don't Quit Now!
This post could also be called "Getting Better All the Time." Or even "Don't Quit While You're Behind."
Lately, I've been mining through old files. Partly to recycle and partly to locate. It's a dig. Archaeological Erotica. (Maybe I'll discover a dinosaur!) I don't remember half of what I've found.
One thing I've realized is that I'm massively better than I was when I started. Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but although my style hasn't changed much, I believe I've elevated the quality. You know, grammatically. I see glitches and naive issues in some of my early pieces. I'm a little embarrassed occasionally by the nostalgia and slightly saccharine atmosphere of some of the work. I want to be hard edged. I want to walk a razor-fine tightrope.
What am I proud of? The need. The raw, hungry, desperate need in the words. I knew what I craved. I was aware of my desires. I fumbled sometimes in how to put those urges into phrases. But I tried. And I give myself a gold star. E for Effort.
So when people say writers should stop because there are too many of us, I am baffled. Had I stopped twenty-five years ago, I would have given up at my lowest. I don't care how many other people are writing around me. I only care about what I do at my dining room table. (Or corner booth at the bar.)
My goal? To move forward. Up that fucking ladder. Of success? No. I've never been in this for fame or fortune. (Thank god. What a sad revelation that would have been.) I've already described the landscape of my early writing days. My personal goal is simply to improve. With every word I write. Each character I welcome. I want to get better.
In fact, I want to be my own best.
Truth? I didn't see this rah-rah post coming at all. What I planned to write when I sat down was a piece called "Not Your Grandfather's Porn." Which will have to wait for another day.
P.S. Want to make my week? Pour yourself a shot of Alison on the Rocks, my indie collection of bar-related sex stories. Readers have said: "The way Ms. Tyler tells all these bar stories is so perfect. I hope she serves another round very soon." And "Temperatures will be running hot after this one. Be sure to have something close by to cool down with."