September 13, 2015

Porn 101


Sometimes I have too many ideas, and I can't focus long enough on any one of them to reach the end. Did I say sometimes? I mean, that's my life. I have multiple works in progress, a plethora of plans and schemes. I don't know how to live a different way—the way you might live if you worked slowly and steadily on one project until you reached the finish line before beginning something new. That sounds delightful. But it's not me.

I was asked (again) to speak to college students about writing erotica. This has happened to me a handful of times over the past few decades. The thing is: What would I say? How could I teach a class on writing? I could only teach a class on how I write—not on how other people should write. I could unzip my pants and demonstrate my little glittering tricks. But then students would simply have a class in the ass-backwards, bizarrely chaotic world of my over-caffeinated brain.

And how helpful would that be?

This time, though, I actually considered the request. In the past, I've felt that the invitations were dripping in: "We've invited this freak who writes smut to come to talk..." But now that erotica is seriously out in the open, maybe things would be different.

I went so far as to try to put a syllabus together. After I figured out how to spell "syllabus," of course. (That's right, right?)

Porn 101

1) Buying ideas from your psyche.
2) How to put words on the motherfucking page.
3) Mud-wrestling the bitch called writer's block.
4) Sliding into second (drafts).
5) Getting wet.
6) The thrill of third drafts.
7) Alpha Readers.
8) Oh, was that a fourth draft at the door?
9) Squashing self doubts.
10) Writing about what you know.
11) Writing about what you don't know.
12) ...

And so on. Then I thought—I need a part about selling your work. And I started to write a piece called "Have fun storming the castle!"

Then the reality set in—and I climbed out onto the window ledge. I've actually spoken at a college before. This isn't something impossible. But the knots in my stomach are too much for me.

So maybe I'll add this to my works-in-progress. A concept to come back to when my other projects have let me down.

In other news, I made it onto the erotica author list on Amazon. I have no idea how I did that. But this morning, I was ranking at #32.


My mom will be so proud.

XXX,
Alison

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