I wonder sometimes if I got lost somewhere. I don’t think I did, but when I look back at some of the things I’ve written in the past and some of the work I do now, there is a very clear, very definite divide which shows – if you know how to look – where I was living, what I was reading, who my friends were and if I was seeing anybody at the time.
Living By Myself
Those stories seem to be one of two things; either about someone who feels alone because of their circumstances or is forced to be alone after something they have done. Their feelings range from bliss at peace and quiet in their solitude, or raging panic and despair and having no one they can talk to.
Living With A Partner
Of the three ‘serious’ partners I’ve had in my life time, I’ve lived with two of them. With the first more than my current, I’m aware that my writing took on a saucier edge. Lots more eroticism or full blown sex, no matter if the story was thriller, or horror, or fantasy. It didn’t seem to matter; I shoved it in somewhere and I find it interesting that it wasn’t at all a reflection of what I/we were doing in the bedroom.
Reading Horror / Reading Fantasy
Horror sends me running back to fantasy. Similarly, reading fantasy sends me running for horror. Its something I learned very early on in my writing career (I love saying that!); I can’t read what I’m writing. And I’m sure that’s the same for many folks, but if I do that, my style and even content and plot starts to morph because, invariably, I enjoy what I’m reading and probably want to write something that draws the same level of enjoyment and respect. Not that you can get that from just copying someone… let it be a lesson! :p
Close Friends Near By
I tend to end up with stories that they like. I went through a phase of romance which turned into Yaoi because some of the folk closest too me at the time really enjoyed that particular genre. I still enjoy it (who doesn’t want to read a lil bit of smut when there’s then not much else to do?) but I find if I don’t have that circle of friends close by, then its that much harder to write it.
So… what’s the point of all this? The point is, at the moment, I’m going through some big life changes, but I’m happy, settled and comfortable with a partner of nudging passed the two year mark (probably more now; I’m utterly shit at date keeping). I have friends close by me and some not so close and of course the season of goodwill (ugh) is drawing nigh and influencing everything I write. And yet… even though I recognise all those things, I’m writing like I never have before.
My erotica is actually erotica rather than smut filled pages of boobs, penises and icky sex-sweat. My fantasy has range and depth and colour that used to get lost under my insistence that my elves were the true elves or my vampires were the true vampires.
All in all, I think what’s happening here is that I’m growing in myself and maturing in my writing at a pace I had never anticipated before. It makes me keener than ever to keep going, keep pushing and see where I finally end up after all these years of slogging away and, truth be told, thinking I wasn’t good enough.