When I decided to start writing it was a double whammy for me. Not only was I going to be writing but I was going to be writing erotic romance. The idea of putting myself out in the public eye by sharing some of my innermost thoughts was scary enough to give me hives on its own but then you add in constant commentary from the peanut gallery about how women shouldn’t be writing romance in the first place, let alone steamy romance, and it just adds a whole new dimension to the fear factor.
To get around this issue I decided I would hide behind a pseudonym to maintain my anonymity. If I didn’t tell family and friends that I was writing erotic romance and hid behind my pen name then all would be well in my world. That was my plan. At the time it seemed like a good one. Then reality struck. If I wasn’t willing to admit to writing or sharing my pen name with people then I had somewhat of a problem … how was I going to market myself and my work? If I wasn’t willing to lay claim to my creativity then how could I expect people to invest in buy my work, right? Yup, exactly!
So I had to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and rethink my strategy.
Why was I so loathe to lay claim to my hard work and creativity? And make no mistake about it, writing is hard work!!! I’m sure childbirth was less painful! Anywho, where was I? Oh yes, claiming what I had so painstakingly created. So why was it so hard? And I realised a glaring truth … well, a glaring truth in my world anyway. I felt less than. I didn’t feel confidant enough to lay claim to it. I have self-esteem issues accepting that what I have created, no matter what medium it may be, is not good enough to share with others. I believe people will think it lacking and not up to standard. This is a sad reality of my way of thinking.
I chatted to my husband (my champion in all things) and treasured friends whose opinion are important to me and asked them to weigh in on my dilemma. A decision I do not regret. They gave me some amazing feedback and advice. So off I went and had a good long think on the subject. Eventually I came to the decision that if I wasn’t willing to own my work, be invested in it, then why would anyone else want to be? It was, after all, of me and from me. I had to believe that what I write is worth reading and be proud of the stories I create. Then I had to address the elephant hiding in the corner of the room. Would I be brave enough to tell people that I write steamy romance? Especially as there is a misconception around erotic romance. People constantly confuse erotic romance and erotica. So instead of arming themselves with the correct information they just judge. The “Oh, you write that porn stuff then” comment really does my head in every time and I find myself having to walk away rather than engaging in pointless debate since they’re not willing to hear your point of view anyway. And if they aren’t willing to pay you the respect you deserve for showing up authentically and wholly you then learn to accept that it’s okay to walk away. It doesn’t diminish your value that they don’t see it.
In the end I decided to be authentically me and just own the hell out of who I am and what I write. Trust me, it’s not anywhere near as easy as that statement makes it sound but I am determined to simply be me and trust that people will accept me and my writing for who and what it is. The lesson learned is teach people to accept you for who you are and what you bring to the table. Every day is a lesson in sticking to my resolve but I am determined to be victorious in my pursuit of my dreams and for that to happen I need to be
Allow me to introduce myself. Hi, my name is Dorothy and I write erotic romance.
You can download my shorty-short story One Night Only here