Looking back at 2019 (Late, I know)

I certainly intended to write this much sooner than I am now, but I’ve learned just how hectic work life can be around the holidays. Lots of picky eaters and entitled opinions about what I’m making. Seriously, nothing pisses off a chef more than someone insisting on ordering something off-menu. I barely even had the time to let my muscles recover after work! But that’s part of the reason I’m writing about this now. I’m looking back at the past year and reflecting on how much I have changed, and how my work has changed in the process.

My first reflection is on a project I began more than a year ago for a writing prompt challenge based on sexual fantasies and desires I decided to call #FantasySmutFriday. I had a lot of imposter feelings in the beginning as the critic in me said I would never keep this going past a month or two, and no one would want to participate in this shit meme. I did my best to keep it down and realized: if I take it week by week, only focusing on finding just one challenge each time, the task is much more manageable. I don’t think every challenge I made was always someone’s cup of tea, but I’m learning, more and more, what qualities and types of challenges inspire people the best.

At the end of 52 weeks, I wrapped up the challenge by compiling every submission made throughout the entire year. I had told myself the list wouldn’t be too big, as many prompts went without any submissions, but I was surprised to see how many there really were when they were all put together! I felt like it was actually a pretty good turnout for the first year, and I’m hoping this next year brings even more submissions.

I haven’t written as much of my usual content as I wanted to this year, and that’s something that really concerns me. Much of this past year has been prompts and the passing reflection of recent events, and I would very much like to return to doing those more often. Short stories and book reviews especially.

While I’m on the topic of writing, I’ve also considered my past work, and some of the smaller comments made on it in past months and came to the conclusion that I may get a bit wordy at times. I add way too much preamble before getting to the content readers came for. I always wanted to create stories that still allow for the build-up towards familiarity, comfort, and opportunity, before reaching seduction and sex. But maybe that doesn’t seem so important if I want to portray the smutty goodness we all love within the theater of the mind. So I’m electing to hold back the wordy stories for published books, where length and a relationship with the character are valued more from the reader.

Another change I would like to make is my engagement. I’m on Twitter a lot, and I see tons of great content from friends and fellow writers, but, I’m always a little nervous to leave comments or replies. It’s not that I don’t care or really enjoy what I read. I just never feel like what I say will appear more than an acknowledgment. I know I’m only holding myself back, but it’s a problem I struggle with, in nearly every facet of my life.

I hope 2020 becomes the year I truly come out of hiding and start pushing out a flurry of content fueled by bourbon and cinnamon tea!

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