Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Out in 2016

Last year was a quiet year for me. I wrote much less than I did in the few years previous, both on my blog and in terms of stories and novels. I think I needed that retreat, even though it felt very uncomfortable at the time.

One reason for that slowness and relative silence was that I had a lot of private stuff I was working out. I'm not and have never been particularly comfortable with sorting things out in public. I'm generally happy to tell people about the thing that was bothering me six months ago—I've had time to figure out where I stand with respect to that and heal up a little bit. Talk about what's bothering me right now? Not so much.

It always seemed strange and cruel to me that these days writers are expected to participate so much in social media. Publishing, for me, is an excruciatingly public thing that I have a lot of mixed feelings about. In order to write, I need a lot of privacy, not just in a physical way but also in a mental way. It's hard for me to be in public every day, Internet included.

That said, I think part of why I've held myself back is that I'm afraid of saying things I shouldn't say, for whatever reason. For example, I've been incredibly frustrated for years about the way covers in erotica and erotic romance so often feature straight, white, thin-bodied people. If you judged by the covers of the books my work has been in, you'd have no idea what my writing is actually about, what my social justice values are. This cover thing has happened not only for anthologies I've participated in, but also for books I've written entirely myself. And yet, it's not something I've talked about publicly. I was always afraid that doing so would make me a "difficult" author. I was afraid of appearing angry in public.

My mood this year feels a little different. I had to retreat for a while, yes, but I've also been holding a lot of myself in, and I feel done with that for the moment.

So I want to try being more open on this blog. I want to talk about some of the things I'm angry about, because it's burning me up to hold back on all those things. I also want to talk about who I am, to the best of my knowledge. I've had a lot of turmoil over the past couple of years, figuring out who I am as a writer, as far as orientation, within the kink community, you name it. I feel less afraid than I used to of being myself in the open.

So if you're reading this, wish me luck. I'm a queer, poly, kinky, mixed-race woman, and I want to be out in 2016.

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