Funny, but I never considered writing a real business or as some would call it, a game. Writing is my love, it’s my talent, it’s my gift, it’s my passion. I feel about my writing the way I feel about my children. Touch one of them and you may as well dig a hole and jump the fuck in it.
But, as I’ve learned over time, you’ve got to be tough in this game. You have to develop tough skin to deal with rejection, road blocks, politics, and I thought I had that under control. I don’t cry over rejections. I don’t take criticisms too personally.
But I’ve been hit with a boulder.
You’ll remember that I pitched an idea to a publisher for an anthology. They were really positive and excited about it initially, even asked for possible titles. I did everything I was supposed to do and even went so far as to begin collecting stories. Well known authors of erotica were excited and supportive. I had stories promises of stories, and recommendations for other writers.
Then I browsed the ‘net today, and saw a call for submissions with the precise theme I had pitched under the publisher to whom I pitched it to, with another writer/editor’s name attached.
I didn’t “own” the idea. I’m sure I wasn’t the first or the only to think of it. But the initial feedback I received from them was enough to get me really excited and hopeful about it actually coming to fruition. And it will, under someone else’s name/guidance/molding.
But the real kick in the ass, the bullshit, is that they didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t let me know so that I could at least pitch the idea elsewhere. Or maybe that’s why they didn’t let me know in advance. Hmmm.
I suppose I could look at it positively. I could think that they thought my idea was so wonderful that they wanted a really seasoned, popular and well-known editor to be attached to it. I mean, who am I really? In the words of the wonderful Miki Howard, “I’m just somebody you don’t know as well as you think you do.”
It’s cutthroat. I’ve learned this the hard way. It’s a dog eat dog world. I know this. But in the erotica genre, I thought there was more camaraderie.
I sort of equate it to losing your boyfriend to another girl… true or not, you want to say, “I’m cuter than her…he’s better off with me…etc.” but the end result is still, the other girl has your boyfriend.
And that’s it.
I don’t trust this shit anymore. I feel violated.
I feel betrayed, like people who I originally thought were “on my side” will quietly drift away. The stories they submitted to me will magically appear in that anthology.
I’m experiencing all phases of this at once. The self blame (maybe I was too caught up with what’s been going on in my life to dedicate any real time to my writing career). The self doubt (maybe I’m just not good enough-maybe I don’t know what I’m doing). The anger. The pain. The giving up, and yes, I want to. I want to either stop writing erotica, or just stop.
This blows. I can’t say anymore without sounding really, really bitter, which… I sorta am.