The “Secret” to Becoming a Full-Time Writer

Monday, April 30th, 2012 • 1 Comment

I’m blogging this week at the Erotic Readers & Writers Association blog about being a full-time writer:

Aspiring writers don’t want to hear the harsh realities of the easy and fun job of hanging out at Starbucks all day. They want to be the next Stephen King or Suzanne Collins or E.L. James. They want to be famous. They want that Glamour Shots photo they had taken five years ago (or that photo of them on that yacht that one time in St. Thomas) to be on the back of a shiny hardcover book in the front of Barnes & Noble. They have already chosen their pseudonym, it’s a combination of their mother’s maiden name and their favorite Jane Austen character. They spent a lot of money on a shiny new MacBook Pro but so far the only thing they’ve written are Facebook status updates about their muse and how they love the writing life. Mostly, they play Solitaire and drink $4 espresso drinks and send vague query letters to agents about the book they’re going to write if the agent can get them a three-book deal. When they haven’t gotten a response (much less an offer of representation) from an agent within the week, they write Facebook status updates about how the publishing industry is a clique, a dinosaur, a closed door to talented newcomers. Then they play another round of Solitaire and tell themselves they need to self-publish like what’s-her-name who made all that money on Amazon writing those vampire stories. Except they never bother to learn the ins and outs of successful self-publishing and none of the writers they have emailed randomly will tell them the secrets of being full-time writers. They assume it’s because those writers are intimidated by someone more talented—they never assume those writers are too busy writing, editing, teaching, etc., to tell them the truth: the only way to be a full-time writer is to find a way to write full-time, even if you also have a full-time “real” job, even if you have kids and a house and a chronic illness and elderly in-laws and, and, and… The only way to be a writer is to write. That is not what they want to hear. So they write a shitty review on Amazon for a book they never read, write a Facebook status update about how author X is a hack and her book is illiterate trash, then they go back to playing Solitaire, smug in the knowledge that when they do finally get around to writing and self-publishing their book, they will have the last laugh.

Does that sound harsh? A hack smut writer in her ivory tower pooh-poohing the brilliant aspiring writers who only need a bit of advice and an introduction to my agent, editor or publisher in order to become The Next Big Thing that I can never hope to be? Yeah, you caught me. Sorry. God knows I make so much money and I’m so wildly successful that any question about how to obtain my fun and easy lifestyle is to be perceived as a threat and immediately condemned. My apologies. Let me make it up to you and buy you a coffee while you tell me about your muse. What’s her name again?

What do I tell those questioning souls who email me for advice?

Read the rest at What It Means to be a Full-Time Writer. (Spoiler: There is no “secret” to becoming a full-time writer.)

Posted by Kristina in Writing
 

New Call for Submissions!

Sunday, March 25th, 2012 • No Comments

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xoxo: Sweet and Sexy Erotic Romance
Editor: Kristina Wright
Publisher: Cleis Press
Publication Date: Summer 2013
Submission Deadline: July 15

Payment: $30 per story and 1 copy of the book, on publication
E-mail: [email protected]

I’m editing my first collection of short-shorts for Cleis Press! For xoxo: Sweet and Sexy Erotic Romance, I’m looking for stories 1200-1500 words that are sweet, sexy and short. I will consider up to three stories per author.

According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. In erotic romance, the sexual component is critical to the development of the romantic relationship. To get an idea of what I’m looking for, I strongly recommend reading my other anthologies. Stories that do not meet the criteria for erotic romance will not be considered.

The collection will be primarily heterosexual with a female audience in mind. Bisexual or lesbian encounters are welcome. Sweet and sexy doesn’t mean your stories can’t be kinky, too. I’m looking for a variety of flavors from vanilla to rainbow swirl! The usual taboos apply: no incest, nonconsensual sex, bestiality or underage characters.

Please be sure to follow all of the submission guidelines:

Unpublished stories only, absolutely no simultaneous submissions. Stories should be 1200-1500 words. No more than three stories per author.
Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person.  Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Send your submission to [email protected] with Submission: Story Title in the subject line.  Please direct any questions to the same address. The deadline is July 15.

Payment will be $30 per story and 1 copy of the book upon publication.  Contributors retain the rights to their stories. Publisher has final approval.

About the editor:

Described by The Romance Reader as “a budding force to be reckoned with,” Kristina Wright (kristinawright.com) is an author, editor and college instructor.  She has edited the Cleis Press anthologies Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women; Dream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotic Romance; Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance and Best Erotic Romance. Her forthcoming anthologies include Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance and Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance for Women. Her first anthology, Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women was nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Award by RT Book Reviews and was a featured alternate of the Doubleday Book Club. Kristina’s erotica and erotic romance fiction has appeared in over ninety print anthologies and she received the Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense from Romance Writers of America for her first novel Dangerous Curves.  Her work has also been featured in numerous magazines and e-zines and her articles, interviews and book reviews have appeared in dozens of publications, both in print and online.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the RWA special interest chapters, Passionate Ink and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal.  She has served as the book club moderator for EdenFantasys Naked Reader Book Club and is a book reviewer for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (erotica-readers.com). She is also a regular blogger at Oh Get a Grip! (ohgetagrip.blogspot.com) and Good Vibrations Magazine (magazine.goodvibes.com).

 

Posted by Kristina in Writing
 

What Is Your Favorite Color?

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 • No Comments

This week’s theme at Oh Get a Grip! is favorite colors. My piece went in an entirely different direction than I intended:

I learned everything there is to know about color in photo finishing. How to take a negative and print a perfect replica of the original scene. How to add or subtract magenta, yellow and cyan to balance the tones of a photo. How to darken or lighten an image to take the edge off a bright flash or bring a face out of the shadows. I could hold a strip of negatives up to the fluorescent lights and tell you if it was going to be a bitch to print. Outdoor scenes—bright, sunny days with a clear blue sky—were the hardest to print. A cloudless blue sky rarely looks the same in a picture as it does in real life. And dust specks—tiny little things that you hardly notice when they’re on the tip of your fingers—look like giant snakes on a picture of sky.

I loathed summer because the beach parties and air shows would drive me around the bend, trying to get all the dust off every negative, trying to make the sky look the same as it did that sunny day. We always added cyan to sky pictures, making them bluer than they were in real life. People like their memories enhanced and no one never complained. If there were trees or sand (or people) in those pictures, they would sometimes take on a blue hue as well, and we’d have to go back and reprint the photo, subtracting some of the cyan. +3, -1, wasting time and paper on a picture someone was going to shove in a drawer and never look at again. You become a perfectionist in photo finishing—or you find a new job.

I worked at three labs in South Florida over the four or so years I worked in photo finishing and I saw a lot of pictures. A lot. Personal pictures, things I had never seen before then. Some things I haven’t seen since and would have to search for on the internet, if I were so inclined. The photo lab in the upper middle class neighborhood in South Florida was different than the photo lab near Fort Lauderdale beach. The neighborhood customers took pictures of birthday parties and bar mitzvahs, graduations and retirements. The beach customers were usually on vacation and their pictures reflected all of their vacation activities. And I do mean all. People on vacation get… wild. Luckily, I worked in the neighborhood lab before I worked at the beach location, so I had already had my eyes opened by people’s photographic proclivities.

You can read the rest here: The Color of Flesh

Posted by Kristina in Writing
 

Writer Chick. Mother Hen.

Author, anthologist, mother, wife, dreamer, storyteller, coffee drinker. I blog here sporadically, when I'm not writing, editing anthologies for Cleis Press or messing around on Facebook. Welcome! Want to know more?

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