Greetings to everyone, I'm sending you my best wishes for keeping safe in this challenging time.
June marks a year since I launched my website, social media presence, my blog and this newsletter. What a year it has been with my book launch on two coasts, two blogs and a newsletter each month, plus keeping up with social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Aphrodite's Pen: The Power of Writing Erotica After Midlife was not my first book, but it was the first with a major publisher and the first time that I have used social media for a specific purpose. Thanks to YOU for being there with me on this journey, and to the folks who build and maintain the web site, help with social media and promotions and the fabulous women at North Atlantic Books.
Also in June our home will start Month 4 of lockdown, and I remember those first weeks of naively counting mere days since I’d been in a store or visited friends. Although I grieve the loss of connecting in person, we humans are a resourceful bunch, and we develop new ways of being together. There are even some gains to be made when distance is no object. When I moved from California to North Carolina two years ago, I lost the monthly meetings with my Elderotica writing group. But now that they have gone online in lockdown, I’ve been invited to join those meetings again. What a delightful group of women! So much glee and such fun writing together and reading to one another. This marvelous experience shows that women all over the country could join forces for Elderotica Zoom meetings and experience that kind of sharing of joy and fun. If you are interested in trying out a meeting with fun prompts and supportive feedback, please email me. If I hear from enough interested women, (six to ten) I will work on setting up a group in the June/July timeframe, based on the structure and methods for positive feedback in the “Writing Sisters” chapter of Aphrodite’s Pen.
I’ve also just started weekly online accountability and planning sessions with an artist friend. I have lots of great ideas but with the loss of structure in lockdown, I don’t always accomplish all that I set out to do. As one wag put it, “The most useless purchase I made this year was a 2020 planner.” At the start of each week my friend and I swap emails with our plans for the week. Then we convene on Zoom at week’s end to compare notes, congratulate each other on successes, and suggest ideas to each other for the week ahead. If like me you struggle to stay on track in this strange time of “retirement from retirement,” consider setting up something similar with a creative friend. You may well find yourself writing more—including, hopefully, more erotic writing!
In my April newsletter, I listed a number of possible prompts on the theme of erotic writing in lockdown. One of the commitments I’ve made with my accountability buddy is to write five “Erotic Pandemic” stories this week. My plan is to write as much of a draft as I have time for, set it aside, and move on to the next prompt my next writing day. And no looking back until all are drafted! So far I’ve written ten draft stories this way. When I have fifteen, I will circle back and complete the drafts one by one. This “write-and-run” approach has several advantages:
- It builds in time away from each story, while you work on other stories, so that you come back to each one with fresh eyes
- It doesn’t allow time to brood over any one story or to go into perfectionist mode
- It ensures that you write on a variety of topics over the course of a few weeks
I plan to go three rounds on this collection of stories, with a second round to finish the first drafts, and a third round to edit them one by one. I’m excited about this method, and if it works as well as I hope, I may roll it out as a course later on.
Wishing you and yours beautiful weather as Spring glides toward Summer, and may you have safe opportunities to enjoy flowers and butterflies, moon and stars. I hope your connections with nature, with others, and with yourself will be healthy and rewarding in whatever form they take, and may you write with joy and without self-judgement. Be well.
All the best,