Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and to Write from my Inner Gutter
I can’t believe it’s been four weeks since I started my second attempt at adopting my Smut Writer persona. Honestly, I had given up on myself about it. Not sure why. Insecurity? Eh, it’s most likely the #1 reason.
But, despite that insecurity, I’ve done it. I pushed myself and now I’m proud to say I’ve published four shorts stories. It’s a wonderful feeling to say I’ve done something I’ve dreamed about for years.
Full disclosure: I did have one of my stories published before, but it was so long ago now. And that was before Smut Writer. It needed a little razzle-dazzle, so I fixed it up and released it.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been a challenge. I didn’t know a lot of the self-publishing information when I got started. If you’re looking to unleash your inner-Smut Writer, here are a few things I learned in my travels.
Getting Revved Up
Reddit can be a dumpster fire depending on where you’re looking. Luckily, there are still some great spaces. R/eroticauthors is ESSENTIAL READING. Their FAQ alone should be your holy grail for getting your erotica or romance writing grove on. I haven’t posted there yet (I’m shy…), but the community seems very kind.
The Write Stuff: Self-Editing Edition
Since I’m doing this for fun instead of profit (though I did manage to make a few dimes off of my free books), I’ve been trying my best to self-edit. Allegedly, erotica readers are a little more forgiving.
I’ve tried a few of the editing programs available out there. Here how I feel about them:
Autocrit: Gave the free trial a shot. It had a lot of stats and the interface wasn’t too hard to use. The monthly cost isn’t horrible if you’re really planning to dive into writing. The turn off for me was that you had to ask to end your trial. Like chatting with someone to ask. That’s not cool.
Grammarly: It’s fine for a free app. I didn’t like it for my actual story writing. However, for blogging it’s been essential.
Hemmingway: This one was good. You can’t do a whole lot at once on the web version, but the app makes it easy to find your writing’s flaws.
Prowritingaid: End the end, I went with this one. The toolbar in MS Word and the ease of use won me over. Definitely worth the $20 a month, for sure.
Pixabay, I Choose You!
Turns out, creating the covers for my stories is my favorite part of the process. I can’t claim to have any real talent. However, seeing the story in “lights,” even due to my own creation, made my work feel real.
Pixabay is the place to find good pics (though I wouldn’t kick Morguefile out of bed). I haven’t not found the right pics to do the job so far. Paired with GIMP, the best free image editor ever (IMO), you can easily come up with a cover. Extra bonus, get yourself some free for commercial use fonts at Just make it look like something you’d want to pick up to read yourself!
Smashy-Smashy vs The ‘Zon KDP
So far I’ve released stories on both Smashwords and Amazon KDP. Both are great platforms. However, if I had to pick between the two, it would be the ‘Zon. Smashwords is good, but getting your story properly uploaded is a chore. Hell, you have to upload it as a .doc file instead of .docx. How dare you? Also, it takes a lot of tinkering to get the file perfect for Premium status on Smashwords.
The biggest bonus in Smashwords (sidenote: I almost wrote Smashmouth EVERY TIME) is posting your story happens quicker.
‘Zon’s biggest bonus is enrolling in Kindle Direct. Money for page reads on Kindle Unlimited? Sign me up!
Despite my bias, I will be going between the two platforms for the three series of stories I’m working on: Knightcrest and Lady of the Wood on Smashy; Her Majesty’s Courtesan on KDP.
Burnout is a BEAST
Big lesson I’ve learned: pace yourself. Writing is a marathon, not a race. The push to get a new story out every week has given me drive, but also wiped my brain. Happy I gave it a shot, though. Sit back and enjoy the scenery. Let that story you’re working on blossom with time. No rush required.
I’m going to give a every two-week story drop a shot. I feel like that will be more manageable for a lady with a day job. Next up will be Delighted Bite: Tales from Knightcrest II.
Erica Beale, Smut Writer
It has been great to feel so productive. Four stories and still going strong. I’m glad I gave me a chance. Nothing may ever come of it, but at least I did it. Be sure to check back soon for more of my sweet sensual goodies, cuz a girl is in the mood.