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26.1.08

Take a Walk

Take it all off…

Your inhibitions, that is!

What’s holding you back? Embarrassment? Fear of being ridiculed? The uncertainty about what people might say…?

A few years ago, an elderly neighbour asked for a copy of one of my books. With a whole lot of hesitation and after a bit of stammering and a couple of mumbled excuses, I finally autographed a book.

What else could I to do? I’d already “forgotten” to bring her the requested book several times, so she came to get it. I could hardly send her away. With trembling hands, I told her, “It’s a bit on the steamy side.” She pried the book from my fingers. “It may not be your cup of tea,” I warned.
Less than a week later, this sweet old woman knocked on my front door. “I read your book,” she said.

Gulp.

Because I’m neurotic, I have a rule. I never ask people if they liked my book. I don’t want them having to lie if they hated it. And I certainly don’t want to hear if they hated it. Remember that neurosis I mentioned? When someone criticizes my book, I can’t sleep for a week.

So, like the coward I am, I settled for the standard, “Oh?”

“Humph,” she said. “It was a bit steamy.”

“I was afraid it wasn’t your cup of tea,” I reminded her.

She turned up her nose a bit. “Been there, done that.”

My jaw dropped!

“It could have been steamier.”

By this time, you could have picked me up off the front porch.

I learned a valuable lesson that day.

Take it off.

Readers who are looking for something hot and steamy, who want to take a Walk on the Wild Side, if you will (LOL), want hot and steamy. Readers who are looking for sweet and mild will search out books that meet their criteria.

Where, in your life, do you hold back?

Is it in your writing? Is it in chasing a dream? What could you do with more exuberance, more zest, more joy? If it’s your writing, I’ll tell you, it’s easier to tone something down that’s a bit over the top than it is to ratchet it up after the fact.

Why not make this the year where you chase your dreams, stop holding back, take it over the top… Make this the year you take off your inhibitions and live the life you were meant to!

Here’s to you!

Sierra

Sierra Cartwright invites your comments on this blog. Check out her website, www.sierracartwight.com and send her an email from the web. Let’s stop holding back!

2 comments:

Ashley Ladd said...

Great advice!

Just this week, another coworker at the day job asked me about my books. Like you, I was stammering, hemming and hawing, telling him and the other lady who joined in the conversation, telling them, "well, uh, my books are rather steamy. Spicy romance." I was afraid to use the term "erotic" at the day job. I work for a Christian ministry but I probably would have been hesitant to come out of the closet at my last job which wasn't at a ministry, either. They told me that I would be surprised how much experience they had.

I have to wonder, if they're up to my latest release, an M/M/F, however. Most people who know the other me, not the erotic romance writer me, think I'm sweet and innocent and could never ever say a naughty word, etc.

Anyway, you give good advice, not just when it comes to writing and letting the world know about our stories, but about everything in life.

Lisabet Sarai said...

What holds us back? Fear of what other people will think, most often. And not just in our writing, either.

One benefit of getting older is that it becomes easier to let go of this concern about others' opinions. How many women, in real life, still can't open up about their sexual desires because of they believe that someone else will think that they are "wicked" or "slutty"?

Let's turn off the mental censors and turn up the heat!