Also read the next-to-last Sandman graphic novel, "The Kindly Ones". I had read much of it before, but not all. Inspirational. The man knows what to leave out, a skill I have yet to master.
I append below something I sent to the Erotica Writers' Workshop this morning -- perhaps it may be useful to other writers reading this:
Hey y'all. So, I'm still reading "Writing Below the Belt", and am in the middle of an interview with John Preston, who published The Flesh and the Word anthologies, among many other books of his own and others. And something he said I thought was worth sharing (well, lots of things he said, but this in particular):
"One thing that beginning writers never get, and I certainly didn't get in the beginning, is that publishing does reward perseverance. It really does. To stick with it, to write books, to get them published wherever you can. To do whatever you have to do to make a living is something that...publishing respects."
This is how my own career has been, y'know. No big successes out of nowhere. Just taking on lots of little projects. Starting with the net and being paid nothing. Sending out poetry and being paid in two copies. Writing porn on the side to finance my 'literary' habit. Sending things to every anthology I hear about. Sending and resending and starting this workshop because I saw a need. Sharing what I've learned -- passing it along the way it was passed to me.
There are certainly writers who write one brilliant novel, and then get a massive advance and are overnight successes. But that's not the way it goes for most of us, and it's certainly not the way it's gone for me. I just want to encourage you all to keep writing, and keep sending, and keep revising. The work *will* get better. The stories *will* get sold. Persevere. If you see a magazine or anthology guidelines that even slightly resonates for you, try sending them something. It can't hurt. Even if they don't buy that one, maybe they'll remember your name for the next one. Bits and pieces, y'know? Eventually, they pile up.