[Smut Marathon] You say "Goodbye" and I say "Hello, hello, hello".


Blogs, Community, Erotica, Friendship, Self Expression, Self Reflection, Smut Marathon, Social Media, Writing, Writing Prompt / Monday, December 17th, 2018

As many of you will know I entered the Smut Marathon 2018, which has no come to an end. We are now able to sign up for the Smut Marathon 2019 and our wonderful host Marie has confirmed that the minimum of 20 people have now signed up. It is now a case of the more the merrier. I’ll be honest and say I entered on a whim for 2018. I saw someone mention figured it might be a good way to further my writing and my blog and went for it. I had very little knowledge about what it was going to entail.

What it entailed was me writing the following pieces …

Fluid

My body melts under his touch, he is the flame, I am the wax, I am fluid beneath him, I drip, drip, drip as he burns me with his desire

The Disciple

The hot water cascades over his body, cleansing him as his ritual begins. Once dry he adorns himself with his symbols of submission. Reciting his mantra with every buckle he fastens. ‘I am bound to only you, I serve you with reverence and devotion.’ He is like the High Priest, called to worship at the temple of her body. I am their disciple. I bear witness to their passion, as I am baptised by the glory of their love.

That was it for me. Including titles, I wrote 112 words for the Smut Marathon. I was out after Round 2. My aim had been to make it halfway and honestly I thought I had that in the bag when it started out, which makes the saying ‘pride comes before a fall’ exceptionally relevant here. Leaving when I did though was the best thing that could have happened to me and I want to share the why of that with you and if my thinking encourages more of us to enter in 2019 then that is a bonus.

Natural Ability v Learned Ability

I’m not sure there is any way to explore this line of thought without sounding like I’m oozing arrogance, I shall hope that those who know me will see past that. I have never learned to write. When I was little I learned to read stupidly early and always had a knack for spelling. I think a lifetime of reading is possibly behind why I write the way I do. Any talent I have though is just there though, I don’t why it developed but it did. The Smut Marathon showed me that this is not good enough.

In just those two short rounds I was forced to address how I use grammar, how I structure my sentences and how much thought I truly give to the composition of my pieces. It was a startling wake-up call and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t defensive when I read the feedback that highlighted these issues. The feedback was bang on the money though.

I have since taken the time to look a little more closely at what I’m writing, why I’m writing it and how I’m writing it. I think this has resulted in visible improvements in my work. It is also one of the reasons I decided to start participating in Friday Flash, and why I have been working towards writing shorter and shorter pieces. It forces me to focus on making the best of the word count available to me and that has proved another valuable source of learning. I know the assignments will be different next year but I think the work I have done has me far more prepared for the variety Marie might send our way.

Watch and Learn

Leaving the competition when I did meant that I’d been involved enough to be invested in it and as such I was still eager to find out what the assignments were, how they were executed, what the results were and what the feedback was. I went through all of these things obsessively after each round. Things I have been contemplating from this endeavour are:

You’re An Original – I realised that sometimes I perhaps go with safe bets which don’t always pay out. I didn’t really consider thinking innovatively and I think that is also something I need to work, and in some ways have worked on throughout this year. I do think there is more work to be done though.

Stop. Collaborate and Listen. – The rules state we cannot discuss our entries with others or tell anyone which piece is ours, obviously once the results from each round are released everyone knows which piece is yours. In her post ‘Smut Marathon – My Journey’ May More mentioned that she discussed her pieces after the rounds with a fellow blogging friend. I almost facepalmed at how good of an idea this was.

imagesThis is a point I will struggle to put into action. Many of my fellow bloggers do reach out and ask each other for thoughts on their work, collaborate on pieces and help each other improve and grow in a wide variety of ways. I often get requests for my thoughts in my inbox and I am always without exception happy to help. In terms of my own work though, I am a very insular writer. I am currently pondering what this means for me and how I’d go about resolving that and if I’m comfortable doing so.

Make It About You – I read Violet Fawkes’ ‘Smut Marathon Recap’ and my first instinct was ‘Woah, yeah I can’t approach things that way’. Which is okay, as Violet said we have to do what works for us. I couldn’t stop thinking on it though and as much I loved being a champion for the whole marathon and all who were involved in it I think perhaps being a little more focused on my own goals wouldn’t actually do me any harm. I loved Violet’s honesty in her recap and she has given me a lot of food for thought for next year, which leads nicely onto the next benefit I got from the Smut Marathon.

Friendship, Community and New Voices

My participation in many of my now regular haunts like Wicked Wednesday and Sinful Sunday really only began after I’d joined the Smut Marathon. Throwing my hat into the ring for Smut Marathon was the push I needed to embrace the community I now love so much.

Through the Smut Marathon, I’ve made some genuinely wonderful connections that I’d be lost without. When the results of MollysDailyKiss Top 100 Sex bloggers 2018 came out I was so eager to tell all my friends, then I realised they all knew because in terms of blogging news the friends that matter are all inside my Twitter app. Maybe I would have eventually formed these friendships without the Smut Marathon but it definitely fast-tracked a lot of them, that I’m sure of.

I also found many new blogs to read and new people to converse with both by entering and following the Smut Marathon. Even when we are all handed the same topic of discussion our own experiences and interests lead to all thoughts being so fantastically unique that I never tire of finding new voices sharing their views through blogging.

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time. But You Can’t Please all of the People all of the Time.

I already knew this, but it has been an important reflection in terms of my writing. I get lots of lovely feedback on my writing. My readers here are endlessly kind and supportive and that is what matters most to me, that I am writing pieces that are worth a read and that I am pleased with overall.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of months as to what my aim writing means for what I will achieve with it in the long term. One of the things I have been mulling over is whether or not what and how I write is compatible with competing and publication. To be clear this isn’t meant in a self-deprecating way and I am in no way trying to detract from what I do well. We all know though that a blockbuster movie isn’t always the critics choice and it’s along those lines that I am thinking.

My earlier thoughts on collaborating with others come into play on this as well and all of these thoughts are ongoing at the moment as I decide where 2019 will take my writing and my blog. None of this stops me wanting to enter the Smut Marathon again but for those of you who are certain I will make it much further this time please don’t be disappointed if I’m out early again, because I won’t be.

Should You Give It A Go?

Only you can answer that. I’d suggest giving not only posts like this a read that cover thoughts now the Marathon is over, but also head to the Smut Marathon Links to see what people posted throughout the competition. I think there are so many awesome reasons to get involved but that said there are also lots of reasons people don’t get involved even if they’re tempted and I think it all depends on your mindset and where you are at both with life and with your writing.

I am incredibly excited to see who does enter though, I have already seen some people mention doing so floating around Twitter but seeing the final starting line up will be great. Marie has also teased us with the knowledge we are getting a whole new set of jury members, I can’t wait to see who they are and how they judge the 2019 rounds.

So what do you think? Will the Smut Marathon be on your 2019 agenda?


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6 Replies to “[Smut Marathon] You say "Goodbye" and I say "Hello, hello, hello".”

  1. This is a wonderfully honest and thoughtful post Floss. I came out of the Smut Marathon still feeling battered from the feedback and it is only now that I have started to think about how I can write differently. The competition at the beginning is intense, and a lot of great writers were eliminated early on. Reading your two pieces back it is difficult to see why you didn’t make it further. However, as you say, you have used it to your advantage. Good luck this year, I am pretty sure you will go far. I haven’t decided yet whether to sit this one out. Whether I do or not, having a writing buddy or two, who give you honest feedback has to be the way forward.

  2. It was the SM that made me check out your blog for the first time – I thought
    “who is this incredible girl who can get knocked out a comp and still support and encourage those who have stayed in to such an extent – she can’t be true.”
    And I found out that you are indeed true – you are a terrific girl and one thing I know is that whether you get knocked out early or not, will make no difference to you – you will still go on from strength to strength. I had my poms poms out for Cara last year and my cheers for CP – You can have both of these from me this year x

  3. This post warms my heart, Floss. I am so happy to read the Smut Marathon has brought you so much, even when you were knocked out so early in the competition. Your support throughout has been invaluable. I wish you the best of luck for next year 🙂
    Rebel xox

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