I must confess 2013 has been a troubled year for me and my family; in the Summer, my employer announced that they were closing my subsidiary over the following eighteen months and although I am still employed at the moment, that will not be the case by the end of this year. In September, my five year old daughter was unexpectedly diagnosed with a life-long “chronic” condition and in November was admitted to hospital for ten days with another autoimmune disorder. I watched as my little girl was hooked up to a plethora of medical machines for several hours to monitor her, and her organs, while she received a blood product infusion to treat her condition. It’s hardly been a great year for me, at all.
But the challenge was to talk about “something good that happened in 2013 and really affected your life” and while I struggled at first to think of something, the answer is actually in front of me.
My blog. My site. My pseudonym.
I went to Eroticon 2013 with a site that was simply used as a dumping ground for my stories; I wasn’t part of a community as I didn’t interact with anyone. My Twitter account was a year old, but had less than 50 tweets: it was me posting my pseudonym’s stories as I didn’t know any better.
My stories were simply my escapism; whenever I had had a bad day, I had the delightful and evilly mischievous Rhea to come home to. Or the sexy yet demanding Sarah. Or the complicated and kind-hearted Abi, and all my characters, good and bad. “John D” only existed because I wanted some way of getting feedback on my stories, and still have hundreds of thousands of brain dump erotic imagination to edit and post, if I ever get around to it.
In fact “John D” is not my first pseudonym publishing erotic stories on the ‘net, nor the second, but my fifth; I just used them as a way to get some feedback, and then skulk away to improve my writing. It was all for me.
Eroticon 2013 was an epiphany for me in so many ways.
First of all, I realised that it wasn’t an assorted collection of erotic writers, but a thriving community of great authors, talented bloggers and some awesome photographers. I met some fantastic people on the South Bank, and had one of the best evening’s entertainment in AuralSex that I have ever had. There was a community out there, and suddenly I wanted to join in.
Secondly, there was the kink; I had always had kinky thoughts and fantasies, but Eroticon watered a well planted seed, and now, almost eleven months on, my wife and I have BDSM regularly in our sex lives. We’ve tried and introduced a lot more kink too, and are both happier. Our sex toy drawer has invaded the drawer above, and we have twenty fold more toys than before; she hasn’t complained!
Lastly, there was the writing. What I set out to London to improve, has improved. I look at some of my books and stories pre-Eroticon and reach for the delete button. Whereas writing pre-Eroticon was all about me, unless I was writing a story for someone, writing post-Eroticon has the reader at it’s heart. After all, what’s the point of writing if no-one is going to be reading?
So, while in my personal life, I’ve had a bit of a stressful and traumatic 2013, my blogging world has come on leaps and bounds. I still don’t like the name “John D” and may change it in time, and have had some occasional leakage, where a bad situation in my world has spilled into my blogging persona, but broadly speaking, I feel like my stories and site have a vague direction.
So in 2013, my sex life improved, my site came on leaps and bounds and I think there’s been an improvement in my writing and photography. And as they are what I use to keep my psyche on the straight and narrow as I get battered by real life, that can’t be a bad thing at all!
This post was written for the competition here