When I published my short story collection in October I knew it wouldn’t do well. The point was to publish something this year, regardless of what it was.
I loved writing those stories and enjoyed the process of editing them, putting them together, and putting them out.
When you write, there are things that you hope will happen: that people will read your stories, that you’ll get amazing reviews, and that you’ll connect with those people through your writing.
What happened was none of that.
The only people who bought the collection, now $.99 on Amazon for Kindle, are mostly family. There are couple of outliers, but it’s mostly family.
Here’s the thing about that. My family doesn’t read horror.
My mom used to, but doesn’t anymore. I guess I put together the collection for them, and not for myself, which is fine.
I’ve listened to a authors talk about the fact that their families don’t read horror so why should they write for them?
I took this to heart with the last few stories I’ve written. It’s about what scares me because in the end, if I’m not scared when I write something, the reader won’t be either.
Writing for you is more important than anything.
There are family members who will be turned off by writing for various reasons.
I realized I’m okay with that. I write for me first and if I like the scary parts I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Your writing should be important to you, not to your family. If someone doesn’t like the bits about gore, it’s not for them. If they’re turned off by those things, remember, you liked them and someone else will as well.
Throw the dirty, gory, nasty things into your writing that you’ve been afraid to. Put it all out there, someone will like it.
I’ve read a lot of extreme horror in the last few months because I hadn’t read it. I wanted to see how far other authors have gone, and realized something. There were great swaths of things I was afraid to write that these authors shrugged at and went more fucked up.
So I’m doing that now.
I’ve written scenes I wouldn’t have dared write six months ago, but seeing where other authors went, I dug myself a hole and followed it into the dark.
Chase the dark, it’s where the best part of horror lies.