Sentences, stories, structure, and SEX!!!!!

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Sitting across from me, arms folded on the edge of the cluttered table, he sat calmly, or was it disinterested? I couldn’t tell. I’ve always over read these types of things. We were sharing a cup of sausage gravy and two browned Bob Evans biscuits which to me are better than sex. He likes his biscuits drizzled with gravy while I prefer mine drowned, drenched, daubed.

I was attempting to describe my new blog to him, and how social media is completely necessary and leverage in any publishing deal later on. He picked up his coffee cup and looked away. “My moms neighbor made 60k with his blog last year”.

I wasn’t really sure how to reply to that. The point of my new blog wasn’t necessarily to plaster it with ads. I squeezed the bottle of honey and waited for it to ooze into my cup of tea. We were different like that. I was more “tea” where he was “coffee”. I looked for the silver lining while he looked for the next storm.

“How are you going to get people to follow you?” He asked, scraping the last bite of biscuit off of the plate, swirling it through the gravy before carefully consuming.

I had thought about that, but vaguely. I kind of had the thought that “if you build it they will come”. I had done a little research on the topic and picked up the same old tips from various other sites.

– tag your posts

– add pictures

– join blog hops

– blog often

I rattled some more tips off, including following others in the hopes that they will be just as interested in following my blog. But to be honest, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to build a fan base ( I think everyone goes through this?).

“You’re going to have to write about sex”. He said this to me in the same manner one would ask me to pass the milk. I stared at him, not in disbelief, not offensively, but blankly. The waitress set our eggs and toast on the table, and I silently prayed she hadn’t overheard our conversation.

“Right,” I squeaked, not skipping a beat. I punctured my sunny side up egg with a fork and let the yolk ramble across my blue rimmed plate. I soaked up the yolk with a piece of wheat toast, as well as the words that were now being exchanged across the table.

I did some more googling and found a page by Jeff Goins, called  Goins, Writer. The blog post was titled “Get more followers by breaking all the rules” and detailed doing something “dangerous” and writing in ways that broke the mold, shocked your readers.

I liked his approach, I liked the blog, generally speaking.

But what about content? What about skill? Does obtaining new followers entail age old gimmicks? I know, I know, sex sells. Perhaps I’m a bit of a prude (hopefully not?) but I’ve been choosing the blogs I follow based on how well they are written, how creative they are, how much I can learn from them. So Mr. Goins, and the man across the table, I hope you are wrong. I hope my writing and approach is enough to bring in followers, but if not, I’ve got more than a few stories to share.

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We read to learn, to feel, to laugh, to understand others. We write to teach, express, communicate, to inspire others. I created Invisible Ink as an outlet of sorts, an area where I can organize the chaos; a place where hopefully I can be true to myself, and my readers. Writing is personal, it takes a brave and dedicated soul to formulate a piece and then share it with the world. That being said, I get just as much out of reading other's work as I do sharing mine ( I am always open to manuscript review swaps, just send me a message). Words read off a page evoke emotions. When taken out of context, or through an out of focus lens - anyone can mold the words, shifting their meaning to fit their agenda or distorted outlook. Staying true to form and myself, I won't censor my content, but I will censor my audience. Whatever lens you happen to be reading this through - I hope you enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Sentences, stories, structure, and SEX!!!!!

  1. Oh yes. You’re going to have to be good, really good. But skill? That’s a prerequisite. Doing something to get you noticed when you aren’t any good will only lead to embarrassment and faster failure. Quality is assumed. And it looks like you’re off to a good start. 🙂

  2. I hope I’m wrong too, but I fear I’m not. But let’s be clear: you have to be good to be heard. It’s just that talent isn’t enough. You have to do something interesting AND be worth paying attention to. So don’t confuse what I’m saying that you can phone it in if you’ve got a gimmick. You can’t. Quality is assumed. And it looks like you’re off to a good start. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jeff. I’m typically an old fashioned pen and paper type of writer, so this journey should be interesting! I didn’t see a “follow” button on your blog – but I’ll be reading your posts for some much needed guidance!

  3. I’ve never understood the concept of ‘shock and awe’ as a writer – it usually turns me off a writer if I notice such blatant things as harm to children, unnecessary sex scenes, rape, child abuse; using violence and my disgust as a means of driving the plot. It might drive up the number of blog-followers, but it won’t impress too many publishers (or it shouldn’t impress too many publishers, we should hope.)

    It’s your words that matter.

    1. Thanks Chris! I’d much rather impress and/or inspire and educate. I know I use others’ writing as inspiration and guidance in my own projects. Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

  4. I think I agree with Christwritewrites in a way. I think sex, violence, etc can be used to further a story, but 9/10 times it’s just because boobs are marketable, which is kind of sad. Shock and awe can be okay, but that’s a magic bullet that can’t be used more than once or it’s just not shocking anymore. And yeah, shock gets attention, but quality wins minds, hearts, and souls.

  5. My two cents: I believe that a good writer can make a good story without sex.

    Sure, sex sells. There will always an audience for it. And if you’re goal is to make as much money as you can, then by all means…

    But if you have principles you’d like to maintain, and feel it’s not necessary to a story, using sex simply to attract a larger audience is something to avoid, in my opinion.

    There’s a book called “Memories” by Mike McQuay. It’s one of my favorite sci-fi novels. It has, relatively speaking, a lot of sexually-related content, but in context, it doesn’t seem out-of-place for the characters and situations, and doesn’t strike me as “dirty.” I’m sure some people would find it offensive though, but that’s the case with a lot of things.

    So sex isn’t always bad to do in writing, just like it’s not always bad in real life. 🙂 (In my opinion)

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