Today the round 7 Smut Marathon results were published. We had been out for the day, but as I was the passenger rather than driver, I was able to take a look at the comments and then results. I was pleased to see that my favourite story came top and that others I enjoyed did well. The quality in this round was amazing and voting especially difficult.
In round 6, I was eliminated from the competition, something of a relief. On 15th July, when the results were published I was feeling rather unwell. At that time I didn’t know what was wrong, but for a few days I had been tired and lacked energy. Worse my bladder had developed a mind of its own. When I needed to pee, I really did.
I was also in the middle of packing up my house to move. Months, if not years of preparation to leave my marital home and move in with Master were coming to a conclusion. The Smut Marathon was really the least of my priorities. In the run up to the deadline, I wasn’t sure I would even be able to write. But in the final few days I wrote something.
In hindsight it is clear that just dumping my thoughts into a document and editing for word count only is not going to be enough. But to be honest, I felt the need to send something, anything. It felt wrong not to submit an entry when others had been eliminated in the previous round. So time for a confession. Until today, I have not looked at my entry, I haven’t read anyone else’s. I didn’t vote and I didn’t comment. when the results were published, I responded to Marie’s email telling me I had been eliminated. But I didn’t look at the scoring or anything else.
I feel embarrassed to admit this today. But in mid July I had no energy for a writing competition. I had a urinary infection, was about to move house and like most of the rest of us in the northern hemisphere was existing in a heat wave.
Today I have read comments on my entry – #14 Slave’s deepest fantasy. People were in the main kind but clear. My punctuation left something to be desired, I used the same or similar words in close proximity (a pet hate) so clearly I hadn’t edited properly. What is more, mention of the prompt was at best transient. I could have done better.
What I have taken from the competition
Fiction is something I have to work at. It doesn’t come naturally to me, even adapting my own life experiences feels like hard work. I struggle to be creative, to think outside the box. I am in awe of my fellow participants who easily write about crime, vampires and science fiction. In part, this might be due to the fact I don’t read masses of erotic fiction and when I do, it is reasonably mainstream. But I know my writing has improved during the time I was part of the Smut Marathon. I have been encouraged by the wonderful feedback and help from Marie. But also the comments left by the judges and those voting.
My favourite round was 5 – I wrote a story from the perspective of a sex toy. I will post the story on my blog in the next few days since I am proud of it. Somehow I found my creative juices and allowed my writing to flow. In that round, I received my best votes and also feedback. I will take that forward into next year. Because people, I know I can write, I can edit my work and I can put commas in the right places (most of the time). I also do have a creative side and I can show it. I will take the experiences of this year with me. But also, I will continue to learn from those still in the competition.