Okay, I did it. I shot off the request to have some of my stories taken off from Literotica. Captive Hearts and Dangerous Beauty are coming down. The Prince of Winds is already history.
And here's the reason: I have a chance to get them published. Some publishers won't even look at work that has been posted on the internet. Those publishers who do, however, ask that a work not be available on free sites while under consideration. They have good reasons for this, and the biggest one ties into my second reason.
A story that's out there for free is defenseless.
Anyone can simply take that story, copy it, say they wrote it, and put it up as their own. They can even send it to publishers themselves or publish it on Amazon and sell it. And if I was okay with that, there wouldn't be a problem. Lots of people are okay with it. But I'm not, which is why I pop for $35 to register a story's copyright before I put it up anywhere. It's not much protection, but it's something. The fact remains that posting a story online creates problems for publishers over the work's provenance.
I love making my stories available to readers and getting comments, good or bad. Readers taught me a lot on Lit. I learned, I laughed, and I winced a few times. But mostly I grew . . . I grew as a writer, and I grew a thicker skin. The latter is important. I've always championed the value of maintaining perspective, but the only way to maintain perspective on my own work has been to put enough work out there that the pain gets spread around. I was able to put up a fair number of stories on Lit.
The stories aren't dead. Far from it. For one thing, anything put on the internet is never truly dead. But all three stories are also currently out to publishers. I hope they get picked up. In the meantime, should any readers from Literotica stray over here to my blog, they will find the next generation of those stories, and others, underway and being posted as excerpts. I also will be buying 5 copies of any book I do manage to get published and giving them away to readers.
My ultimate goal as a writer is to make my work as available as possible.
But it won't be the same. It was nothing short of magical to pop on in the morning, hoping to see that my chapter had been posted, waiting for the comments, finding out what readers thought.
I'm deleting part of my life . . . and it hurts.