Thursday, February 11, 2016

Author Side Projects

"What are my side projects besides being unbelieavably handsome in films? Hmm..."

Since I don't have much to say about my creative process and I'm sort of tapped out on my personal hobby horse topics (sex, sex in YA fiction), I thought I'd write a little bit about something else: side projects.

Okay, so yeah. If you write books under contract, you have to be writing a lot. And promoting and updating your website and going to the post office with ARCs and reading your friends' drafts and blah blah blah.

^No one cares about hearing about that stuff really.

And that stuff, while necessary, might wear some people out more. Hence: the side project. The thing that has nothing to do with your books or your promotion or your career or anyone else's career.

My first side project was a collaboration with Christa Desir, an extension of our conversations that we call The Oral History Podcast. We are both big podcast fans and we constantly talk about books and sexual depiction in them. So, that was really easy.

My second side project is an off-shoot of the podcast and it's a Tumblr site called Write LadyHead Right. Basically, it's a completely nonprofit situation where we endeavor to put out more stories in the world featuring ladyhead AKA cunnilingus.

(Yeah, that's kind of a record-scratcher topic, right? Kinda hard to bring up with your parents, I know.)

We did it last year for Valentine's Day and this year we're running stories for it all month long. The Tumblr will stay up all year long, for the public's reading enjoyment.

What is the point of this side project? What does it do for me personally?

Well, I like reading about sex. And I think ladyhead is pretty goddamn great. So I enjoy waving that flag. I also like getting each new story and working with the author about the details. I don't know, really. It's just basic pure writing. Almost like fan fiction. Nothing for it except basic masturbatory enjoyment.

I wonder if that's what a good author side project offers: just enjoyment, no nerves about reviews or reception. You cannot go back to a life where you are unaware of stickers and stars and reviews and prizes and best-seller lists. But it's fun to go back to the place where you just did something only because it felt really, really good.

What are your side projects? And why do you do them?

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