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Guest Blogger: Ily Goyanes
Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Today I’m going to discuss ‘this or that’ writers.

Girls Who ScoreIf someone is referred to only as a ‘lesbian erotica writer’ or ‘science fiction writer’, they have unfortunately let themselves be stamped as a ‘this or that’ writer.

Such writers should immediately do whatever is necessary to shirk that potentially income-limiting label. Of course, there are writers who choose to focus on a specific niche, m/m romance or pet mysteries, for example, and in that case, it is very, very good to be a ‘this or that’ writer, only you are now a specialty writer with high income potential. You have established yourself as an expert; people will seek out your work.

Since I’m discussing ‘this or that’ writers, I’m leaving specialty writers out of this, except to say that SPs write for one genre (and sometimes that genre’s subgenres), usually one they personally enjoy reading or found they have a knack for, and they have mastered their craft. An SP is like a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon. I am talking about the advantages of being a general practitioner.

A writer with skill, talent, and experience, can write almost any type of material. And unless you choose to be known as a genre writer, say romance or fantasy, you should make a concerted effort to write stories of all kinds and submit, submit, submit. Like an investor, you should build up a diversified portfolio, only instead of investments; your portfolio consists of writing samples.

Diversification makes it harder to attain a certain level of success, but it is worth it in the long run. And while it will probably take longer to become a ‘famous mystery writer’ or a ‘bestselling romance author’ if you diversify, the truth is that you will make more short-term money by not pigeonholing yourself. And I do believe that making a living from their art is the ultimate goal of most writers.

I have not penned any bestsellers as of yet, but I do make a living as a writer and have so for the past six years. The key to that being that I do not categorize myself and try to avoid letting others do so. I am a writer, period. Whether it’s advertising copy, web copy, screenplays, brochures, newsletters, newspaper and magazine articles, or fiction, I am available and experienced and ready to write. Potential employers do not look at my resume and think, ‘She only has experience writing comedy. We can’t hire her for this.’ Instead they think, ‘She has experience with all kinds of writing.’

An added bonus of exercising your writing talent is just that – you get some exercise! Play around with types of characters, plots and subplots, genres, styles, tones, and of course, words. you will only be a better writer for it. Making your brain twist and turn, overcome obstacles, and think – will make you a better specialty writer as well, if that’s your chosen path.

Power Plays v5If you do decide to stick to a certain genre, one that really tickles, draws, and titillates you, all this exercise will just make your specialty that much stronger. And if you decide to write, write, write – everything from magazine features to op-ed pieces to BDSM erotica to cookbooks, you’ll find that there is nothing you can’t do.

Ily Goyanes is a journalist, editor, publisher, and widely published erotica author. She writes about food and culture for the Miami New Times (Village Voice Media) and the Fuming Foodie, her columnist alter ego, has been known to cause a bit of controversy. Her erotica appears in Best Lesbian Erotica 2012Lesbian Cops: Erotic InvestigationsSpankalicious: Erotic Adventures in Spanking, and Power Plays: Kinkster Erotica, as well as the upcoming Smokin’ Hot Firemen.  Her first full-length anthology, Girls Who Score: Hot Lesbian Erotica, has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She has been interviewed by PBS, The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Gay News, and numerous other media outlets, as well as serving as a panelist at the 2012 Miami Book Fair International. Write her at ily.goyanes@gmail.com.

5 comments to “Guest Blogger: Ily Goyanes”

  1. Lily Rose
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      · March 22nd, 2013 at 10:11 am · Link

    This is so true. Lawrence Bloch started by writing erotica and look at all the bestsellers he has. D.H. Lawrence, who went on to write Lady Chatterley’s Lover, also began by writing erotica.

    Your advice is excellent. It is always good to diversify in what you write. It’s like a stocks & bonds portfolio. You never know which one will reach its peak. 8)



  2. Deb Carter
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      · March 22nd, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    I’m not a published author yet. I’m new to the writing world but have been told to keep at it. I started to write a kids book for ages 10 and up. Then got writers block and someone told me write about something else and it could unblock it. I went to the other end and started writing lesbian erotic and have so many idea and stories going on. So I was thinking the same thing of writing in every genre that I have an idea for and just write. The more written work I can get out there the better my chances are of making a living on writing. I look at it like this throw out one penny and maybe someone will pick it up but if you throw out a handful then the odds are that much better. Thanks for the sharing you knowledge.



  3. Becky Ward
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      · March 22nd, 2013 at 5:43 pm · Link

    This was an interesting post. I found your advice to be very good and informative. Thanks for sharing this with us.



  4. Nakia Anderson
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      · March 22nd, 2013 at 11:08 pm · Link

    Thank you Ily for the wonderful advice and for leading by example. Your creative curiosity and passion opens doors for other writers as well.



  5. Ily Goyanes
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      · March 23rd, 2013 at 12:28 am · Link

    Thank you all so much. Feel free to email me if you’d like to delve into the subject further, or just to say hello! Have a wonderful weekend. :)