I've always doubted myself as a writer but because it's something I love to do I just keep carrying on with trying to make myself a better one. It's not that I'm prolific - it takes me forever to choose a subject and think of a story, which is why I love to enter challenges because a prompt, especially a very specific one, provides more ideas than I can come up with by myself. Time doesn't allow me to write too often these days but when it does I try to apply myself to my best ability.
For the last Slashy Santa Swap I entered which was September 2016's Sultry in September, I purposely requested to be challenged and was at first dismayed by the truly difficult assignment I received. Details to follow. I killed myself over this one trying to figure out how all the recipient's requests could be accommodated in one fic. I did research, I sweated over which characters I should use, and eventually came up with something I didn't feel very confident about. I was happy that I actually got it done in time (it was completed at the last minute, with a day to spare) but I didn't believe that it would go down very well.
Would you believe that this story got me the most hits and most kudos that I have ever received on any story I've ever written? Life is funny, isn't it? I am always surprised by what people like and what they thumb their noses at! What it taught me is something that other writers have tried to impress upon me before - write for yourself and don't try to please anyone else. In a way I didn't actually write this story for myself but for someone else with very specific requirements - but it was much different and more sensational than anything I had written in the past and in the end I just went with it in a way that made sense to me - and I think this is the secret. If it makes sense to you then it will to others as well. And sensationalism doesn't hurt.
It's based on The Hobbit. The recipient had requested AU, a different period in history, denial of relationship, groveling for forgiveness, battle scars, angst, hurt/comfort, ugly fighting, anxiety, barebacking, praise kink, size kink, daddy kink, wall sex, group sex and in the end, everyone lives.
I managed to include all of these and some other requests and somehow managed to make it work.
The fic is here on AO3:http://archiveofourown.org/works/8002237
Since September I have not written much of anything else but to be honest I have not had the time or the inclination. My muses fled while I was dealing with other issues. But recently my interest has been piqued by the new Taboo challenge at the Silmarillion Writers Guild. The details are here:http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/challenges/
I love it! Especially the bottom two lines. I want to write as much as I can for this challenge.
Because I had no ideas I thought I'd check out the Random Silmfic Generator and this is what I got on the first try! I usually have to reject many ideas until I get the one I want. This one, happening on the first attempt which is very unusual, seemed to be just the inspirational gift I needed.
Theme: The Machine
Quotes: "We owe it to each other to tell stories." - Neil Gaiman, 'Locks'.
Popular Character: Amras (I love this! I just LOVE this! Would never have thought of him myself.)
The other prompts didn't work for the combination above but I love these four amazing prompts.
You can access the Random Silmfic Generator here:http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/birthday10/story-generator.php
I'm off to do some research and hopefully come up with some good ideas!
Happy writing to all of you!