There was a time, waaaaay back in a ‘forgotten era’, when message boards and emails and personal sites were actually still a thing! Hehehe! (Omigod! Remember ‘guestbook’ posts??? LOL!) Things were very different than they are today. Which is fine…just different. It wasn’t just like filling out a few details for a Twitter account, or setting up a a Facebook. No 10 second TikTok vids, no looking cute for an Instagram pic by showing your flat tummy in a mirror selfie pic…and suddenly getting 100,000 followers in the first week. That’s still absolutely crazy to me. But before all of that was anywhere near being as easily accessible it is now…if you wanted build an audience, and you wanted to get noticed…you had to find and build yourself a private space online, develop your talents, and share it with the hopes of it catching on over time. You had to talk about it. Promote it. Enhance it. You had to BUILD your own underground lair online…and that was never an easy thing to do. You’re competing with the rest of the planet for attention. So you had to have an edge or a unique style to what you were doing. Otherwise…you kinda get lost in the bucket with the rest of the crabs trying to claw their way to the top.
When I started out online with the Shack, all I really had was a few computer codes that I learned and barely understood, and a whole lot of trial and error issues to go through in order to get things to look the way that I wanted them to look. I absolutely loved posting my stories in places like the Nifty Archive and getting some emails and some feedback and some support from the people that really enjoyed what I had to say. However, as I began to write more stories with different names, different themes, and different feelings attached to them…there was no way that I could expect even the most diehard fans to go through the entire erotic gay teen lists online and ever hope to find me again. I felt like…readers were pretty much throwing darts at random and choosing whatever story they landed on. I could be easily overlooked. Maybe the title didn’t grab them right away, or maybe the sex didn’t start soon enough, or maybe it was in the ‘Camping’ section instead of the ‘High School’ section…whatever. And so I tried to teach myself a few online tricks by doing a bunch of online research, very basic, very simple, and gather all of my stories in one place. That way, if you like one of my stories (Maybe one that you found, purely by accident)…I can now add a link at the bottom of my story page and give you directions to samples of everything else that I have to offer. You might like some of them, you might hate some of them, but you have full access now. And I’m no longer competing with a million other quality writers to get my work noticed. You want me? You got me! You know?
And this is what a LOT of people did back then! They all worked extremely hard to carve out their own little space on the internet that was designed and tailor made JUST for them and their particular audience. That was kind of the goal at the time. If you had some really kickass cooking recipes? Create your own website. If you were an aspiring painter or a photographer? Create your own website. Got a band with your friends, or just loved writing song lyrics? Create your own website. Everybody had the freedom to carve out a tiny space of the world for themselves, and entertain others to their heart’s content. Write it down, hone your craft, learn how to make it interesting. There were websites for everything, and talent was limitless. Proud of your garden? Like rebuilding cars? Have a particularly cute cat at home…people could make their own website about it. That was the goal. To create your very own space, and share your talents with anybody and everybody that has something in common with you.
NOW…this is where ‘The Comicality Library’ comes in. (https://www.voy.com/17262/)
It was shortly after posting stories on Nifty and began gathering a fanbase that I started talking with other writers online. They appreciated what I was doing, and sent me links to their stories as well. So I fell in love with what they were bringing to the genre as well, and made some really good friends along the way. Amazing writers! Inspiring writers! And we began to link to one another’s sites to kind of feed off one another’s creativity and spread the love to as many people as we could, you know?
However, a lot of people didn’t know how to build their own sites, and I was certainly no computer wiz either…so who was I gonna help? You know? But having us all converse with one another and share ideas was an added bonus that came with being surrounded by talented people all the time. And I couldn’t really host their stories on my own website, as I was still learning all the bells and whistles that I had at my disposal. Lil’ ol me, with a Webtv and a dial up connection! Hehehe! But I DID love talking to the many other readers and writers that happened to stop by on occasion to say hello, and I had an onine forum that I simply named ‘The Shack’, where we could all go and talk and laugh and have a good time with one another whenever we wanted to. It was easier than trying to chat in real time, as many of them were overseas or in different time zones…or were simply teenagers who had to go to bed or get their homework done. So having a forum allowed us to all post messages to one another, and have them stay up there on the board for others to read and respond to whenever they found a time that was convenient for them, personally. It was wildly popular almost immediately, and we all got to invite new friends to join us, share some quality time, and create an online family that I still cherish to this day.
So…I was thinking…why not do the same with people’s stories?
Creating a forum was free, and all I had to do was change the design slightly, add a few rules about posting and promotion, and then link the two forums together! Voila…instant online Library! Now, the idea of ‘content’ had to be addressed before things even got started. Nifty can be a bit of a ‘Wild West’ situation in some cases, especially back then…and I wanted to avoid inviting stories of sexual violence, rape, torture, etc. I was concerned that the climate of the Library could take a serious left turn at any moment, and could head down a dark road that I didn’t want to follow. One that I didn’t want my readers to follow either. Sex scenes were always welcome, but hardcore, kin fetish, porn…we may have to discuss that a bit. It wasn’t meant to be a censorship type of thing, it’s just that there were already plenty of sites online for that kind of thing…and the Shack wasn’t one of them. I was writing stories with a level of romance and drama that I wanted to connect to the people reading. Basically, if you don’t create a standard, things can spin out of control rather quickly. And, with my content involving teen boys…I was already walking on thin ice as it was.
Luckily, I’m happy to say that we’ve never had any real issues with the content of any story, posted by any author, on the Library since its inception. Everybody that posted their work there has been respectful, friendly, and successful in getting some feedback from a smaller group of people who were looking for the type of stories that they wanted to tell. It was a chance to share your deepest feelings among friends, and have discussions with them about it afterward. Many other friendships were made there as well, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with how the whole project turned out.
The one growing problem was…The Comicality Library was never meant to act as a full fledged website for other authors. It was more of a promotion tool for those who were looking to bring a new audience to websites or story archives of their own. The Library rotates as new content is added. So eventually, your story will disappear from the list. I mean, it’ll take about two or three YEARS to vanish completely, but it’s not permanent. But, like I said…the times were a bit different. And the whole goal was to show people what you were made of, and then bring them back to your own personal space online. Invite folks into your home, and basically do for yourselves what I did with Nifty in the beginning. Give people a taste, and then guide them back home to see if they might be interested in something else that I might be working on as well. And there were a lot of up and coming authors that started their very own websites, using that very blueprint to build generous fanbases of their very own. So big applause to every last one of them.
Then…things online changed. They always do. The culture of everyone having their own space on the internet turned away from wanting to share with others to more of a ‘me me me’ ideology. We got Youtube, then Myspace, then Facebook, then Twitter, Vine, TikTok, Instagram…hehehe, I have to admit that I kind of miss that party atmosphere that we all used to have with one another. One where we all got together and spent time together. It seems that nowadays, every time I try to talk to everybody…there’s just this growing effort to break off into tiny little groups and just talk in some dark, private, corner, somewhere. What’s the big secret? I thought we were all having fun, here. 😛
So, the culture has changed, and I get it. But, for a while, we had writing contests, and long discussions, and new writers trying their newest stories out for the first time, advertising their new websites and turning into online celebrities practically overnight. And it was great! We had essays, and song lyrics, and book reviews, and essays…you have no idea how cool it was to see so many people coming together to just be a part of something great. But, no worries. The pendulum always swings back the other way eventually. I’d much rather enjoy a community of like-minded people than post random stuff on a Facebook page and keep checking back to see if anybody cares. I don’t know…it just seems kind of lonely to me.
One other problem that I was happy to fix came from a bunch of comments and emails that I was getting, constantly bashing me over the head with the fact that it does take me a long time to write new chapters of their favorite stories. Guilty as charged! I really don’t write something that I’m not feeling in my heart on that particular day, and even when it’s finally finished, I don’t put it out there until it just ‘feels’ right. If that makes sense. And writing so many stories at once is like…being on an infinite playground for ME, personally! But for people who are waiting for new chapters of that one or two favorites, it can be months and months before they get something new. (Something that I’m seriously working on correcting!) But…there were times when I was really really working my fingers down to the bone…when I would write and write and type until my hands would cramp up and I’d spend the rest of the evening in pain…and some readers would still be really ANGRY at me! Like…WTF??? You know?
I realize that time can slip by me pretty fast, but you should SEE the way some people treat me over something as simple waiting for another does of 100% FREE entertainment! There have been nights when I have seriously just turned my laptop off for the night and was like, “Fuck you! I’m not writing another fucking word!” Because it sucks. It really does. Even when I’m working my ass off on new material, I have to hear that shit? Psh! No more soup for you! Hehehe!
So now…there is a visual chart at the top of the Comicality Library that people can check at any time to see all of the hard work that I’ve put in before they get all entitled and bent out of shape. So when they scream at me, like, “When was the last time you put out ANYTHING new???” I can point to the chart and say, “It was yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that.” See? Now you know how hard I work to keep you happy…and you’re angry anyway. I’m starting to think that your dissatisfaction doesn’t really have anything to do with me, does it?” Hey, I’m doing my job. And most of the folks who throw the biggest tantrums have never once sent me an email or left a comment to say ‘thank you’. Never once. So, at any time…you guys can go to the top of the Comicality Library (https://www.voy.com/17262/) and let that chart be a glaring reminder that what I write, what ANY author writes, isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It takes effort, and emotion, and a ton of energy. It means staying up late, or waking up early. It means spending time away from your friends, your family, your loved ones. It means coming home from work and trying to focus on creating a world that doesn’t really exist. So, please…let’s give our authors a little bit of credit. And if you’re too lazy to say ‘thank you’, the least you can do is not harass them or be rude to them. It’s not our goal to ruin your day. It’s the internet. I’m sure you’ll find something to keep you busy.
Find some porn. It’ll help you relax. Hehehe!
That being said, I still post every new story and chapter on the Library every time I come out with a new release. It’s pretty much just me now. Hehehe! But there are still a few fans that leave comments and remember the good old days, and that’s more than enough to tickle me pink! Every single time! So the legend continues! And anybody that wants to post their own story and maybe grab a few more readers for their work…they can scroll to the bottom, leave a title and a pen name…and post away. That’s what it’s there for. The open invitation never expired. Hehehe, people just got lazy.
Well…not ‘lazy’. Maybe just tired! Social media is friggin’ exhausting! Subscribe to me, follow me, hit the bell, hit the ‘like’ button, here’s my Patreon, here’s my website, follow me on Instagram, I also have a Twitch account, buy my merchandise, new hats and t-shirts, keep an eye on my Facebook, here’s my Twitter, love me, validate me, email me (not good enough!), text me in real time (not good enough!), chat with me (not good enough!), I wanna hear your voice on Skype (not good enough!), Facetime me…JESUS CHRIST!!! Can we just breathe for a moment and have a normal conversation without you being a walking infomercial all the time? YIKES! How much do you really need from me? People won’t be happy until I’m literally naked and balls deep INSIDE of them before they feel close enough to me to talk about the weather! Calm down! LOL!
Now, take that visual with you! LOL! I love you all! And I hope to see you soon! You’ll always be my family, no matter what. I hope I feel like family to you too.