This week, meet writer Delany M from Winston Salem, NC! Check out our blog every Wednesday for a new interview with our super talented and very interesting WriterAccess writers. For more featured writers, visit our Writer Wednesday category.
What first sparked your interest in writing?
I’ve been writing from the moment I could wrap my tiny hand around a pen, a practice which eventually grew into (and, thankfully, beyond) angsty poetry throughout high school. An unexpected and passionate love for marketing kept pace alongside, and soon I wasn’t so much whining at my parents for the latest toy, I was delivering a presentation complete with bullet points instead. Selling things—ideas, products, points of view, you name it—with words is something I’ve always found a great deal of pleasure in doing! My mom always said I could sell ice to Eskimos if you gave me a few hundred words.
According to your profile, you’ve done quite a bit of writing for sex toy manufacturers! How did you start writing for this industry, and is it any different from writing content for other businesses?
It’s an odd niche, but I tell people that writing for the adult industry is much like being a mortician or a garbage collector—no one really thinks about the profession without prompting, but someone’s out there doing it. I started both my writing career and my adult writing career simultaneously; I answered an ad on Craigslist, of all places, for a company buyer. The position ended up being for a very large and popular adult toy website, and I decided to roll with the proverbial punches.When their existing copywriter called out for a few days and left them behind in workflow, I stepped up and offered to write until she returned. They ended up liking the handful I did and put me in charge of all the descriptions from then on. That parlayed into working for distributors, manufacturers, video production houses and even performers as a writer in the years that followed.
From what my clients have told me, it’s evidently really hard to find a writer that can hit the right tone without getting embarrassed and silk-filtering everything, or, conversely, being overly obscene when the tone of the existing content doesn’t call for it. It’s more challenging than traditional description writing due to what I like to call the “insert tab A into slot B” conundrum—only so many ways of saying what goes where, you understand. Additionally, specializations like mine can be challenging for a career as there’s always a danger of getting typecast as the “smut writer” or offending some non-adult clients. I love writing for the adult industry, but I often have to stress that I’m not a one trick pony.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
I love semi-absurdist humor and a dry wit, so guys like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Dave Barry and Tim Dorsey are near and dear to my heart. I’m also a total anthologist junkie! Martin H. Greenberg in sci-fi and Rachael Kramer Bussel in erotica top my list for editors.
What’s the best time of day to write?
I prefer mid to late afternoons, as it isn’t so early that I’m fumbling for a mug of tea nor so late that the day feels like it’s escaped my clutches.
How would you advise someone looking to advance their freelance writing career?
For some delightful reason, freelancers simply aren’t tight-lipped about advice and warnings. Look to your fellow writers—forums, mentors and online information will steer you in the right direction, more often than not. Also, for gods’ sakes, recognize where your bread is buttered and be kind to the staff/clients that are, as I like to say, keeping you in ink—rude writers don’t tend to get very far in this profession. I also keep a blog over at www.FreelanceWriterGuide.com for newbies that aren’t sure how to get into the game.
Delany M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.