Commission Status: Open, but Picky
Last Updated: 2022-01-30
Okay, long story short, I’m opening commissions back up, but I’m going to be selective in the ones I choose. After some time away and reflecting on the whole commission experience, I’ve decided the overall theme will be “have fun”. Commissions that align with that theme will likely get picked; ones that don’t, probably won’t. “Have fun” essentially comes down to enjoyment of the subject matter and avoidance of unnecessary stressors. To that end:
- No more queues. Backlogs stress me out, so I’m not going to have them. When people request a commission, the response will be one of:
- Yes: Let’s get the details ironed out, and I’ll do it now.
- Not now: I’m working on a commission already, am taking a break from writing, or am too busy/distracted to work on it right now. Consider this a “no” since there’s no telling when I’ll be free. If I do find myself available at some point in the future, I’ll follow up and ask if you’re still interested, but don’t count on this!
- Not interested: This doesn’t sound like a commission I’d enjoy, and that’s not likely to change in the future. It’s not a personal attack on your or the subject matter, but it doesn’t align with the “have fun” theme of commission-writing. There will probably be a lot of these since I’m trying to devote my time to stories that leave me pumped-up afterwards.
- Send inquiries through the usual social media and website channels. I’m doing away with the form (but might bring it back for logistical stuff like PayPal address, etc.).
- Stories that have these elements are more likely to be accepted (not a guarantee, but they improve the odds):
- Stories focusing on more than just the kink: writing a vivid story with some kink means that even if I’m not into the kink itself, the story as a whole is fun to write.
- Flexible word count: a hard minimum makes it hard to add filler; a hard maximum can mean loss of interesting / fun details and increases stress trying to decide what to remove. Flexibility with a general ballpark sets expectations while letting me see where the story goes.
- Kinks I enjoy writing (this does not mean I like them in real life; know the difference!): kinks that dehumanize, humiliate, take away control, or result from loss of control, e.g., babyfur, bestiality, watersports/omorashi, castration, forced orgasms / impregnation / milking, transformation, loss of control due to musk / pheromones, etc. Incorporating ritual or punishment into any of those is icing on the cake.
- Stories that have these elements are less likely tot be accepted (not necessarily a disqualifier, but they reduce the odds):
- Character aggrandizement / “Mary Sue”: I’m happy to follow a character through a sequence of events, but talking about how exceptional a particular character is without that somehow tying into the plot just feels icky.
- Very long stories (20k+ words): I can do these, but they require a lot more care to maintain consistency and avoid plot holes. They’ll be met with skepticism but considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Picky, rigid or very detailed outlines: I enjoy the creativity of writing more than playing plot-point-Tetris. If you have a very specific story in mind with lots of specific plot points that must happen in a certain order under specific circumstances, I’m probably not going to enjoy writing it. Having lots of kinks / activities is fine as long as I’m free to fit them in where they work. Essentially acting as a tech writer to squeeze a bunch of information together into a story, though, is not fun for me; I got plenty of that at my last day job to last me a lifetime and don’t want to do it anymore. If your outline and character notes are as long as the commission itself, that’s probably an indication that I’m not going to have fun (yes, this has happened).
- Kinks I have trouble understanding: writing is very psychological for me, and to be able to write a compelling story, I have to be able to understand both the commissioner’s interest in a kink and how the characters would plausibly think and act to cause that kink to happen. When something happens to a character, it’s a lot more lenient than when a character actively seeks a kink that might be counterintuitive (e.g., death happening is one thing; actively seeking death without any particular physical/mental ailment to explain it is hard to make plausible). A commissioner who can help me understand the interest in the kink and how the characters could end up engaging in it (if I can’t figure it out on my own) can be the difference between a hard commission and a fun one.
- Stories requiring a lot of research or in-depth knowledge: I’ve got a wide breadth of interests, but if I have to research something I otherwise wouldn’t be interested in, that’s not fun for me.
- Kinks I don’t enjoy: Not kink-shaming; these kinks are just such turn-offs that they distract me when I try to write them: farting, breasts in general (big breasts, breast insertion, breast vore, etc.).
- Unclear / rude / no communication: If I’m having trouble understanding you and and ask for clarification, it’s because I’m trying to make sure we have the same idea of what the story will look like. Failing to clarify or acting as if I’m stupid for asking is not a recipe for success (fortunately, this hasn’t happened much). Also, I know we’ll often be in different time zones, but getting back to me within a day or so is helpful so I don’t lose whatever momentum I’ve built up.
That’s the “important part” of the information. For those curious about the “why”, read on.
I’ve learned a bit about writing and commissions and such over the last year, and that is that if the story is engaging and fun to write, it tends to go quickly and results in a higher-quality product than one that I had to slog through. Plus, I end up fired up at the end of it and eager to do the next one. Not dissing any of my prior clients—I do appreciate the opportunities to write a lot of different kinks and the associated reputation for being “that guy who’ll write anything”—but I gotta admit that there were a lot of stories there at the end that were just difficult to write. Part of it was undoubtedly burn-out, but part of it, too, was that I just wasn’t interested in the story, didn’t really care about the characters, and was only doing it for the money (which I didn’t actually need) and because I hated telling people “no” and rejecting their commission ideas.
Another major issue was that I didn’t want people have to wait in a queue for weeks (or months, depending on when I got to the point of having had enough and needing a hiatus) only to be told “no”. Truth be told, I always kinda hated the queue because any initial interest and inspiration I might have when a story was discussed would have vanished by the time I actually got around to writing it a week or a month (or more!) later. But, I didn’t have another way to manage the feast-or-famine nature of commissions: there tend to be peaks where several people all request commissions at once followed by lulls where I actually have time and motivation to work on something, but there aren’t any commissioners actively looking for new stories, thus resulting in wasted opportunities. So, even though I didn’t like it, I was pretty well stuck with the queue.
What I’ve realized over these last months is that lulls are okay. If I [i]really[/i] feel like writing but don’t have any commissions to work on, I can churn out another [i]Jack’s Blacks[/i]. Since money is not imperative, filling all of my time with commissions really is not a requirement, and I shouldn’t be designing my process around doing so. At the same time, I still don’t want people to have to wait around for me to tell them “yay!” or “neigh!”, so if I’m going to tell people that, it needs to be done upfront, at the time of the request (or at least as soon as I can read and process it). If there are multiple commissions that come in at the same time that are genuinely interesting, I need to be able to table them, not because I need to fill my time but because I might want to work on one after I finish what I’m currently doing. But, I can’t expect my clients to wait around on me to get around to it, so I have to recognize that if I initially tell them “no”, they might go to someone else to get the commission done—which is certainly their right. I also don’t want them to hold off on commissioning someone else because they’re waiting around on me to get to it or to decide I’m interested in doing it. So, I need to clearly communicate that if I say “no”, it should be taken as “no”. I might at some point in the future come back and ask if there’s still interest, but commissioners should not rely on that. Of course, that begs the question of, if they really wanted me as the writer and I tell them “no”, they get someone else to do it, and then I come back and say “yes”, assuming they didn’t intend to pay for two separate commissions of the same story, they’ve now had to settle for something less than their first choice due solely to timing. I don’t really have a good answer for that. I can indicate that I can’t do the commission now but would be interested in doing it in the future, but that puts me right back in the queue situation where people are waiting on me to get back to them when the reality is that the inspiration for the story at the time of discussion will probably have long since left by then. About the best I can do, I think, is to give an unqualified “no”, and then if I really was interested, come back and ask later when I have time, inspiration, energy, and motivation. If the person decides to commission someone else in the meantime, no worries: the person got the story in a reasonable amount of time, and although I might have been interested in the story, it’s no great loss. Otherwise, we can take it from there.
In short, given the theme of having fun with my commissions, the specific goals are as follows:
- Define and encourage story attributes and subject matter that are of interest to me.
- Eliminate queues since they act as unnecessary sources of stress.
- Define and discourage story attributes and subject matter that are stressful or of no interest to me.
- Identify a simple scheme for informing commissioners of the status of their commissions requests. Such a scheme should differentiate:
- Commissions I am interested in doing right now;
- Commissions I have no interest in ever doing; and
- Commissions I am interested in or might be interested in but cannot do right now.
- Specifically indicate to potential clients that if I cannot work on their commissions right now (whether interested or not), they should take that as a “no” and feel free to approach someone else; I don’t want them to wait around for me since I make no guarantees as to when I will start back up (avoiding guarantees takes the pressure off of me to hurry up and start the next one).
Hopefully the way that I’ve laid out the information at the top of the page implements these goals; I’ll evaluate the performance over time and adjust the goals and implementation as necessary.