Words & More Words

This Romance Writer’s Life…

SuperBlog Sunday

Full disclosure, I was bored with the game and decided to blog while I waited for the commercial breaks. LOL

38 days into 2016 already. The holidays a distant memory. And, we just watched the SuperBowl halftime show. Next thing you know, it'll be Thanksgiving.

I feel like this year is already flying by and I need to strap in because it's gonna be a doozy.

With a renewed focus and energy, I'm editing a novel I started writing during NaNoWriMo 2013. I've become more comfortable with the process of revisions. It doesn't break my heart as much anymore to cut giant sections of my WIP--I do save them just in case I want to weave them in later, but it's not crushing if what I once thought was brilliant is now in the trash.

I'm also becoming more involved with the industry--more than ever before! I've become a member of two Romance Writers of America chapters and signed up to read at two chapter meetings at the end of this month. I'm heading to a screening of Love Between the Covers in March, Book Con and the Chicago North RWA Spring Fling in May, Printers Row Lit Fest in June, RWA Nationals in July and the Chicago Writers Conference in September.

Side note: I'm in awe of the women (and men) I've recently met, who are published, some with several books under their belt and look forward to learning from them on this journey.

I used to cringe when people asked "what do you write?" "Romance" seemed like such an uncool response. My knee jerk reaction was to start with "personal essay" and "memoir" and then follow it up with the "R" word. I mean, admitting you write romance was anything but sexy as far as I was concerned. Not when there are books out there by people like Gillian Flynn, or Donna Tartt, James Patterson or John Grisham. Or, any author I was forced to read in high school, for that matter. How does one compete with such high brow and best selling writers? I'm not even mentioning the authors who are known for writing best-selling romances that even my husband would recognize them.

Most recently, I've not only come to accept my position in the romance genre--I'm proud of it! And, there are statistics to back why Romance is the HOT genre to be in. It's a billion dollar industry. As Celeste Bradley touts in the Love Between the Sheets trailer, "We're the ones that keep the lights on." 

Not that I'm in it for the money. I'm in it to get my books out into the world and turn this hobby into something I can hold in my hand, that's bound with a pretty cover.

It takes a lot of work, this writing stuff. There's the inappropriately-timed moments of inspiration and lengthy periods of uncertainty. Keeping track of what's been and what needs to be written can be daunting. The intricate balance of crisis and resolution in each scene, all while keeping the reader interested in moving forward. There's research (like deep diving into the world of racing for my current WIP) and character development. Pushing oneself when the last thing you want to do is to manage these "characters" or "this problem chapter." Making deals with yourself, if you get one more chapter edited you can go watch TV. The fine line you teeter between wanting to be published and just wanting a hot bath, a glass of wine and to binge watch a Netflix show.

As Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art: "There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write."

So between the above mentioned daily writing struggles, coupled with a full-time job where I basically play Tetris with the boss's calendar, and the numerous conferences and meetings on the calendar, how do I intend to finish this novel?

1. Time management--not only scheduling time to write, but making the most of it that time.

2. Coffee...lots and lots of coffee.

Kelly DuffComment