Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Write What You Love and Love What You Write

Otherwise known as: Finding my joy in writing again via romance.

So a few months ago, I decided to try something completely different - to write a romance novel. Years back I'd made some attempts, but hadn't managed to finish one (other than a Historical Undone that got a form R). I'd spent the past year writing novels that I really enjoyed writing and were structurally sound but kept getting rejected, and I was frustrated with myself. The idea of trying out romance again had been niggling in the back of my mind, so I figured what the heck? You only live once. Might as well give it a go.

Writing Just One Week was a bit of a revelation for me. I'd forgotten that sometimes, writing can be easy. Obviously there's always work involved, but the words really flowed for me on this project in a way they hadn't in a long time.

And the end result really helped restore my flagging confidence as a writer. For the first time ever my mom (yeah yeah I know what they say about family but listen guys my parents are the harshest critics EVER. Trust me, handing my stuff off to them is like borrowing Lady Gaga's meat dress and diving headfirst into a pit of wolves) actually blazed through the chapters I sent and demanded more. That's an amazing feeling. Not only that, she forwarded it on to other friends and family who ALSO wanted more.

When I was writing just for myself, I came up with screwball comedies about physics and the nature of reality. But life isn't all about me. When I wrote Just One Week, I wrote it with the fond wish that it would make somebody else happy, and it did. And I think it's a better book - and I'm a better writer - for it.

So what I'm getting at here is: Even if nobody  gives my novel a second glance (though I'd prefer they did, plz and thx universe are you listening), this will have been so completely worth it, even more so than any other novel I've finished.