In January this year I decided to take a six month break from writing romance fiction.
Why? Because I felt that something was not working.
Hard work does not bother me – it never has. But there comes a time when it is taking longer and longer to finish a romance project and I had to face up to a hard fact. It is taking longer because I didn’t want it enough.
I love writing. I love making friends with the characters who come alive inside my head. That’s why I have written 19 romance novels in 5 years, plus countless proposals and story notes and partials for more.
But somehow along the way I had jumped onto a hamster wheel of my own making which was turning faster and faster, powered by the stories and the contract deadlines. Deadlines I had pushed for. I know how important it is to be prolific in today’s publishing world.
Now it was time to jump off that treadmill and take some time to catch my breath.
Have I been idle since January? Not a bit! I have written several books for writers and two Online training courses.
What I have learnt in these past months is that in order to find joy in the writing, you have to reconnect to the deep motivation that will light a fire in your belly and have you stealing every moment you can to tell the stores burning inside of you.
That’s why I have just started the most ambitious writing project of my life.
I want to go back to that gangly over-tall teenage girl who came to reading adult fiction through a compulsive addiction to space opera novels. Do you remember those Gollancz Science Fiction books with the hard yellow covers and authors such as Asimov and Norton and Delaney and Clarke? I couldn’t get enough and wrote several epic novels which were safely stashed away… until now.
Writing romance has given me the training in story craft and business I need. Now the hard work really starts. Maybe I can use those old ideas? Maybe I can’t. But they are a start on my quest.
*picks up rucksack and stout stick and checks water and boots.* Away we go!