Tag Archives: new year

End of Year Retrospective: Why I Write

This is the time of year I look back on what I’ve accomplished and wonder—yet again—why do I bother writing romance novels?

My readers number in the dozens. And most of those are friends. (Wonderful friends!)

I could probably have a very successful career as a journalist or a librarian if I dropped the novelist pretense. (I do have degrees for both.)

If I give up writing romance novels I’d have lots more time for other stuff. Fun stuff. Like kite flying. Or boating. Or acting. (Did you catch that I was in a local production of A Christmas Carol?)

(Have you subscribed to my email list?)

And yet…the truth of the matter is, I don’t really write for readers. I write for me. I even publish for me because I like seeing my writing in book form. It’s satisfying in a weird, probably narcissistic way. But it’d be great to have more readers. It’d even be great to make a living at this thing. To be a best-selling author with Hollywood fighting to turn my books into movies. To be able to donate money to charities and take care of my family and set my parents up in a nice house, preferably closer or at least be able to get to see them more—all that is the dream.

However, as I close out my seventh year as a novelist with thirteen romance novels under my belt, I am faced with the near certainty that that’s not likely to happen.

(Remember to subscribe to my email list.)

Let’s face it, the days of the reclusive novelist who can sit at home and write and send their work out to the publishing world to sell are over. Everyone writes books these days. Actors, politicians, psychiatrists, musicians, librarians, bloggers, YouTubers—I could go on, but you get the picture.

The pipes are literally clogged with all the books all these non-writers are writing. How on earth is little ol’ non-flashy me gonna attract attention to my independently published romances with all those flashy covers “written” by all the flashy personalities taking up all that shelf space?

Gotta try, though, don’t I? (Email list sign up here.)

So, I’m turning over a new leaf in the new year. I’m working out an actual marketing plan and exploring other avenues for publishing. I’m looking at what’s worked and what hasn’t and what I’ve never tried before. And I’m kicking it all off with a newsletter that launches on January 1. If you want to keep up with what’s happening with me, you might want to sign up. Here’s a link to do that: Email list sign up.

Oh, and even if you don’t really care what’s happening with me and my career, you might want to sign up anyway since I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky subscriber. Want that sign up link again? Here you go.

Comments Off on End of Year Retrospective: Why I Write

Filed under Thoughts, Writing

Imagine all the dreamers…

“Imagine all the people living life in peace…”

What do you see? What image does John Lennon’s timeless lyric call to your mind?

A world without war, certainly. But then what? No classes? Everyone working day by day to make the world a better place? A kind of idealistic commune where we may work in the fields or the kitchens or serve as doctors or govern, but we all eat at the same table?

I used to wish for something like this. World peace, my mind whispered at my birthday parties when I blew out the candles. World peace, I thought as I blew a dandelion’s fluff into the wind. World peace, I wished and puffed a breath at an eyelash. World peace—as a coin plinked into the fountain.

World peace.

It’s only now as I face my forty-seventh year on this planet that I realize, the only people who ever wish for world peace are people like John Lennon. When he said, “You may say, I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”, I wonder—did he realize that the other dreamers are all people like him? Artists, thinkers, philosophers. True utopians who visualize a world where everyone binds together for the common good, allowing more time for dreams and artistic pursuits. More time, but possibly less fodder.

The common good of all humans is not likely to be something the human race will ever agree on. Think of the centuries-old Israeli-Palestine conflict. Russia’s imperialistic aspirations. America’s opportunistic cherry-picking of which international conflicts to be involved in. None of this is work worthy of a utopian society.

And so, as I look forward to the new year, I resolve not to wish for world peace any longer. I resolve instead to devote my work and my words to the common good.

RIP John Lennon. I’m afraid you were the only one.



Comments Off on Imagine all the dreamers…

Filed under Breathing moment, Writing

The Blank Page in 2015

IMG_5147A new year started at midnight and I was up to let it in. I have this tradition of “letting in the new year.” My husband laughs at me, but every New Year’s Eve as soon as it strikes midnight, I open the front door to take a breath of the fresh air of a fresh year. A year in which I’ve made no mistakes.

It’s exciting and frightening at the same moment. Like a blank page on a computer screen.

I’m sort of in between projects right now. I’ve got several started but haven’t been able to commit to one idea since National Novel Writing Month ended successfully for me in November. I tell myself it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, especially after such an intense exercise as writing 50,000 words in 30 days. But the truth is, when the words don’t flow, I get spooked.

That’s when the self-doubt begins. Maybe I never was meant to write, anyway. Maybe I’ve been wasting my time. Time I could have spent with my kids, but instead I sat in front of a computer. Dreams of being a successful writer–dreams I’ve had since I was seven years old–seem trite when the words won’t come.

But I know they will come. It’s like building a fire without kindling sometimes. Try as you might to light a green log without kindling, it won’t catch fire. So you add some. A few words, an outline, writing a scene…you throw all that into the mix until something sparks and suddenly the story takes off. The log catches fire.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to a word-filled, successful year for myself and all my friends, whether they’re readers or writers. Let’s embrace the blank page with all its fearsome possibilities. It’s only as terrifying as we allow it to be.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

At the crossroads of Here and Here for Now

I always get a little introspective at the end of the year. I could look at this year in a multitude of ways. Definitely as a success, as my three growing, amazing children, two new novels and happy homelife can prove. Definitely as a year of personal growth. I hope I’ve learned as much about forgiving and becoming less selfish this year as I think I have. I’m reading more. I’m writing when I can. I’m in a good place.

It’s a comfortable way of being, this being Here. It’s contentment and happiness. I’m happy with Here. But I’m becoming aware that Here is slowly changing to Here for Now.

Subtly different, Here for Now acknowledges that Here is more than a simple point on the map. It’s a point on the map with roads leading away in all different directions. Here for Now allows that change, while slow coming, is always a possibility. And Here for Now is where I’ve decided to be.

I’ve noticed some differences in my writing recently. I’m no longer content to write simple romances where the romance is the final destination, in essence a fairy tale. I want more for my writing and my readers. So I’m Here for Now, but I’m reaching for that more. I’m hoping for change and I’m working toward it, even if it means slowing down and taking better stock of what I already have.

Comments Off on At the crossroads of Here and Here for Now

Filed under Thoughts, Writing