The Business of Writing

What is writing? Sometimes, I think it’s a form of self-flagellation. Those images of a writer struggling over a manuscript got it pretty much right, but they left out the sweat, tears and swear words… Writing is a labor of love, you say? Well, yes, it is, but it is also an exercise in self-torture. Creation is not always a glorious production. I often wonder if I spend more time staring at a blinking cursor than writing any actual words. But the caveat… Would I give it up? No way!

Oh, the joy of books! I found early on I could escape into other worlds as magical as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia or as fantastic as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit hole in the side of the hill. What made me decide I, too, could be a writer? That would require a time machine, and you’d be stuck listening to 11-year-old me espouse on the greatness of Stephen King (he’s still great, by the way). But I’m not sure of the exact moment I decided I wanted to do something I had no idea how to do or if I’d even be any good at it.

My writing has jumped many genres over the years, finally ending up somewhere in-between romance and action. Alas, I have a huge, weepy heart, and I love, well, love! Regardless of what I write, romance seems to wiggle its way in there, no matter how insignificant. So, now, here I am, 31 years later, finally admitting to myself that romance is my genre (and I can sprinkle whatever else I want in there, but it’s gotta be romance) and those horrific (in a bad way) horror novels I wrote as a young teen should never see the light of day (Stephen King would probably laugh himself silly, and humor is not a reaction you want in a horror novel).

Still, I’ve struggled, searching for exactly where my writing belongs. Now, it’s about life. It’s about family. It’s about faith. Those things, which mean the most to me, need to be a part of what I create. So, my focus has moved to Christian Romance, and I am so deeply in love with writing it, I can only pray I convey that love into the words on the page.

But this world I write in… It isn’t the same one I started in 31 years ago. You need only look to Amazon to realize the enormity of books in the world has grown exponentially. With so much to choose from, many might say, why even bother? If I can get my writing out there, touch one soul, entertain one person in need of an escape into a world not their own… Then maybe, that’s just enough.

If you want a great blog recommendation for writing, check out Writer’s Digest There Are No Rules. It’s a wonderful, comprehensive blog with a lot of good tips on writing. Also, one of my favorites.

“All who wander are not lost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

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