Romance writers, you may be surprised to learn, write about romance. Doh! Stating the obvious, you may say. And you’d be right. Romance writers explore and reveal all the tingly, exciting uncertainty of new love. Funny thing, though. When love actually comes to us (the writer) – or at least in my case – I found that the writing fell away as I luxuriated in the “real” romance.
This year, two men came into my life – one new, new and one old, new. In January, my grandson was born, and I’ve been blessed to have this wet, milky bundle of sweetness in my home. While I had forgotten how much work newborns can be, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. Then, two months later, in March, my husband returned home for good after three years in Afghanistan. It’s been wonderful rediscovering each other’s foibles (good and bad) after so long apart.
The addition of these two men into my household resulted in me redirecting countless hours, the bulk of which came from my writing time. But to be fair, I have been steadily ignoring other areas of my life besides writing – bill paying, household chores, and a whole host of other responsibilities – in order to revel in the joy of my two new men. And thus, in one of those amusing twists of irony, when I experienced love for myself, I found I had next to no time to write about love.
And I got called out by nearly everyone close to me.
So what are the lessons here? What did I learn that will make me a better writer?
Lesson 1: To be a writer, you have to write.
Lesson 2: Experiencing love is no excuse for not writing about love.
Lesson 3: Ignoring your life, doesn’t mean your responsibilities disappear.
Lesson 4: Ignoring your family will earn you a tongue-lashing.
Lesson 5: Ignoring your friends will earn you a tongue-lashing.
Lesson 6: Ignoring your critique group will earn you a round-robin tongue-lashing.
Lesson 7: Ignoring your life does not set a good example for those around you.
Lesson 8: Ignoring your life is not the gold standard for the rest of your life.
So Mea Culpa to all those I have hurt, ignored, put off, or done shoddy work for because of my unhealthy obsession of the new loves in my life. Included in my new WoC goal will be a commitment to strive for a balance between love and life. Now, I’m off to kiss my grandson and then bang out the rest of my scene on my current WIP.
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.