Welp. Last post of 2019. I will not be sorry to see this year in my rearview mirror. While 2019 did have some standout moments – the publication of Chasing Prince Charming, adding Storm kitty to our family, the support and love of amazing friends when real life plot twists took some crazy turns – the bar for 2020 is not on the dauntingly high side.
IRL challenges aside, there is the whole RWA debacle, about which I have a lot of feelings, and feelings about those feelings. Romance Writers of America has never been a perfect organization, but the new developments that have come fast and furious, over the holiday week, those raise a whole lot of questions. As it stands now, I am waiting for my next CR-RWA meeting so that I can learn more and be around other people who are going through the same thing, before I say much more. The fact that this is all happening at the same time we learned of the passing of one of the OG historical romance superstars, Johanna Lindsey, makes it all that much more surreal.
As the great Beverly Jenkins has said, and Nora Roberts has pointed out that the middle word in “Romance Writers of America” is “Writers,” this is a time to keep going forward. Keep writing. Keep writing romance. That seems like a good note on which to start a new year. While yes, there is still adulting to do, and we are doing that, writing has taken a back seat while dealing with IRL matters, and it’s time now, to pick it back up once again.
I have said on many occasions that I am not a word counter, and I am not. Right now, however, when I went to figure out how to get myself back in Serious Writing Mode, what came to mind was that a page a day is a book in a year. That’s something I can do whether I am at a computer keyboard or working with pen and paper only, and it’s pretty easy to measure. Get to end of page, that’s the minimum required for the day. If anything more is too much, I can kick off for the rest of the day, read, adult, stare off into the distance, whatever is needed. One page is roughly two hundred and fifty words, which is not that daunting. Even counting words, two hundred and fifty of them in one place are not really that much.
Morning pages do not count for this requirement. It has to be fiction. Morning pages are their own thing, though I can use parts of them to prime the pump for the day’s fiction. Naturally, I plan to write more than one book this year, as this is a reality for a career in commercial fiction. Baby steps, though, are always a good place to start, or re-start. Neither does any writing that is not actual fiction writing count. Pump priming, list making, that sort of thing can get me to where I can write actual fiction, but it’s only the fiction that is going to count.
This year, I want to tap back into the writer who didn’t know any better, the one who knew how to shut out everything else and throw that story onto the page with all she’s worth. Maybe even more than that. Strike the “maybe.”
There are a lot of stories ahead in 2020, to be read, to be watched, to be written, risks to take in all of those things. Writing, reading, and watching romance has been a driving force in my life since I was eleven years old and stole my first historical romance from my mother’s nightstand. I have had the wonderful experience of writing about all of that for blogs both personal and commercial, and I look forward to bringing some of that over to my Patreon-to-be, which is in itself a daunting yet exciting prospect. On the one hand, who am I to ask people to pay me to, well, be me, but on the other, this fits right into the idea that I don’t have to put the pressure on myself to appeal to everybody. Maybe doing what I do and focusing on people who like that sort of stuff is s more liberating way to go.
We’ll find out, one page at a time.