I love writing and being a romance writer. It’s a childhood dream come true. I get to make up stuff, create worlds and fall in love with every story. And people pay me. Bonus!
But it’s not all playtime. As incredible as this whole author gig is, there is a lot about it that isn’t fun, too. Some of it sucks, actually.
Let me start with revisions. I like to think that every word I write is golden, that once I type the last work my masterpiece is complete. Unfortunately, the reality is a little less shiny. Once the last word is typed and I hit that save button, what I have is a big ol’ hot mess. Reading through the manuscript and cleaning it up usually takes me as long as the initial writing. From there it has to make it through my three harshest crit partners and a beta reader, with another round of revisions between each of those.
There is one word that put fear in the heart of every writer… Synopsis. This is a breakdown of the major plot points of the story in a way that conveys story mood and your writing voice. Easier to describe than do. The idea of picking out which parts of this grand masterpiece deserve to be chosen for the synopsis is about as easy as picking a favorite kind of chocolate. I love it all! The story has been finely crafted so that all the plot points are equally important. Choosing what stays and what goes and condensing a story down to just a few pages is agonizing.
I also hate query letters for about a million reasons, the first being that I’m a wallflower and happy that way. A query letter is designed to say, “Look at me and like meee!!!” *shudder* Not my thing at all. I’m also one of those people who doesn’t know what to say. Ever. For a person who loves words, they elude me at the worst times. My query letters tend to be stiff, formal and abrupt. I keep telling myself this just means they are professional and to-the-point.
After all of this trauma, there are still rejections to be faced. These masterpieces, my golden children, go out into the world and sent home, unwanted. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it still stings when the story I loved writing comes back with a big, fat NO stamped on it.
But then… one comes back with a yes. Oh glorious day! Someone likes me. She really likes me! Suddenly there is a whirlwind of paperwork, more edits, and promo. Eek! Promo! More time where the wallflower has to put herself in the spotlight… oh shoot me now.
The hardest part of all this not-fun stuff is that it means I’m not writing. Those people, those stories, those fabulous worlds are all stuck in my head, begging me to come and play with them while I’m locked into the behind the scenes busy-work of the job. I miss that land of make-believe, where the free-range plot bunnies roam and anything can be possible if the author can only make it make sense.
Because when it comes down to it, I love the creating, the fantasy of it all.
I love writing.