Harriet Hale · writing advice

Harriet the Brave

For years, my day job has been working within and around the legal field. I’ve seen professionals at all stages of their careers, from exhausted senior partners to eager associates, to overwhelmed law clerks and students.

It interests me why people choose a legal career and a specific practice area. So I always ask. Almost all the newbies – the clerks and students – answer the same way. “Whatever will get me a job. “

As a pragmatist, that’s a solid answer. They went to law school to work as a lawyer. They don’t want to go through years of expensive education only to be unemployed. They’ll be happier getting paid, right?

But what about the long-term? I’ve seen a lot of people choose a field because it was “hot” – hiring, popular, trendy, – or because they already had a prospective job. And they hated it. At that point, the choices are to stick it out or start over. The ones who stick it out usually come to dread the chore of a career that once excited them. The brave ones start over and step out into the unknown.

What does that have to do with romance writing?

I saw a series of Tweets the other day that have stuck with me.  Paraphrased, they amounted to this – Write what you love and spend the time to create quality work. Your passion for your writing will show.

Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s a numbers game. You have to publish, you have to sell, and you have to keep doing it. Frequently.

But as a newbie, do I risk settling into “whatever will get me published”?

Chasing a trend means I’ll more than likely be at the end of the curve, biting my nails in hopes that a hot trend has not turned cold.

And what if I have an exciting idea, but it’s not a romance or it doesn’t fit an accepted trope? Do I force it into that mold and run the risk of losing my passion for the project?

Just so I’m clear – This isn’t about sticking my head in the sand and failing to learn everything I can.  I’m not that dumb … and I’d prefer not to starve.

I started writing because I was excited about it.  Why not make choices that keep the excitement alive and hope my passion creates its own trend?

Why not be brave?

HarrietIt’s the month of fresh starts and resolutions. Find what makes you excited to get up every morning.


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