The Joy of Victory, the Agony of… Too Much in My “In Box”
And master of my future…I wasn’t even master of my keyboard, let alone something as enormous as my future.
As for watching television, it was a giant time suck and a brain drain. I found myself critically evaluating every show I saw while eating everything in the cupboards as tasty commercials subliminally fed my mini binges.
I no longer worked long hours and kept pace with the night shift. In fact, I worked no hours and no night shifts. My husband got into the habit of calling me two hours before lunch so I would be on time and fully dressed.
Pathetic you say? Pretty much. My mid life career crisis didn’t last long as I have always been goal oriented and a bit of an over achiever.
So I pulled myself up by my slouchy sweat pants and faced the blank screen on my Mac. About a month and a half after I had become a “full time writer” my husband came home and actually found me at my computer writing. It was a beginning.
The challenge of finding yourself in a one-woman, self-dependent occupation is that you are alone and completely at the mercy of your own devices. The joy of a one-woman, self-dependent occupation is you have no one else to congratulate when you finish your first book, but yourself.
You find out that you are responsible for everything. You find out that you are not really alone and your own devices can fill a couple hundred pages if you commit them to paper. Those naughty and enticing themes sell. The joy of victory is so sweet…
Then comes the reality of writing as a career. It’s much harder than being an educator. Talk about burning the midnight oil. My characters demand their lives be committed to pages before I can sleep. Themes invade my mind and cry out for validation. I end up with more stories than I can ever write and readers who want more, faster. My email in-box is filled to bulging with requests for the next story, criticisms on my current books and deadlines that must be met. Covers must be developed, copies sent for review.
It’s exhausting… and wonderful… and satisfying… and a full time endeavor. If someone tells you “Oh, anyone can write brainless romance,” they are correct. But it takes a talented, dedicated author to construct, write and produce a romance novel. And that is just the beginning.
But I did it!
Becoming a romance author is not for those who sleep in, cuddle up to the fire and dream or do lunch out a lot. But it is for me.
>--- Miriam Matthews