Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Can I Write After Love?

I've been a writer at heart all of my life, but I have only been calling myself a writer for the last 13 years, beginning around the time when I'd recently graduated from college and had decided that I would like to write professionally. I also decided, at that time, that romance was my genre of choice, and the type of story through which I could express my truest self. Knowing in my heart who I was and what I loved, I embarked on a journey that changed my life as I knew it and enabled me, in its own special way, to shape the world through plot, word and character. I had many concerns, as most writers do, and though one in particular stood out among the others I managed to keep the thought tucked away in the back of my mind. I  assured myself I'd worry about it when the time came, and that, when it did, this concern would not affect my writing, because I loved writing more than anything in the world. Then, much like the heroines in my stories, I fell madly, deeply and unexpectedly in love.

Anyone who knows me well could tell you that I am not a content person by nature. I spent the majority of my childhood asking my parents, "What are we doing next?" and "What are we doing after that?" My eagerness to see what is around the next corner is what has spurred me to breathe life into fictional characters and to shape their worlds and I've surrounded myself with enough fellow writers to know that this is a quality we all share. Imagine my surprise then, to find that when the greatest thing in the world happened to me, I was filled with great...contentment, contentment which soothed the restlessness in me, restlessness that had always fueled my desire to write. My sudden lack of interest in getting the words down both surprised as well as concerned me. It forced me to take a hard look in the mirror and to question why I had begun writing in the first place. What it was that had encouraged me to jot down those first few words, to create seven full-length novels while being an active part of a community of writers who love the craft as much as I do? What made me gravitate toward the romance genre, in particular?

In my short career as an author, I've given a number of interviews and spoken at many a panel discussion, at which, the same or similar questions are often asked. Questions I've always found interesting, perhaps because the reasoning behind the answers is not so cut-and-dry for me are, "Why do you write romance?" or "Would you ever consider writing another genre besides romance?" The short answer to these questions, or at least, the answers I've generally provided are that I simply love writing about love more than anything else, and that the desire in me, to do so, will never fade. I'd meant those words with all of my being and yet, there I found myself, for the first time since embarking upon my self-initiated journey to save the world through love stories, unable to write and rapidly losing interest in doing so. My love, my obsession at times, no longer drove me. My identity, which had been shaped over the course of more than a third of my life, was no longer clear to me, and for that reason I decided I needed to look even more deeply inside myself. Doing so, I realized, not at all to my surprise, that I've been in love with love for as long as I can remember. Much of my infatuation with the topic originally stemmed from my own desire to find love, thus, my concern that when I did find love, experiencing this wonder first-hand might quell the fire burning within me, had come to pass.

Indeed, finding love did ease my restlessness to a degree, as I no longer needed to write to create feelings that were now a part of my own world, the very best part, as it happens! Love is what a romance novelist's readers seek and in order to cater to these expectations we writers must become one with our characters, see the world through their eyes and tell their unique stories as only they (we) can tell them. Surely an author who has experienced love for herself could create such a scenario again and again, as real-life experience is often the greatest way to give authentication to our stories. I know this to be true. This want and this need is what inspired my love of the romance genre in the first place and yet, for months, this no longer seemed to inspire me. Having only just begun to get back on the horse after considerable contemplation, I share this with you, my readers, because I need to hear it as much as anyone else. Having experienced my first true bout of writers' block in over a decade, I am working every day to find my way back inside my stories. In the end, I believe I will be stronger for this (most wonderful) bump in the road, as I can say with every confidence that my love of plot, character and storyline still burns hot within me. New experiences shape who we are as people.  They change usin my case, unquestionably, they've done so for the better!

Every writer, no doubt, will experience a point in time in which he or she will question whether they want to continue writing. While the wheels in our creative minds are turning the world turns as well and sometimes the "real" world can take us so far away from our fantasy world, we forget what brought us there to begin with. Fortunately for me, sometimes all it takes is a glance back at what I was working on before I lost my concentration before I can pick up again from where I left off. There may come a time when life simply becomes too busy.  But today is not that day. In the meantime, I plan on making the most of my creative energy, which lives on, writing stories to share with everyone who appreciates romance as much as I do. Whether you're a writer yourself, or a reader, I hope your own creative spirit never dies. Thank you always, for your support and friendship! Write on!!

Amidst diamond heists, murder and deadly secrets, love still finds a way to take root. Danger lurking around every corner, five young men struggle against all odds to get whatand whothey want.

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  1. First of all, I'm so happy you've found love for yourself. Your pictures and your posts always show such happiness and contentment. It's wonderful to see. I think we all experience writer's block in one form or another. Sometimes for bad reasons, other times for good ones. And perhaps, your real life is refilling your creative well, so that when you do sit down to write, you'll once again be inspired. Good luck and enjoy!

  2. Thank you so much, Jen! I must say that if I have to find myself with writers block for any reason, I'm glad it's such a great one! I am getting myself back into writing one day at a time and ultimately, I hope having found love of my own will make my writing even stronger. Thanks for reading, and for your friendship and support! <3

  3. Very interesting to read. Thank you for posting, Jessica. My own interest in writing has ebbed and flowed over more than 30 years, so I expect that this is only one stage in a long journey for you. Most of all, remember to enjoy the journey!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Mark! It's good to know I'm not alone, and that these stops and starts are something that other writers experience, too. I look forward to getting back to it. Thanks very much for the encouragement!