Thursday, July 27, 2006

Do I want to be a writer, or not?

Yesterday, I discovered missing words from my submission: three freakin' thousand of them. So I buckled down and got it done.

Big deal, right? Well, I bring this up because I'm working twelve hour days every day this week. I promised myself that I would still write, no matter what. Monday and Tuesday I wrote a couple hundred words each day. Hey ... at least I got some words!

Wednesday, I stuffed in over 2500. AND worked twelve hours. It had to get done, so I did it.

So now we have today. I feel like taking the day off, but I had an epiphany. Yesterday is what becoming a professional is all about. You just buckle down and write, whether the inspiration, mood, or energy is there or not.

Please let me add: I don't think that everyone who wants to write should get wrapped up in the status-malarky of getting published. What's wrong with writing for the love of it? What's wrong with writing for fun, when you feel like it? Nothing!

I wish RWA would do a whole lot more to encourage readers to become amateur writers. Remember when "amateur" used to be a noble word? When it used to mean doing something for the pure love of it? The Olympics used to celebrate amateurs!

I took a artistic love of mine, and made it into a business. It ruined it for me--I practically hate it now. Completely ruined my love of it, which is why I'm dying to make my living writing. I'm just not picky if I have to change something or write something different.

I'm not sure if that means that I love it more or less than my day job. I do know that I dream of making my day job a hobby that I love again ...

So if you're a writer, and you never get published or you never want to get published, that's great! Have fun writing! Adults take piano lessons for the sheer joy and accomplishment of making music, even though they'll never make a career of it. So write a book for the sheer fun of it. And it is fun!

An amateur writer is a better and more understanding reader ... something that is better for the industry as a whole.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Apathy vs. Activism

I've noticed more a few articles about the South Dakota bans on abortion. A few writers keep saying (paraphrased), "Hey! Look out! These are women's rights going down the toilet!"

But I know a whole lot of people who aren't even aware of the issue. And those that are, don't have much to say or do about it (including me).

Is it because I feel helpless? Because it's not my state? Because I would love to have a kid and abortion wouldn't apply to me? Because the media sensationalizes every problem and I'm now desensitized to it? For whatever reason, I doubt I'll say anything or do anything until it touches me. Sad, but true.

The only reason I bring this up is that Janet W. Butler really got under my skin with her letter to the editor in RWR. I know I promised not to bring her up again, but I just want to analyze the feelings of those who read it.

I think I was the most outraged, LOL. Maybe because I had never read anything that derogatory. Someone wrote me about her letter and said it was "scary."

That's exactly how I feel! What terrible discrimination could come of that sort of thinking!

But then I read another viewpoint.

How much is Too Much Information? by Jennifer Apodaca at Murder She Writes.

Good thoughts. I have to apologize. I hate that I brought that inflammatory letter to the general public. On the other hand, she was proposing a political change in an organization that I care about. Shouldn't we get worked up about that? Shouldn't we rally to protect the Romance Writers of America?

So where's the line? When do we need to protect ourselves from the negativity out there and just ignore it? And when do we need to rally to try and make society a better place?

We can't fix the whole world, unfortunately!


Monday, July 24, 2006

Love and Hate in Writing

I write manic-depressively. Yesterday I was flying when I wrote. I remembered (uh ... duh!) that my character needed to grow. So off I flew and finished three (partially-started) chapters that just streamed out of my fingers.

The day before that, I was a grinder (as they say in poker). One letter at a time. And the words I did write, I hated! Passionately! I had to fix everything the next day.

Added to the problem is that I hate writing a word that I'm not going to use. I've been trained to view each word as three cents in the penny bank, and every word I erase feels like wasted money and time.

No wonder Dickens such lengthy novels!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

BIAW and ... that woman ...

I had an awesome BIAW. 36,000 words! It felt great to write full-time for a week, and it'll help pay the bills. I wish I could do that every week. How many dream of writing full-time? It's an incredible job! Even on the worst days, when I was pulling out words one letter at a time, it was still ten thousand times better than my day job.

Janet W. Butler has a website. And a blog. I thought I should mention it. If I'm going to get mad at her letter to the editor, I suppose she deserves credit for her -- what's the nicest way I can put it? -- hateful views. I don't want to talk behind her back or anything.

Don't read it. She whines about Protestant fiction and how "scary" it is, (I grew up on Janette Oke and I just love Beverly Lewis!) which I take to mean from a religious point of view, because she went on to say that she's "been to New Age/Wicca sites that scare me less." Sheesh.

I'm polishing my own letter to the editor tomorrow and I'm never giving that lady another thought. She doesn't deserve it.

I'm a very open-minded person when it comes to religion. I only have two pet peeves: 1) Using religion to spread hate and discrimination, and 2) Telling me that my religion is wrong and that your religion is right. Otherwise God/dess bless you, believe anything that makes you happy. The power is in the belief ... but that's just my view. Doesn't have to be anyone else's.

We only have to look at the middle east to see what a disaster it is to make religion the law. It's a sad state of affairs, this world.

I'm fine if a person wants to believe that homosexuality is against their religion. That's their religion and that's a private affair, and they should keep it in their church and with their god/dess/s/es. I'm not fine if a person decides that anything against their religion is wrong for everyone else.

Oh well. I'm off to a bath with two Janet Evanovich books, Four to Score and High Five. I just discovered her and I'm addicted! What an amazing writer!


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Defining Romance Rebuttal

Okay, I'm trying to stay calm here. A letter to the editor in the latest RWR just hit my burn button big time. I thought we, in the twenty-first century, had not only learned a little political correctedness, but had progressed beyond such discrimination.

I know, I'm a naive person living in her own little world and I should know better.

Anyway, here's a few of her quotes, and my response. I've got to get this off my chest!

"romance isn't about just any 'two people' celebrating 'love in all its many forms.' Organizations such as the Man-Boy Love Association would certainly refer to themselves ... [as such] while they actively promote pedophilia."

Sorry, Janet W. Butler. RWA does not need to legislate against pedophilia, because the United States government already has. It's illegal. Just like RWA does not need to legislate against writers stealing or murdering in the name of research. It's illegal. And RWA is not exactly the sort of group to attract pedophiles.

"A preference for 'one-man, one-woman' stories represents what RWA has always claimed is romance's target demographic: college-educated, married, middle-class, monogamous, and moral."

Oh really? I bet a ton of non-college-educated woman read romances. In fact, our most successful author in our organization is not college educated. And would you have us return to the days of no sex before marriage in our books? What's your next step, banning erotica?

"If anyone's in danger of being 'censored' here, it's believers in 'what comes naturally': one-man, one-woman romance. We in RWA owe it to ourselves not to let that happen."

Ohmigod, are you serious? First, natural to who? Second, do you actually believe that writers of homosexual fiction are out to tell us that we can't write heterosexual fiction? Do you really think that we're in danger of having heterosexual romances banned because some people want to write homosexual fiction?

I don't think RWA needs to discriminate. We all write romances. Let's just think of love and play nice with each other. Geez.

Okay, that's it for my rant today. I feel better.

Comment Away, if you want!