Writing, Love and Business

Writer’s write because our minds are wired to create. We can’t see any other way to get the voices of our imaginations to quiet down. Honestly, it’s a primal impulse to reveal ourselves to others, only subliminally. We don’t want people to actually know it’s us we’re writing about. Still writing is a highly personal expression, even fiction. We pour our souls into our work, because it’s the only way we know how to create.

So, when you buy our books, you take home a bit of ourselves. Notice I said buy, because at the end of the edit, writing is a business. At least it is for those lucky few of us who actually move to the next level and find a publisher as excited about our baby as we are. I’m not sure most people realize how hard it is to find someone like that. We all have dreams. Writers want to get published. Artists want showings. Musicians want record deals.

Why? For two reasons, and getting rich and famous aren’t one of them. Sure, it’s in the back of everyone’s head. If it wasn’t, the Powerball wouldn’t have people lined up to buy tickets. But, those of us with creative bents do what we do for first off, vindication. Validation might be a better word. Creation is a solitary occupation. We are plagued with self doubt, emotional swings you wouldn’t believe, and most of all the thought that we have wasted much of our life pursuing something that only we get. To get published in any form, tells us we did something right. We weren’t fools for hiding behind a laptop or desktop screen for hours on end. Our work has touched a chord inside others. We have touched another human being and allowed our dreams to become their dreams. I know that sounds self-serving, but everyone wants the approval of someone. We want someone to believe in us. When another person reads your book, listens to your music or is moved by a work of art, we feel a satisfaction unlike any other.

The second thing is that we want to make a living doing something we truly love. Who wouldn’t want to have something that wonderful? I’m not talking millions of dollars here. Most of us simply want to make enough to support our families. Keep roofs over our heads. Have the funds to provide college for our kids. Have nest eggs for our old age. Those are things every person aspires to have. We just want to have them doing something we’re passionate about. Some of us are lucky enough to get that dream.

When ebooks hit, it opened a new world of opportunity for would be authors to gain their dream. Writers who big publishers might have overlooked were finding homes at independent publishers who exploded onto the scene when ebooks became a reality. I was around in those early days. It was exciting. Like with any good thing, bad apples abounded. Publishers popped up and six months later disappeared, tying up author’s works in all sorts of legalities. A lot of great authors just walked away disillusioned by what had happened to them. I, myself, lived through a couple of those shutdowns. I lost writing partners who went back to the ‘real’ world letting their dreams die. I’m not saying a piece of me didn’t die when it happened to me. I’m not even saying I was a better writer than some of those who are not around now. Nope, I’m saying I might have been too stupid to quit. I’ll gladly cop to stupid.

Now, it’s a new fight to keep your dream alive. I love the fact people read my books and actually enjoy them. It fulfills part one of why I create. Like I said above, writing professionally is a business. Many of my friends depend on income from writing to live. Not in big mansions, but in small homes, apartments, mobile homes. We do it in hopes that one day we might attain the dream of the New York Times Best Sellers List. Until we do, most of us work day jobs, night jobs, shift work, anything we can to feed our families, and basically keep our heads above water, so in what little free time we have, we can create worlds for readers to escape into.

When people bypass the checkout line and go to free read sites, they’re creating something themselves. What you may be asking yourselves? Well simply put — a world where the authors they love to read for free are working at the chain department store of your choice, or just a plain crap job, instead of writing because as much as they love to write, they love to eat and provide for their kids more. I seldom get preachy, and am sorry if I am today. But, sometimes your conscience guides you to speak plainly and passionately about issues.

So, if you love an author, buy from that author. Support them so they can keep doing what you love to read, or you might be thanking them for bagging your groceries instead.

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Talking About a Little Love

As a writer in the Romance genre, I hope I’ve achieved a warm toasty feeling by the time I type the words ‘The End’. I think it’s the goal of every Romance writer to have that aww shattering, all consuming feeling of love fill not only their books but in the hearts and minds of those who read our books. If not, I seriously doubt we’d make it past the first book.

Still, it’s kind of hard to reconcile trying to break reality into a book that barely lasts the span of a few days. Love rarely, if ever works that way, or that quick. Love is a slow gradual process. True, lust is both quick and all consuming. Some people may disagree with me, but lust is the beginning of love. Our minds respond to something, who knows what, in the opposite sex. Synapses fire and our brains are locked onto the physical aspects of a person. Our mouths water with the expectation of meeting and ultimately consummating all the things running through our brains. But, lust is far from love. Lust is the outward expression of the animalist side of our humanity. Because, at our basic core we are reasoning animals.

The reasoning part is where love blossoms. We see what we want in a person standing before us, but if John Hughes taught us anything, it’s that want does not necessarily equal need. As humans our wants often lead to ruin. Luckily, we are not totally ruled by our impulsive animal instincts. Sure, we act on them most of the time, but more times than not, we exit the lust stage of love rather quickly. Lust fades. Love doesn’t. No, love evolves past the physical to a deeper emotion.

But first we have to get to love. Like I said, lust rapidly fades, but it burns bright and is a hard thing to shake. Again, this is where having higher brain functions come in. As the heat of lust dwindles, we begin to see the object of our emotions in a new light. Aside from spicing the horny portions of our brains, do they fulfill other requirements to give us a happy life? Are they trustworthy? Can I see myself being with this person for the rest of my life? Are we compatible outside the sheets? Heck, are we truly compatible between the sheets? Most importantly, do we share enough of the same values to stand the sight of each other when the times get tough?

The last one is the kicker. Lust doesn’t play well with tough. It’s all about immediate gratification. Times get tough. Oops, look, she, or he, looks hot. Let’s go see if we got a chance there. See, not really the best of emotions. Love on the other hand thrives on tough. It is where love grows best. Tough drives people together. It bonds them like nothing else will. If two people really have ‘that’ connection, nothing will drive them apart. Lust won’t make that connection. Only true love can.

Love at its core, is a virus. Yeah I just said that, and I meant it. Love totally fills a person like a really bad disease. It courses through every fiber of a person until nothing is left but love. My statement in no way means love is easy. Love is hard. It demands everything you have, but is so worth it. Love gives you something nothing else will. It gives you another person, who would die for you. Who cries when you cry. Hurts when you hurt. Grows old with you, because they can’t see life any other way.

As a Romance author it is up to me, to compact this long process into a few thousand words. What in reality takes months, years, to take place, I, and others in the same genre, must condense it down into a single book, which is impossible and truly unrealistic. Love might get a kick start in a few days, but never really takes hold that quickly. Still, we attempt to make it believable. Our success or failure is judged by our skill at believing it ourselves. I might not believe in Vampires or Werewolves, but I do believe in the miracle of two people finding each other and growing to love one another. Don’t doubt that it’s a miracle, because anything bringing happiness into reality is miraculous. It’s also the greatest gift in the world.

All that said, it is an honor to be an author that brings the gift of love to life for others. Why do I write? Because, ultimately, I love making other people happy.