Risk Takers: What Romance Authors Do for Love…

Denny's MermaidsThis morning I decided to follow-up a week of amazing posts at the Waterworld Mermaid blog with a post about taking risks. Yep. You  know who you are – you jump off the deep end of the pool blindfolded, you sky dive, you climb mountains, you run marathons, you raise kids, you quit your job to write full time (and haven’t sold a book) – okay that last one is crazy, but she sounds a lot like me:)…

So here’s my list of risks that romance authors take for the love of writing books!

  1. I took a sabbatical from my full-time gig and for the next few months, I am a full-time writer ! And no, I haven’t signed a contract with a publisher (or plan on self-publishing), but hey, I have faith that if I focus good things will come from this decision. I am fortunate. I can afford (kind of) to take the time away from my EDJ (Evil Day Job, which isn’t evil at all), but I can’t afford to do it for as long as I’d like – forever (risk). But now I have two books with completion dates set in stone (I have no excuses) and another book I want to write so badly I dream about it! But still, taking a sabbatical to write romance books is a risk!
  2. I am in love. Yes, his name is Ray. Yes, he is a character in my book, Chasing Damn. Yes, Ray is also the  first name of one of my ex-lovers (one of my favorites) and what in the hell was I thinking?!! Memory lane is a risk!
  3. I moved out of the city to the country – okay, not so much country (see photos). There are no cows, pigs or horses (on my block at least), but the quiet, the calm, the solitude…I could lose my mind out here and no one would know. So far, though, I love it. So moving to the country with geese and lakes and sunrises to die for – risk! (why? what if I stare out the windows for the next four months and don’t finish the books!)…Gah! Moving to the country is a risk!
  4. I have author friends who have  six books due in the next year. I love them dearly, and hope I am able to be in that situation one day (soon, please:)…but the risk for me – not my author friends – would be confidence. The dreaded question would plague me – can I do this? Which takes me back to my sabbatical and the reason I made the decision to write for four months – so far – its harder than it sounded. Risk: Getting to do what you love to do is a risk!
  5. Why do stories have plots? Can’t they be streams of consciousness that readers buy just because the character is clever and witty and tragic whenever they choose to be? Why do books have to have plots!!!???? Okay, I am a plotter (double risk) and these damn WIPs have plots that have to be authentic (and yeah, in contemporary romantic suspense I can’t just add vampire mythology to replace plot, gah!). So another risk – writing books with plots (and having to do research!). Plotting is a risk!
  6. I like taking online courses and entering contests. Both keep me focused because of the deadlines. I’ve been existing on deadlines my entire professional career. It has been my motivation for all things work related. To me, writing is art and passion, and all that good stuff, but it’s also WORK! Dare I say, a job. Therefore, to help me stay on task I take craft classes and enter contests. However, the other side of that coin is feedback from fellow students and/or judges. Lately, I’ve been fortunate on the contest front, feedback from the contests I’ve entered has been good, critical but good. As a contest veteran I don’t take everything to heart, but when you see the same comments or a certain remark that rings true – you go with it. But now and then you get a comment or feedback and you’re like – searching for these people, looking through their websites, basically stalking them (without telling them) because how could they say that about my story! Retaliation is a risk! No, I meant to say Contests and online Classes can be a risk…
  7. Many if not most of the visitors to this blog are writers, and we love to write. As my ex-lover (mentioned in bullet point 1) used to say – time spent shows how much you care about a person because as humans time is all we have to offer, etc…(and the reason we aren’t together now has a lot to do with time:)…but as writers, we spend hours, weeks, months, years, writing, thinking about writing, researching writing, taking classes on writing, judging contests, entering contests, selling books, talking about writing, writing…with that much time spent, you know we love it. And yeah, it is a risk. But who cares. It’s what we love to do! Even if the book has to have a freaking plot.

Hey, gang, what have you risked for love? Yikes, if that’s too heavy just say hi! We’re taking a break (Waterworld Mermaids blog) for a week beginning Monday. End of summer. Need to refuel and map out the game plan for the Fall. So comment below! We always enjoy hearing from you!

(See photos of the view from my writer’s office):Denny S. Bryce

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