Tuesday, August 23

Looking for My Mojo



It's Sunday afternoon and I've just written my quarterly blog for Romance University--it's coming up tomorrow (Wednesday to you), so check it out, okay? So often lately, I've wondered if my writing mojo has taken a hike because making myself get settled down to write has been nigh onto impossible these past few months. I know I've talked ad nauseum about not being able to write--either work or lack of motivation or life stuff keeps getting in the way. But now, I'm wondering exactly why I'm not writing. Yet, I just wrote 1,039 words in less than an hour. And they are good words--it's a great blog.

But you know what? It's a blog about what I do as a copy editor--not a romance novel. And that's making me wonder if perhaps the romance novelist in me might be taking a backseat to the copy editor. And would that be such a terrible thing? I love working on other people's books and from what I can tell, authors appreciate my services. I'm fair, I leave their voice alone, I try my darnest to help them make their stories the very best they can be. I'm a good editor.

Publishing is changing so much and I'm not convinced it's all for the better. I'm trying hard to see where I might fit in and at the moment, it seems as though Editor Nan has more of a secure place than Author Nan. But then the people in my head start talking to me. I dream about them at night. Strangers in my dreams is weird I know, but there they are, knocking around in my head looking for a story and I, once again, think that I want to write.

Maybe it's that I can't find a place in the romance world--my older characters are not what people want to read. Old people (and by old I mean older than 40) in love is a yucky premise apparently; after all, who wants to know that Grammy has sex? Ironically, I don't even write hot sex . . . but still, "I can't sell characters older than 40" is what I hear all the time. Readers, even readers who are Baby Boomer age "read down," according to the folks who are kindly but definitely turning my novels away. Is it possible that Boomers "read down" in age because publishers aren't offering any kind of romance that includes people of a certain age? A question for the universe, I guess. Oh, heck, this rant is so familiar, you're all probably as sick of it as I am, but still, it's demoralizing.

In two weeks, Liz and I will be on our annual (it's officially an annual trip now!) writing trip to Michigan. We'll be blogging our way through the week and we'll include pictures, so stop in and say hello. I'm hoping for a shot of inspiration before that week arrives, but I have work to finish before we go, so no guarantees. However, I'm beyond excited to be on the road with Liz and our plan is to inspire one another. Hold a good thought for us and we'll keep you posted as we go.

Oh, hey, look at me! I just wrote another blog . . . maybe Writer Nan isn't completely lost . . . hmmmm. . . 


11 comments:

  1. I like 'older' romances, Nan...Can't wait to see pics from your trip!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi!! I know we'll have a ball, we always do when we travel together.

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  2. What do all those publishers know? I also like older romances. I love virtually following you and Liz on your annual trip through your blog. Keep writing.

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    1. I won't be stopping, Carolyn, no matter how much I moan and groan. It's too intrinsic, I guess. ;-)

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  3. Am I going to try to take a picture of sunrise in the west this year? Or was it the other way around? :-) Looking forward to the trip! A great post, Nan.

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    1. I'll try to point you in the right direction, okay, Lizzie? ;-) Can't wait for our trip!

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  4. You still have your mojo, lady! :-) I think you're just tired from all your editing work and other personal stressors.
    Here's a question/suggestion regarding your "older romances", and you can tell me to shut up if you want: what if you just marketed them as Contemporary, without the "baby boomer romance" claim? Having read your "The Summer of Second Chances," I wasn't creeped out when your characters hit the sheets because I loved them both and was ready for them to take that step. Your romance (and your sex) was beautiful, and poignant, and very sexy! However, the thought of choosing to read a book with people my parents' age would usually deter me (as it might others), even though I have read books where the characters turn out to be older than expected... but by the time I figure it out, I'm invested in them and don't care. Just a thought from someone who also writes in a very niche genre ;-)

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    1. That's an excellent suggestion, Ava--perhaps that's the key--to just sell them as contemporary and not worry about the ages of the characters. Hmmmm... Thanks, sweetie!

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  5. My Iris Rainbow was a sort of older romance. I confess that the characters I write are on the younger side. I guess I like romance when it's fresh and new. Good luck on your retreat!

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    1. Hey Ilona! Thanks for stopping by! We should all write what we're comfortable writing, I guess, and let the chips fall where they may!

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  6. I think it's ironic that children read "up" and when you're an adult, you supposedly read "down". I wonder what that says about us. LOL

    I like Ava's suggestion at just calling them contemporary because I agree they are. I think as readers we assign our own designs on the characters. I think, even when I read about heroines in their 30's, I'm still imagining a character around my age or a little younger.

    And I think your mojo is prepping for a major return. And your jaunt with Liz just may be the kick you need. Creativity inspires creativity, after all.

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