Back on the Write Track (Get it???)

I've lost my way on the path to completing a book. I stumbled, broke my spirit and refused to get back up.

My very first attempt at writing was when I was a kid. Maybe eight years old. I started writing a story called Bingo. It was of course, about a dog. I don't remember if I finished it. Odds are not in my favor. All of my witing as a teenager was poetry. Angst driven poetry. I will admit, I'm a bit of a drama queen. I know you're all shocked and surprised. [insert sarcasm here]

About seven years ago I started to get serious about writing. I was reading Jenny Crusie and Janet Evanovich and thinking that not all writing had to be Nora Roberts and Karen Robards. I was impressed. Not that I don't love Roberts and Robards, I do, but this was just different. Published authors were writing witty dialogue, fun and funny characters with outlandish dilemmas and hitting the best seller list.

I had never given writing a serious chance because I knew I wasn't capable of writing like Sandra Brown, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts or Karen Robards. I knew that kind of writing just wasn't in me, but now. Wow, a whole new world of opportunities was opened up for me and I knew I needed to give this a try.

I immediately started searching Google for articles on writing. I found character questionnaires, blogs on "how to", web pages from publishers, blogs from agents, and a million helpful hints. I was quite overwhelmed. So I took a step back and pulled only what really interested me. How do you get started?

I'd had an idea a month before while taking a shower, all the best ideas come in the shower, about a woman whose mother had been married and divorced a dozen times. In this woman's opinion, not only did her mother have lousy taste in men, but all men were cheaters. Period. No discussion. Her past relationships had only driven this point home for her.

Then there was my hero. I'm so in love with him myself I'm finding it hard to find a reason why our heroine wouldn't want to be with him. He's strong, handsome, successful and married. Sort of. His wife is a cheater. He walked in on her riding some stranger in their bed and had enough. He packed his bags and moved out and started the divorce proceedings. Here's the catch. The wife's mother is dying of cancer. Our hero loves this woman. She was like a mother to him after his own mother passed away when he was just a boy. He would do anything to see that her last days are peaceful or as peaceful as possible. So when the wife comes to him and asks him to play along as if they're still married for the sake of the mother, he agrees.

I was jumping up and down knowing that I was bloody BRILLIANT. Who in their right mind would not want to read this story? I mean really! I sat down that same day and started filling out my character questionnaire sheets. I didn't even finish before the first scene came to me and the writing began.

During this process I joined a group of other writers who I let read my BRILLIANT idea. They told me it wouldn't work. They told me that the hero couldn't be married. A publisher would NEVER buy it. Maybe a published author could get away with it, but not me. I was crushed. I put my idea away and tried to figure out how to make it work. How could my story still work with this snag? It couldn't. I couldn't figure it out, so I put them away.

I started working on other things and then life got in the way and I stopped writing all together.

Recently I've become phone friends with Nichol. She's great. We chat about books, writing, kids. Stuff. She has inspired me to get back to writing. She told me, in not so many words, that it didn't matter what other people thought about my story line. If I liked it I needed to finish it.

Wow. No one who knows me well would ever think that what someone else thought would be so important to me. I'd let these other people's opinion influence my own decision. I'd given up on a story because of what a small group of people thought. Holy crap! Since when do I care what other people think??? It's not like I thought my very first attempt at writing was going to hit the best seller list. Hell, I didn't even think it would make it out of my house. You could actually HEAR reality crashing in around me.

So, I'm back to writing my story. I love this story and I'm going to write it the way that I see it. I don't care if a publisher will ever publish it. This is for me. I need to finish this book.

Thank you Nichol. You are the best!


  1. Erika, I am so glad you're getting back to a story that you love and want to see written. I am so proud of you for that :)

  2. Grief lady ... you made me tear!!!
    I REALLY like your writing and I am sooooo stinkin' glad you're giving this story a second chance because even people with 'taboo' problems need a HEA and I for one want to read it :D

  3. Thanks Josi, I'm pretty darn proud of myself too.

  4. Hey Ban,I'm really happy to hear you say that cuz I'm mailing what I have so far to you this week. I can't wait to hear what you think!

  5. I think you have to write what you're passionate about. It's your story, first and foremost. Trying to please others, you'll end up pleasing no one.
    I don't see any problem with your idea. I kind of like it.

  6. Bob, thank you. You have made my night.

    By the way, Agnes & The Hitman, one of my all time favorite books.

  7. Hey honey, I am popping in to see how you are doing! I hope all is well! I know it has been a while ~ so I hope all is well and warm! Hugs!!!

  8. Hey Cecile, all is well. I miss all of you. :)