If you really want to write a book, there must be a time when you put your foot down and say, “This is what I want.” This is particularly true if you are still writing as a side hustle. If you continue to try and please everyone else, you will never make or take the time you need to write that book, which is what will make you happy as a writer. It’s not being selfish. If you are unhappy because you are too busy trying to make other people happy, then you are going to feel unfulfilled and frustrated. Negative vibes! If you are happy, then you naturally feed positive energy that radiates to everyone around you. Bonus: it comes back to you, too.
Some people are energy vampires! (And not the kind you find in abandoned castles!) Think I’m kidding? Ever been around someone that just drains you emotionally and you can’t put your finger on the reason why? It’s not fantasy, they exist. If someone takes the good energy from you and doesn’t reciprocate by being a friend to you when you need them, then they are emotionally draining. Proceed with caution!
Sometimes, it’s hard to love people and do what you need to do for yourself, but you have to learn to practice self care. Nobody says you can’t do it in a nice way. You can stick up for yourself and say what you want and need. It is not mean or selfish or unkind to keep yourself healthy and happy (or to be able to pay the rent).
“Don’t dream it, be it.” -Dr. Frank N. Furter (Guilty! I love that movie!)
There’s a certain mindset you just have to be in (clears throat) to write romance. Sometimes you’re not in that space, mentally or emotionally. Thank goodness that music has the effect it does on us.
Sometimes all it takes is a little spark to start the fire.
Behold, the match.
- Call My Name (Dan Owen)
- Electric Man (Rival Sons)
- Berlin (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
- #1 Zero (Audioslave)
- Red (The Blackwater Fever)
- Embers (Band of Skulls)
- Black Magic (Band of Skulls)
- Thieves & Kings (The Peach Kings)
- Fever (The Black Keys)
- Fires (Band of Skulls)
- Do I Wanna Know? (The Arctic Monkeys)
- Secret (Rival Sons)
- In The Dark (Reignwolf)
- Wild Animal (Rival Sons)
- Love Burns (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
When I was in the sixth grade, we had a substitute teacher for about three days. My regular teacher failed to leave any kind of lesson plan for the substitute, so she was left trying to do something to keep twenty-five eleven and twelve-year-olds busy. This smart lady brought Stephen King’s “It” to class and read it aloud.
It was both the beginning and the end. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of reading and writing and all things Stephen King. It was the end of my doing any reading assignments that involved anything less than what I considered to be the equivalent of that book.
I outright refused to waste my time reading articles or books in which I was not interested, to the dismay of my parents and teachers. I would spend my time reading the books that were considered fringe for my age and my grades could just suffer.
Until I was in the tenth grade and met Mr. Edward Rochester. Oh, how a few years can change things!
(Thanks to you, Mrs. Williams. Thanks to you.)
I am in no way a doctor or nutritionist or therapist of any kind. Just FYI up front. This information is from personal experience and I feel that I should share what I’ve learned for those of you who may be struggling with this issue.
I see that many of my fellow writers struggle with anxiety and depression. I wanted to share something and if it helps even one person to feel better, then I will have done the right thing in doing so.
A very close friend of mine has struggled with anxiety and depression for years. She has experienced severe panic attacks, stress induced hives, and severe acne. These symptoms were attributed to her anxiety, but there was never any underlying condition given as to what was causing the anxiety.
About two years ago, she developed facial swelling, digestive disturbances, and hives all over her body. Then one morning, she had a severe allergic reaction to cereal. She began to wonder if this was somehow connected to her anxiety because some people who are gluten intolerant also have similar symptoms.
My friend eliminated gluten and later, grain from her diet. She noticed that she had numbing of her mouth when eating nuts and sometimes with shrimp. She visited a specialist and turns out, she did have food allergies. She was also told that the sense of impending doom she always struggled with could be a symptom of an anaphylactic reaction. Scary stuff.
After going on a clean diet, and by that I mean no processed foods or allergens, she is feeling much better. Almost all of her digestive and skin issues subsided. After about a year of clean eating, she has much less anxiety. Changing her diet has been a very helpful way to manage her symptoms.
I’m not saying that this is an answer for everyone, but if you’ve tried other things and they haven’t worked, it could help to try changing your diet as a means to feeling better.
Why romantic thrillers, you say? The two may not seem to be likely counterparts, but they can work together and play off one another to conjure up steamy conflict, adrenaline boosting danger, and complex relationships that build the story’s credibility to new heights.
The payoff is an emotional bond with the characters that brings the reader into the world you have created. The bonus is a satisfied reader who feels as if she has experienced a whirlwind journey or a daring escape herself, but barely lived to tell about it! A romantic thriller is escapism in its finest form, IMHO.
For those in need of a perfect romantic thriller, try this:
Ideas are everywhere, except when you need one. When I started writing romantic suspense, I found that I was not nearly so observant as I prided myself on being. Now that I am writing full time, I sometimes find that I have to force myself to slow down and appreciate the little things.
In romantic fiction, the tension is in the details. Lots and lots of details. If you find that you are having trouble coming up with ideas for plots, characters, or settings that can make your book stand out from the crowd, try some of the following.
Gleaning from personal experience is not always feasible, but occasionally we writers do need to put some actual clothes on and leave the house. Go do something you have never done. Go go kart racing, go fishing, go to a play. Anything you have never experienced before can get the ideas flowing.
Keep a journal. This is something that we often take for granted. We assume when we have a good idea that we will file it away and remember it when we need it. Then, as is always the case, life happens and clutters up our head and buries our idea. Write it down!
Go for a drive. I have some of my best ideas when I am driving. Keep a notebook handy on those scenic drives and pull over occasionally to take in the scenery and write them down.
Music. Making playlists for certain moods can really help you get in the head space you need to be in to get those words down. Sometimes, just organizing the songs can kick your creative brain into high gear.