Freeform

Just WriteSometimes I overshare about what I’m working on. And it’s kind of cool because the responses to the sharing are always positive, and motivating and reassuring. But there’s the other side. Sharing also leads to requests for timelines–which I then provide but rarely keep–then there’s disappointment from readers, and contrition from me because the last thing I want is for readers to be disappointed, even when in disappointing you, I may be satisfying myself. So, I tried, and continue to try to plan my releases, and have at least somewhat of an idea of when something I promised might be available.

This year, I have some ‘Have-To-Write’ books in my head, and God willing, they’ll get written. But I’m finding that the timeline I’ve set isn’t working. And that’s because something else is going on with me. I’ve been freeform writing a lot lately. Characters, stories and ideas are coming out of nowhere, and I’m just letting them come, not asking them to wait in line behind others, and not censoring them in any way. Most have been unusual, unformed, even unlikable and in a lot of ways uncharacteristic of what I’ve done in the past, and that’s been incredibly exciting. At least for me.

Writing evolves. I don’t want to write the way I wrote two, or three, or five years ago. For readers of romance, relationship-focused or women’s fiction, that can be scary, or even irritating when their writers change course. And I think many writers know this, so they disappear into their writing labs, and experiment in isolation, and agonize over hundreds of pages before they feel confident enough to release something that first and foremost satisfies them, but also satisfies their target readers. (I don’t believe for a second when writers say they write only for themselves. That’s what journals are for, not novels.)

But that’s a delicate and sometimes impossible balance. To satisfy your personal creative growth impulse and that of an audience who wants most of all, for you to give them what they know they will love. Imagine for a moment that you make a delicious pot roast with fingerling potatoes and a side of wild rice. Your family tells you it was the perfect meal. And then, every day, for the rest of your life, they demand that you make pot roast with fingerling potatoes and a side of wild rice. As delicious as you found that meal, as proud as you are of having made it, one day, you begin to loathe pot roast, cringe at the sight of fingerling potatoes and vomit if you have to eat wild rice. So it is with writing; at least for me.

The only cure is to step away from the pot roast, at least for a while, and experiment with, say, chicken marsala. That’s what I’m doing for now.

And I realize that produces some disappointment. The dread of your disappointment made me even consider, for a hot minute inventing a second pen name, something to hide behind so that I could keep the expectations and positive equity intact with the other things I write. But y’know what? I’m not going to go that route. I’m going to trust you to hang with me while I write stories that surprise you, or shake you up, or make you mad, or frustrated, or sad.

Wanderer - High ResolutionSo … what that means is that before I return to pot roast–which I have no doubt I will do from time to time–I’m doing chicken. And lamb. Pork even. You don’t have to like them. I mean it, you don’t. But do this for me? Judge them on their own merits. Don’t expect them to taste like pot roast.

And you know me … I’ll tell you everything as I go along this journey; probably more than you care to know about ‘process’. That’s all for now. Back to cooking ….

~N~

P.S. You know I have an online book chat about ‘The Wanderer’ coming up in a couple of days, right? Join the online book club ‘Because My Heart Said So’ here, to participate in the chat THIS WEDNESDAY, May 30th at 7 PM.

22 thoughts on “Freeform

  1. Nia.. You are My write or die author. I’m right there with you, whatever you write. You can say I know Joy is reading this. Forever my lady.

  2. Hmm… Trout Almondine, Veggie Frittata, Ribs with Mac&cheese, ooooh Lobster Bisque with crusty bread. The possibilities are yummy as well as endless. Lucky for us, YOU are an excellent cook and always leave us hungry for more.

  3. I’ve enjoyed your writing for years & believe that this enjoyment will continue. I understand that you are the writer & your creativity might take you in various directions. However, if I find that it has strayed to far left for me, I will kindly return the book & a wait a book closer to my beliefs/ interest!
    Best!

  4. I have your website bookmarked and literally check EVERY DAY for anything new. ANYTHING. You write so well, I know I will rock with anything you bring out. Omg i’m just so excited typing this, knowing you are writing stuff that I can’t wait to read. No pressure…*bites nails in anticipation

  5. I have already read the Wanderer and everything else you have written. In fact, I started re-reading the Commitment Series last week. I LOVE RILEY AND K-SMOOTH. In fact, I love them all. I simply enjoy your books and all the thoughts that you share with your growing fan base. Thanks. Can’t wait for more.

    Kim

  6. Hi Nia I just recently found your novels and novellas and am devouring them at an alarming rate. I’ve read and reread several and have developed crushes on most of your characters already, Mark Acosta being #1. Your writing style flows so fluidly that I’m finished the stories long before I’m ready to be. Please continue to populate the romance world as well as whatever other avenue (or menu) your pen chooses to take you on.

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