This week I welcome J.M. Stewart to the Friday forum. J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.
A Pet Peeve:
Normally, I’m the quiet type. You usually find me sitting in a corner, nodding politely, holding up the wall. I’m a people watcher and content to be one. But I’m about to get up on my soapbox. I don’t do it much. I saw something a few weeks ago that bugged me a few weeks ago, and I’d like to share my two cents about it.
I keep seeing quotes from supposed famous authors who all seem to say things like, “writer’s write” which usually comes along with a line about how we’re supposed to do it “every day” and reminds me that “this is a job.” Which of course, implies, that if I don’t think of my writing this way, then I’m not a real writer. I saw one once that said if you chose to sit back and wait for inspiration to strike, then you’re an amateur, but the rest of us, we get up and go to work.
I’ll be honest. This type of thing offends me. Big time. Because they tend to use bully tactics—they imply that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t do things their way. I’m not a real writer (and therefore doomed to failure) if I don’t write every day and think of this as a job. Yeah, my hero, Michael Brant, from Her Knight in Black Leather, gets his rebellious streak partly from me. 😉
The thing is, we’re all individuals. Every single one of us is different. Not even identical twins are actually identical. They’re individuals. It’s the way of life and what a boring world it would be if we were all the same. That’s what makes reading such a wondrous experience. Every book is a whole new world to explore. If they were all the same, we’d have nothing new to read. Ever.
And so it is with how you write your novel. There is no right or wrong way to get the job done. Yes, there’s a right and wrong way to grammar and sentence structure and things like GMC, but how you go about completing that book is yours and yours alone. You might be a plotter, planning the entire book out before a single word gets set on paper. You might write out of order. I’ve read that my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, writes this way. She writes scenes willy nilly and puts them together in the end. So a scene at the end of the book might have gotten written first. A fairly prolific author posted on facebook once that they do the majority of their writing on the weekends.
That’s the beauty of life. The way you choose to write your book is up to nobody but you. We all have our own ways of doing things. My way may not be your way, it might not work for you. The same way your way wouldn’t work for me. It doesn’t make either of us wrong.
How you finish that book only matters to one person—you. As long the end product is the same, who cares how it got that way? Whether you write every day…or once a week doesn’t matter for squat.
And I don’t know about you, but the minute my writing becomes a job is the minute my writing loses its magic. Is it my job? Yes. But I will never think of it that way. I write, because I have to. Because I’m compelled to get up every morning and head to my computer by the very people who live in my brain and don’t let me sleep at night. Because if I don’t, I feel as if someone has cut off an arm. Been there, done that, never going back.
We’re all individuals. Celebrate it. Be uniquely you. It’ll shine from within the pages of that book.
A Second Chance at Forever Blurb:
Recently divorced and working two jobs, Angela Lewis has no room in her life for love. Yet when her childhood crush finds her at the nightclub where she works as the sexy stripper, Candy Cane, and expresses his interest, Angela can’t resist. She only wants one night to live the fantasy her alter ego provides.
Alex McKinley is still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, and one night with Candy is exactly what he needs. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when he discovers she’s the little sister of his best friend. Suddenly little Angie’s all grown up and driving him crazy.
The more time he spends with Angela, the more Alex finds himself falling for the woman she’s become. She makes him want to live again. But can he convince her to take a chance on him?
“When is your birthday, Alex?”
The minute the words left her mouth she wanted to suck them back. When Alex’s gaze snapped to hers, heat blazed up her neck and into her cheeks. The question gave her away, revealed her thoughts as surely as if she’d spoken them out loud. In front of her family, no less. Oh, her, and her big mouth….
To make matters worse, desire and recognition flared in Alex’s eyes, the memory rising between them.
A night neither one of them could forget. She remembered only too well him telling her exactly that.
“Two weeks,” he said.
“Got any plans?” she asked, to cover the need that sparked in her belly. Like an ember stoked into a tiny flame. One that if given the right amount of fuel could consume her.
Alex didn’t respond the way she’d anticipated, however. The expression drained from his face, his features going stony. Tension rose tight and prickly in the air around them.
Brock looked up from the grill.
Alex shook his head and rose from his seat, his jaw tight, a stiff set to his shoulders that had unease settling in her stomach. “No.” Then he turned to Brock. “Beer in the fridge?”
Brock nodded. Without so much as a glance in her direction, Alex moved around her, stepping through the sliding glass doors into the darkness of the house.
Angela turned to Brock, fear and confusion pounding in her breast. “I said something wrong.”
Her brother shook his head. “It’s his story. He should be the one to tell you.”
She nodded, then turned to stare at the doorway Alex had just disappeared through. She swallowed hard and followed after him.
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