Most of you can probably remember the moment it happened — the instant when the idea of writing a romance novel first filled your heart with dreams and your head with characters. Life became grist for the writing mill. The hunky cop who gave you a ticket becomes inspiration for your hero. A trip to the doctor's office for your child's earache becomes a chance to ask about a disease you plan to write about. It's as if you are suddenly looking at life in 3-D, wanting to see more, know more, experience more, so you can write about it.
For some, this magical moment happened after you finished a heart-warming romance and marveled at the author's ability to write such a story. For others, it happened when you couldn't find the type of book you wanted to read, and decided to just write it yourself. And still others experienced the moment after throwing a book against the wall and declaring, “I could do better than that!”
Whatever inspired you to try your hand at romance writing, you should know that you are about to embark on a journey — a wild, sometimes exciting, sometimes not so exciting, voyage. Because writing is basically a solitary profession, a lot of the journey will be one of self-discovery. As you trek down the writing path, you'll learn what is truly important to you. You'll find yourself digging deep into your heart and soul, tapping into your most private experiences — some good, some not so good — to add richness to the stories you put on paper. However solitary writing may be, if you take the recommendations of this book and join writing groups, you will also find a world of new friends. People who think like you think — people who don't consider it strange to rush out to the bookstore to buy the book, 101 Ways to Kill Someone or to ask your lawyer … “If I think my child was swapped at birth, and I wanted to track down my daughter, who do I need to see first?”
These people will understand that when you hear voices in your head, you are happy your characters are talking to you, and not the least bit worried about your mental health. Yes … the people you meet will be a part of this journey that you'll not want to miss.
As you prepare to embark on this journey, you'll need some supplies. A first-aid kit is crucial. Few of you will complete the writing adventure without having your feelings hurt and egos bruised at least a little bit. That's why you'll also be bringing some chocolate and a suitcase full of perseverance — yes, perseverance. This journey could take a while. Believing your first attempt at writing will be a bestseller is almost as farfetched as believing a brain surgeon's first day of training will involve a knife and a live patient.
You'll also need an endless supply of hunger for knowledge. For while The Everything® Guide to Writing a Romance Novel is a good place to start your education, writing is a nonstop course on the lessons of being human and crafting words.
Also, make sure you pack plenty of attitude for your journey. You'll need ammunition for people who ignorantly believe a book about love is somehow trivial. Hold your head high. The romance genre isn't 55 percent of all mass market fiction sold today for no reason. Young girls don't spend hours dreaming of their first kiss, their first dance, or the day they walk down the aisle for trivial reasons.
This journey will not always be easy. The rejections will probably come, and it may be a long trek before you arrive at that wonderful place called publication. But the joys of writing are not just about the destination, but about the journey. Only a writer will know the elation of creating people, of falling in love with these people, and then having them fall in love with each other. And oh … the bliss of completing a book. Savor your accomplishments; nurture your passion for writing, for this is the key to sustaining perseverance. And as you make this trek, remember the lessons you are learning about falling in love will not only have the ability to make you a better romance author, but a better person.