30 August 2005

Romance Writers of Australia Conference

Back from Melbourne re-energised and inspired. It was a great conference at the wonderful Langham Hotel. Donald Maass was the keynote speaker and talked about writing what you fear the most. His talk, along with veteran romance writer Valerie Parv's workshop on creativity were the highlights of the conference for me.

I had a lightbulb moment about how punitive I have become in relation to my writing. As a beginning writer I take seriously advice about not waiting around for inspiration to strike. I get up at 5.30 in the morning and put myself in front of my computer with great resolve. But I haven't been allowing myself to play or dream. As a result, I've not understood why I've become progressively more and more discouraged. I don't finish projects because I don't allow myself some dreaming time with them. I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders and I can enter into the life of my characters instead of seeing them as so many words that have to be produced.

So now I'm working on re-ordering my writing time to plan and play and fool around. This means reading more poetry, writing in my journal more often and interviewing my characters. Obvious things, but lost by me for a time.

22 August 2005

I started writing after many years of telling myself I couldn't. But a life of rigid perfectionism is no fun. It wasn't good for my health either. So I silenced the internal editor (for a while at any rate) and started to keep a journal. Eventually I branched out to stories and found everything I wrote was very romantic. This surprised me. I don't see myself as a particularly romantic person. But the impulse was there and I went for it. I started reading lots of romances, everything from category romances published by Mills and Boon, to big name single title authors like Jenny Cruise and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I love them. They make me feel good and take me away from my worries. My internal editor tries to tell me I'm compromising both my intellect and my feminist principles, but I don't believe this.

I went back to some of the writing I did years ago and found it intensely erotic. So I started to fool around with writing erotica. This is the writing I'm now the most comfortable with, although I still want to write a mainstream romance and some crime/mystery. I worked for a long time in the criminal justice area so crime is something I'm familiar with.

Non romantic erotica satisfies a darker part of me where not everything ends happily. It's a good balance with writing romance and I feel very happy with both genres. I have a couple of stories on the Erotic Readers and Writers Association web site and the moment (the link is on the right) and will have another up in September. At the moment I'm working on a romantic suspense novel and some stories for ERWA. Under the links to the right are the blogs of some of my favorite fellow ERWA writers. I'll be adding some more when I work out how to do so.

This weekend I'm off to the Romance Writers of Australia's annual conference in Melbourne. I can hardly wait. It will be great to see all my e list friends, stay in a swank hotel, have spas and massages and go on a chocolate tour of Melbourne. And go to the conference as well. Donald Maas is the key note speaker which should be great.

21 August 2005

Well, by first blog entry. I feel I've sucumb to something that will either help or hinder my writing. I'll get all this set up stuff out of the way and see if I can post something interesting. At least for me if no one else.