It is a strange feeling to be a writer who hasn’t written a word in…oh…four months. Last year, I published two books – which is amazing considering that my pace in years prior was a single book per year. Now, as we slide easily into March, I wonder if I will release anything this year.
It’s not writer’s block. I’ve still got several stories that are hanging where I left them, and I know exactly where and how I want them to go. If anything, I have even more stories piling up in my brain to be written.
It’s not lack of time, for my schedule is the same as it’s always been.
It’s not lack of desire. I still have the urge to write wonderfully vibrant stories.
It’s not lack of inspiration.
It is a thing with no name (or else I haven’t discovered its name yet). But it can probably be best summed up by this sentence I gave my husband when he asked why I wasn’t writing anymore.
“I just feel like I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said before.”
Part of me wonders if that has something to do with being a romance writer. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good love story and I try to make the ride as bumpy and thrilling as I can, but in the end romance novels are always the same: boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after.
And that’s great. I love it. But I’m wondering if maybe there is something inside me that is wanting to branch out, genre-wise.
It’s kind of like film tastes. I love a good romance. But I don’t ONLY want to watch romance. I may prefer them nine times out of ten, but every once in a while, I put on something vastly different, like Saving Private Ryan, or Everest, or something that explores the other deep emotions of human beings.
Is that what I’m feeling as a writer?
For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my Master’s in creative writing. The idea behind this is to 1) grow as a writer and 2) use it to eventually teach at the collegiate level. One of the programs I looked into joining asked for a writing sample of 20,000 words upon which my acceptance would be based. No romance, sci-fi or fantasy genres allowed. For me to start the program this fall I would have had to submit the sample a week ago. I’ve known this for six months and did not submit a sample.
Because I have nothing new to say. And if I’m not writing a romance then I actually have to SAY something. I have to write a story with an unscripted path that has an ending of my choosing that means something besides happily-ever-after. I have to make a point.
And there’s no way I can do that without pulling from my own life experiences. And there’s no way I can do that without pissing off people in my life, or worse, hurting them
So, why do I feel pulled to do just that? I feel pulled to write something else right now. Not to say I won’t go back to writing romance, but I’m being pulled in a different direction. I’m being forced to SAY something.