I hate to complain about my muse, because, in all reality, she’s really good to me. In fact, I don’t think I can blame this on her at all. I think it’s my own lack of self-discipline that has me not writing lately. And I either have to accept that the way I write is the way I work best or try and change myself. Because I write in huge bursts of creativity. I can write the rough draft of a book in less than two weeks, and then I end up putting it away for a little while to let it sit (hey – Homer said I could. 7 years, even, if I really wanted). And then I either start something new or write random scenes or ideas or I just take a total break. And sometimes that break extends to weeks and weeks and weeks. I’m actually looking forward to a time when I have deadlines because that has to keep me on track. I really admire those people who churn out pages day after day when they’re unpubbed like me. Sometimes it’s really hard to keep writing when you’re not writing for anyone (you know, like a publisher you’re actually contracted with for real, not in dreamland ).

I also read something interesting yesterday – it might have been on eharlequin, but I can’t be sure. It was either an agent or an editor talking about writers and self-discipline, and the importance of being able to write at a nice clip. In fact, it had to be Harlequin. I believe the gist was that it worried them a bit that writers spent 2 or even 3 years on the same book, polishing it, making it perfect, when really, they should be writing much more during that time. In the real world of publishing, you don’t have the luxury of 2 years to finish a book. Sometimes, you don’t have the luxury of two months. Which is why sometimes books in the category line lose quality. And sound exactly the same. I undestand that category readers want a formula, and that there are only so many stories in the world, but I do think that it’s a bad trap for writers to fall into. Which is why, probably more consciously than not, I’m trying to write each book very differently (both category and single title) while still using military characters as my common thread. Some books are more military based than others, some are more suspense, some are paranormal, and some are series based. Because I get frustrated when I discover and author and love the first books, only to find out that all the books are pretty much the exact same. And I know I’d get bored writing the same thing over and over.

Steph T.