After years of attempting to write romance in a contemporary setting and not quite succeeding beyond the first or second draft I've begun to question my ability to be a writer of modern romance fiction.
Perhaps, I'm not cut out to be a writer. That's a strong possibility and something I often ponder. I like to write. I won't say I enjoy it or love it, because it is usually quite a struggle. When it works it feels good, but those moments are few and far between. I've recently made the decision to shelve the novel I've been working on for two years. It had lost its sparkle and the relief of not having that novel hanging over me like a black cloud of doom was immense.
A week and a bit later, I'm getting twitchy. I've got too much time on my hands. I'm used to being busy and having a story to work on.
I need to write. It's that simple. Whether or not I ever publish my writing, I need to write. That's a pretty good feeling.
The thing is, what do I want to write? I have considered writing historical, but the amount of research terrifies me. So much could go wrong. And so I put it off year after year, convinced I couldn't do it. That is until last November during the annual National Novel Writing Month challenge.
I decided to wing it. I had some sketchy knowledge from reading historical novels and watching period dramatisations on the television of the period I wanted to set my story in. It was enough to get me started. In the end I found myself writing a time-slip - the best of both worlds - contemporary and historical, with a touch of paranormal.
The writing of a very messy first draft in a genre I've not attempted before was quite a revelation. I had fun writing it. It was very liberating as I felt unconstrained by the way I thought it should be written (being heavily influenced by other writers), which was my biggest problem writing straightforward contemporary romance, and let my imagination have its way.
Is this the way to go? The genre I should really be writing? My husband has said on many occasions over the years that I was writing the wrong stuff. I'd nod, more than half agreeing with him, but carrying on regardless.
I now have the time to do the historical research, I have the books, I have a complete first draft to work with.