Three months ago on August 13, my husband, ten-year-old daughter and I were busy getting ready for the arrival of our newest family member, a darling baby girl who seemed to enjoy tap-dancing in my ever-growing belly.
On August 14, she died.
This isn't a post about stillbirth. Or heartbreak. Or grief. I'll save those painful thoughts and dark musings for my private journals.
This post is about writing romance. Plain and simple.
How can we continue to write the happily ever after when real-life tragedy strikes?
I'll preface the following suggestions with this disclaimer: I'm not an expert…on anything. These are just a few tips that, in recent weeks, have helped me start writing again.
- Find support. Surround yourself with people who love to read and write and friends and family who encourage and uplift you and your craft. This will help you stay motivated.
- Write sad scenes. Write angry scenes. Write the Black Moment. It's so difficult to write those sexy scenes and sweet romantic moments when your heart is breaking. Pour that emotion into your writing. Fiction is a perfect outlet for your grief, frustration and anger.
- Listen to some of your favorite songs or playlists. Watch one of your favorite romantic movies. Read a new book you've been looking forward to. Re-read one of your favorites. Go for a walk or run. Find inspiration wherever and whenever you can.
- If you typically write in front of the computer, then scribble in a notebook or journal instead. This small change may be just the spark you need.
- Set goals. If you are published and have an editor, then chances are you already have deadlines, which will help keep you on track. If you're unpublished, set your own deadlines. Want that chapter finished in five days? Mark it on your calendar and make a commitment to meet that goal.
- Take a break. You may not have the time, energy or desire to write. That's fine. Give yourself permission to rest…for a while. But don't wait too long. A prolonged absence from your work in progress may make it harder for you to resume your writing.