Confession: I am not a writer

I am not a writer because I haven’t been writing.

Oh, I’ve been doing a lot of writing-related stuff. I’ve been editing and publishing. I’ve been brainstorming and networking. I’ve been… uh, scrubbing the toilet. Which doesn’t sound like a writing-related activity, but it is, I swear, not that it matters because I’m not a writer anyway.

Because I haven’t been writing.

I don’t like to talk about it. I tend to be hard on writers — ESPECIALLY myself — who don’t write. There are a ton of reasons, motivations, justifications, excuses, lies, and damn lies why writers can’t write. Some of the reasons are more valid than others. Heck, even some of the damn lies are pretty good — we’re writers, after all. But in the end, if I don’t write… well, I think I’m not a writer.

I’m not depressed, and I’m not sick. I don’t have any greater-than-usual stresses in my life. I’m not out of ideas. (Oh geez, not even close!) I don’t have writer’s block. And I DO have deadlines. I haven’t broken my fingers or crashed my hard drive. (Knock on wood with my non-broken but non-writing fingers.) I’m not burned out. I don’t NOT want to write. I don’t want any there-theres or condolences. I don’t have any good excuses or bad lies. I’m just… not writing.

Or I should say I haven’t been writing. See, it’s been so long, I forgot how to do verb tenses.

I AM writing again now, finally, which is the only reason I can even write this post. I want to do a little happy dance but I’m keeping my fingers on the keyboard. I just thought I should put this out there in case someone else is not writing or not doing whatever your “thing” is and so feeling like a fraud.

I don’t have any three bullet point list of how to write again. I just… started writing. So now I’m a writer. Phew. It was just that easy. (And maybe just that hard?)

If you’re having trouble writing, put some words in the comment box. Maybe that’ll get you going again. And if you’ve had trouble writing — past tense — please feel free to share how you got out of it. Maybe it’ll help someone else.

Looking back, looking around

Sometimes the world seems more dangerous and doomed than ever. Sometimes people are more confused and vile than seems possible. Like, does that troll have a hollow leg where he keeps his vicious, willful blindness? Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever JUST STOP making the same mistakes over and over and over.

Then I take a breath.

Yes, there is fear. (Fear is the worm-eaten heart of the world’s evils. Hate is the fear of otherness. Greed is the fear of losing. Injustice is the fear of empathy.) There is static and, worse, cultivated entropy. There are wounds that go so deep the scars will never fade.

But I believe light and goodness, peace, love, and understanding will win the day. Do I have any proof for that belief? Er, no. Maybe I’ll say the mere fact that galaxies formed out of the interstellar dust shows that the universe* has an impulse toward order and beauty and forward momentum. (*You can call this God if you like. It gets us to the same place.) But I’ll settle for hope.

Sometimes I worry that hope is just the cheerful flipside of willful blindness… So then I take another breath. And each breath is a promise that we don’t stop here, that we can do better, BE better. We owe those steady, deep breaths to those who came before us and who will come after us, so that their hopes are honored.

How do we get there? So many ways. Pick one or two or three. Hug loved ones and be kind to strangers. Recycle. Seek the truth, even when it stings. Vote with conscience. Donate in constructive ways to worthwhile causes. Breathe. I dunno, maybe dream up a romance novel! Whatever you choose, share your hope with the world and we WILL make it better.

After dark book party

Friday’s after hours book party at Anderson’s Bookshop in Downers Grove, Illinois, was everything you want from a book event: dedicated booksellers, eager readers, and a fabulous array of authors. Okay, calling us authors fabulous might seem self-serving, but we ARE fabulous!

We had woo-woo and whips, masks and mayhem. I was woo-woo as the paranormal romance author. Tiffany Reisz with her contemporary erotica stood for the whips. Andrew Shaffer wore a baseball-themed sex/wrestling mask (don’t ask). And Tracey Devlyn represented mayhem with her historical romantic suspense. Truly something for everyone! Well, maybe not EVERYone, but definitely something for all the cool readers who attended 🙂

And for those who couldn’t make it, a little treat:

Free & discounted Kobo books for a short time only* to celebrate Anderson’s After Dark Book Party!

Jessa Slade
Dark Hunter’s Touch
Free! Use promo code DARK100

Christy Hayes
Shoe Strings

Cari Quinn, CarrieAnn Ryan, Jayne Rylon, Debra AndrewsLexiBlake, MarieHarte
A Taste of Decadence Box Set

Debra Andrews
Dangerous Paradise
20% off–Now $2.99

Tessa Reese
Seductive Hunger

Donna Fasano
Reclaim My Heart

CJ Archer
The Medium

Ellis Carrington
Yes, Sir

Christina Tetreault
The Teacher’s Billionaire

Ginny Baird
The Christmas Catch

Jill James
Divorce, Interrupted

Sandy Loyd
Running Out of Fear

Maree Anderson
The Crystal Warrior (Book One of The Crystal Warriors Series)

Maree Anderson
Seer’s Hope (Book One of The Seer Trilogy)

Mary Campisi
A Family Affair (Truth in Lies: Book One)

Marquita Valentine
Third Time’s a Charm

Anthea Sharp
Feyland: The First Adventure

Liz Matis
Going For It

Beth Caudill
Healer’s Fate


Shona Husk
Dar-otter, Pearl Otter, Can’t Find Me

Shona Husk
Soul Song

Shona Husk
An Elemental Tail

Shoshanna Evers
Taste of Candy

Erica Ridley

Angie Fox
The Accidental Demon Slayer

Delilah Marvelle, Máire Claremont
All I Want For Christmas is a Duke

C.J. Ellisson
Death’s Servant

Cynthia Clement
33% off–Regularly $2.99 for the weekend $1.99

Anna Markland
Defiant Passion

KH LeMoyne
Betrayal’s Shadow

Roz Lee
Free Agent

Sandra Cox
Shardai: First Book in the Cats of Catarau Series

Celia Juliano
His Angel: An Everyday Angels Erotic Short Story

Bronwen Evans
To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield

Stephanie Julian
An Indecent Proposition Part I

Erin Kellison, KC Klein, Jessa Slade
Hotter on the Edge

If you find something you like, please consider leaving a review at Kobo. Find something a friend might like? Feel free to share the links with them! The more, the merrier!

*These deals expire at different times, so some of the links may change. Get ’em while you can!