When you are single and a romance writer 

A million to one unexpected things happened to me in 2016, but what I definitely didn’t expect was to still be single this February. I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m well into my late twenties and I’ve never been in love, so why did I think 2016 would be any different? Rather ironically, as you can tell from the title, I love to write about romance. So here I am, conjuring up angsty love triangles, while being unable to experience one for myself. Even just last night I had a dream that I was Cinderella (with the happy ending and the handsome Prince on a white horse). All I can say is, waking up was a pretty disheartening experience…

I’ve heard from many avenues that contemporary romance novels are the way to go if you want to make it big and snag yourself a traditional publisher. While I believe this to be true, I’m thinking I should just write whatever the hell I like and self-publish instead. I don’t care if I don’t make a penny, as long as I’m doing what I love, I’ll be happy. I’ve always been a strong advocate for the self-publishing industry, and I don’t think that will ever change. The question is, can I convince myself to do it?

I’ve heard from many sources way more experienced than me, that to be even moderately succesful at self-publishing, you really need to be pushing out 3-4 books a year.  While I know I can manage this (I wrote Mesmerise in 3 months), I’m not sure I could repeat that four times over in a year! Like, that’s just pure insanity. Especially now that I’m studying part-time and working full-time. There’s never enough time is there? I can see now why I’m single.

Another major hurdle will be the editing side. It can cost anywhere from $500 – $2,000 to get your novel edited by a professional, with the vast range in expense reliant on the type of editing you’re looking for. At the moment I can’t really afford even the cheapest of editing packages, so I’ll have to rely on my writing friends to help me out before I can hire a professional.

This is what my writing plan would look like if I were to write 3-4 books a year:

2017

mcover6  

Mesmerise

70,000 words

Completed but needs professional editing

Paranormal romance

echo2  

The Echo In The Woods 

30,000/70,000

40,000 words to go

psychological/suspense

guardian.PNG

Guardian

23,000/60,000

37,000 words to go

Dystopian romance

 

IMPERFECT.png  

The Drifter

18,000/60,000

42,000 words to go

Paranormal romance

 

2018

spellbind.PNG  

Spellbind 

10,000/70,000

60,000 words to go.

Sequel to Mesmerise

bewitch.PNG

Bewitch

3,000/70,000

67,000 words to go

Sequel to Spellbind

a faltering heart.PNG


A Faltering Heart

10,000/70,000

60,000 words to go

Historical romance

 

Someday.PNG  

Someday 

46,000/60,000

13,000 words to go

Contemporary romance

 

This plan gives me three months to work on each novel, though I’ve given myself a head start as I’ve already plotted and started writing each novel (so should be easier than if I was starting from scratch.) Looks like this year could turn out to be a productive one! And if it doesn’t at least I had fun creating the book covers.

I better get started. Only 319,000 words to go!

Oh and before I forget, here’s something for all the single valentine’s day champions out there.

It’s a video.

But it’s the best video.

In whole world.

 

 

 

 

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50 thoughts on “When you are single and a romance writer 

  1. Inching my way to completing my degree this coming May I have had the same type of experience or lack there of. Still single, no love and writing a romance novel, in my opinion it just makes the writing better. 🙂

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  2. Of course, only the loveliest of humans have never been in love. When love cannot claim you, you are its master.

    As for your plan: the plan is made, so why not follow it? If 3-4 books a year are what you need, then write them! I wrote three novels last year. One of them I drafted in three days for the 3-day novel competition. I even slept at night! Of course, the quality of my three novels may be questionable, and I personally don’t have the guts to self-publish, but you have such a clear vision that I would hate to see you do anything but follow it.

    Self-publish the whatever-the-hell stuff, and keep the romances to submit, maybe.

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  3. Wow, tall order writing all those books at once! I wrote one and gave it my everything. I couldn’t imagine doing it again unless the first was successful.

    Aye, trying to get published is tough. I’m self pubbed too. My advise to newbies after this would be, if you’re going to write, just do it for the love of your story without expecting to be traditionally published and your cut your stress level in half.

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  4. Stay single. It’s like a kid staying up to wait for Santa Claus. Before she does it she has all these fantastic and beautiful images in her head about the workshop, the happy little elves, Rudolph leading Santa’s sleigh majestically through the star-filled sky. But then after staying up to meet Santa that idea is ruined forever.

    So… you being single might just be a contributing factor to why your romance writing can be great and inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have absolutely NO IDEA how anyone manages that! But what I gleaned from the author I was talking to, sounds like she works at the lower end and brings out around 3 books a year (both traditional and self-published).

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  5. Good luck Millie. Sounds like you have an excellent attitude. And as for romance, it has a habit of finding you when you least expect it, so getting on with what you love doing and being happy in yourself seems the best approach to me. I wish you every success, on all counts! 🙂

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    1. Thank you Sky! I really do hope that’s true about romance, that it has a habit of finding you when you least expect it, if so, I think I may be a little overdue by now hahaha. But as you said, the best approach is to be happy & positive and to let the rest unfold in its own time 🙂

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  6. Honestly, I put writing on hold in my late twenties and focused on romance for a while. You don’t necessarily have to put your life on hold to find romance, but if settling down matters to you don’t put it too far on the back burner either! Just a thought. Also, small publishers can work too for someone who is just starting out. If you go with a smaller publisher, then they cover the cost of editing, though you will likely still be working on marketing and getting people to buy your work. Looks like you’re full of great plans!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing! Interesting to hear from someone who actually put writing on hold for romance. For me, when I was in a relationship last year I just couldn’t concentrate on writing. But you’re right, I don’t want to miss out on writing my own romance story! The thing I’ve always wanted most in my life was to finish and publish a novel, and finding love was not at all important, but I think the scales have finally changed!
      I used to be really interested in small publishers, but I had a terrible experience last year with one (it’s on my blog somewhere) and I’ve sworn off them. It was just such a devastating thing to go through being a fledging writer, that I just can’t risk going through that again. However, there are a few very reputable small to medium publishers in Australia that I think I might be happy to submit to (For example, Pantera Press is small but they have an AMAZING reputation and are well known in the publishing industry). Anyway, thanks so much for your comment 🙂

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      1. Absolutely! I am so sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with a small publisher, that sounds terrible. I am sure things will go better with the publisher with a great reputation.

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  7. I write mostly historical romances and some contemporary. I’ve also outlined a few SciFi/Fantasy novels. I too am debating the self-publishing or traditional route. So I have multiple projects going so the three-a-month would be doable. One thing to consider – are the books returnable. When you go with a print on demand, like Createspace, brick-and-mortar stores won’t carry them because they are not returnable.

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    1. Oh you sound just like me! I still can’t decide if I should be focusing on historical, paranormal, fantasy, sci fi or contemporary romance, as I enjoy writing in all of them! That’s an interesting point about the returnable nature of books, I’m not really sure I’ve read up much on that. I do understand that returnable books are more attractive to and have more luck with book sellers and retailers. I’m going to be going through Createspace, but I don’t think it would be much of a problem for me as I don’t think a brick-and-mortar would ever want to stock my books? However, we do have a local book shop that stocks local authors, so perhaps if my books were returnable they would be more agreeable to stocking them… anyway, food for thought, thank you!

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  8. Look at you! So excited for you! I only get a book, sometimes 2, out a year. I actually have 4 kids, so for me, I’m content with 1 or 2 books published. (Though I have so much more to learn. I’m still at the beginning!) Keep up the great work, and I’m happy to connect! Thank you!

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    1. Yay thank you! So great to connect with you too! Oh wow 4 kids?! You are what we call an unsung hero 🙂 How awesome that you’ve already gone through the experience of publishing a few books. I was just checking out Phoenix Incandescent on Amazon, it sounds like a wonderful adventure, right up my alley! I really do have to start blogging about Indie Books one day 🙂

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  9. If Love and Romance are what inspires you to write, continue to do so. On the personal level, I went through what I thought was “Love” several times before I finally met the person I was destined to be with at the age of 36. Don’t rush into things. And don’t use what you write as an excuse for real life experiences because there are no romances in real life that are the same as there are in books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you’ve given me hope that I just need to wait it out, and my prince charming may just be around the corner! I definitely think that romance stories within books are not at all like real life sadly, or perhaps that’s a good thing? lol

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    1. I’m doing a google search right now for ‘authors who write murder mysteries and actually killed someone’ – so did the search and luckily nothing showed up, or maybe I just need a better google search term? Maybe something more simple like ‘Writers Who Actually Killed People’ or ‘writers who killed people in real life’ hahaha

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      1. Okay, so I thought that I’d do my own google search and put my mind at ease. Then I found this article which is going to keep me up at night. On a side note, I think I’ve found a new fear and respect (but mostly fear) of mystery writers.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m just starting on my first novel, so I’ll follow your progress with interest. Right now the possibility of finding a third husband seems more likely than writing something that can be published! Time will tell 🙂

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    1. Oh yay good luck on your first novel! That’s fantastic! I actually made this promise to myself that I would only let myself have a boyfriend when I finished my novel, Mesmerise (I can’t seem to write when I’m seeing someone… not sure why) Well, I finished editing the book late last year… but no man turned up! Story of my life hahaha

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      1. For sure!! My goal is for 3 short stories and 6 novels this year. I’ve finished two of the short stories and one novel so far. Now to keep that momentum going. One day I want to hit even higher word counts!

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  11. I’m in a similar position, though I just include romance-y bits in my work in other genres. I love to read romance novels and enjoy writing the love bits in mine, but I long ago decided that the romance genre wasn’t the best place for me. Still, the love triangles and lost loves and happy couple things that I include can be tough to write without any notable personal experiences to draw on! As far as publishing 3-4 books a year… I highly doubt that’s a possibility for me! I’m also in the working-full-time-plus-and-going-to-school camp… Writing is still a huge part of my life (and it sounds like yours, too), but dang, there are a lot of other obligations cutting down available writing time!

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    1. Yeah 3-4 books would be tough, not sure if I’ll ever be able to do it! I wish so much there was more time in the day to write! Seems like you’re just as busy as me 🙂 At the moment my life looks like this: Work-gym-study-write?-sleep-repeat. Considering I don’t have a boyfriend or children, I have it pretty easy really.
      I find it hard to write certain aspects of romance too, especially happy couples! Usually my stories are filled with all the angsty ‘we can’t be together or I don’t want you’ moments (which is most like my life) with only a tiny slice of the ‘happy couple’ bit at the end LOL. My poor characters… 🙂 I literally just wrote a happy ending for one of my characters, and it had me in stiches because it was far to lovey dovey hahaha

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  12. You know… I wouldn’t say I’m romantic but I do enjoy reading and writing romance novels. My first and so far only novel is contemporary romance.
    I find it interesting how you write several novels at the same time. I have quite a few ideas for various books in my head but I focus on one novel at a time. Currently, I’m writing the sequel to my first novel (Equinox).

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  13. Meh, I’m not writing contemporary romance either. Not my thing at this point in my life.

    I’ve been married almost 13 years now, so it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the rush of new love. Still doesn’t mean you don;t know what it is or haven’t felt it even if it hasn’t completely worked out.

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