Yesterday, the results of the Romance Writers Of America annual RITA and Golden Heart finalists were announced. One of my writing group ladies referred to this is “The Oscars to romance writers.” It is an apt and accurate description. For the first time I entered this year, and no, I didn’t make the finals. I actually didn’t expect to, but the hope is always there. I entered because I have come to realize that though I call myself a writer, and have been writing for most of my life, it means nothing if I hoard the work on my laptop and keep it to myself. I need to put myself out there. This was a way of getting over my fear of people – strangers – reading my words. I can truthfully admit I don’t even let my husband read what I write. Is it fear of being judged? Of being considered frivolous? Or is it just that I am selfish with my words and my ideas? I don’t know the answer to any of those; maybe a shrink could help! But I do know that at this stage in my life I have nothing to fear. I am old enough and – God help me!- wise enough to know that you can show something to ten different people and get ten different reactions and opinions to it. So, if I like my work there is no reason to think others might not like it as well. And if they don’t, well, this is still America and everyone of us has the freedom to like or not like something.
I am already at work on my next book. I don’t think I could stop writing if I truly even wanted to.
Maybe, next year when I enter the Golden Heart, I just may do better. Like I said, the hope is always there.