After a long hiatus, I’m finally back as a Princess. It’s nice to be back amongst the crown-wearing gals!
I took a long sabbatical from writing. I did a lot of soul-searching to figure out what I was doing and who I was as a writer. I now know what the root of my problem was—I was really depressed about the state of my books that are currently held hostage by a publisher. Getting a check for less than $10—or a check not at all—was a huge blow to my writer ego. Because I poured my heart and soul into those books and I felt like they were slighted. I also felt like they were being served a great injustice by not making any money when I was SURE they were better books than that. I’ve requested the rights back to almost all of them—and have received rights back to one of them. Now it’s just a waiting game to see what’s going to happen.
And it hurts. A lot.
So putting all that aside was difficult at best for me. It’s never an easy thing to see your books sit and not earn money. Any books—not just the ones with a publisher but the indie ones too. I had to come to terms with that because I can’t be everywhere I want to be—I’m not MasterCard, after all. I’m a mom with a husband and a full time job. I had to stop and decide where my time was best spent and that was writing, not spinning my wheels marketing. I’m sure there is some value in that—blogging, ads, tweeting, etc.—but it stressed me out to the point I mentally shut down.
So I let it go.
In February, I signed up for an intensive year-long workshop with Holly Lisle. If you follow me anywhere, then you’ve seen me talk about it. HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS saved my writing life. I know that sounds crazy but it really did help me dig deep into my psyche and figure out what I want and where I want to be and what I want to write. I started writing a new book with a dual timeline that was fantasy with time travel and paranormal elements. And of course a love story or two. :)
By the time summer hit, I had my writing chi back. I had an idea for a contemporary romance series about a wedding consultant. I’ve wanted to write about weddings for a while now only because the stock art is so beautiful. LOL And then I got a wild hair to enter Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. I had to finish the book by September 21 and post it on Wattpad to be entered. I had only written the first 5000 words (target was 55,000). My chosen line was Blaze and since it had been a while since I’d read one, I went into research mode. I downloaded samples and read first chapters. I binged on back cover copy. I downloaded a couple of Blaze books and read from start to end. I thought, “HEY. I can do this.”
So I plotted out the story (sort of) and started writing. At the height of my writing, I was doing 2000-4000 words a day. I hit the deadline with two days to spare and uploaded the entire story.
And now I wait. First round judging of pitch and first chapter is in progress then the top 50 are announced around October 6. I’m counting the days.
Michelle Miles loves castles, dragon, fairies and elves. For more about her, check out her website.