I haven't written a word for a week. That isn't entirely true of course, I have composed texts, sent some emails, produced an entire five page strategy at work, taken notes etc etc but I haven't spent as much as one minute on either my Valentine entry or the editing of the book.
Partly because it's been a bit manic. Stephen King wouldn't accept this as an excuse, after all he sits down and works every morning including Christmas and New Year. Jessica Hart wouldn't either; how does your inspiration know where to find you if you have no routine she asks reasonably? Even amidst the craziness I could find time to write. I have chosen not to.
Partly it's the problems with our broadband. OK, I don't need broadband to actually write but without it I can't access the crit group and their valuable advice, I can't research – or timewaste.
Partly it's a lack of confidence. Starting the big rewrite terrifies me; the longer I put it off, the longer I don't have to think about it (except, of course, I am always thinking about it...)
But secretly I have quite enjoyed a few days away from the tyranny of my keyboard. I have been reading, researching, realising the Modern line was never for me, I am far more suited to Cherish/Romance/Riva. Phew, I may still need to man my hero up but no longer do I have to worry about turning him into a swaggering bully. During the last few days I have read and enjoyed a number of M&B from a number of lines, noting the emotional conflict, how the story feeds then resolves it and studying the heroes closely. In my chosen lines the heroes are still generally rich and successful but they have a sense of humour, sensitivity, feelings. The one modern I read had the worst cliché of a hero possible – if I had been reading a paper copy I would have tossed it across the room! Billionaire, natch, womaniser, natch, cruel, insensitive, selfish - natch. Treated her like dirt before seducing her (he is a womaniser in his thirties, she is a teenage virgin), treated her like dirt again until discovering she is pregnant he tries to force her into marriage. She is supposed to be sparky but actually just cries a lot and loves him more the meaner he is. It made me uncomfortable to read it. I want a 21st century hero fit for my 21st century heroine. Now I have to stop procrastinating and go and actually write him.