Writing For Love by Joan Reeves

Do you write for love? Not love of publication, love of fame, or love AoMSX 800x500of royalties, but love of writing itself. Choosing one word over another. Putting words together in a certain way that it perfectly expresses the vision in your brain.

Years ago I heard a University of Houston Literature professor, who was a published poet, say that only poets write for the love of writing. His reasoning was that poets never make any money from writing so they do it strictly because they love stringing words together.

I disagreed with him then, and I disagree now because I know many writers who have written hundreds of thousands of words and have never been published yet they still keep writing. They submitted to publishers countless times and were rejected each time — not because their writing isn’t worthy of publication.

Reasoned Rejection? Hmmm

What many people in the general public don’t realize is that authors get rejected all the time. Rejection is no stranger to authors who are already published and writers who aren’t published but who are well-versed in the necessary skills to write a publishable book.

Writers don’t get published because of myriad reasons, and most of those reasons are subjective. Perhaps the publisher just bought a manuscript with that premise or that same setting. Maybe the editor doesn’t think the marketing hook is high concept enough or the editor’s personal opinion is that no one could ever be caught in the situation that’s in the opening scene of the book.

Maybe the publisher has an author who already writes that type of book, and they don’t see a need for another author writing it. Maybe the industry is downsizing because of the rise of indie publishing. Maybe the editor disdains women like the heroine of your book. Or, maybe the hero’s name is Brian, and the editor just split from her significant other who is also named Brian. The “maybe’s” go on forever.

Sometimes, good writing just never lands on the right editor or agent’s desk. By right, I mean the person who “gets” the story. Do writers give up? Some do. Some don’t. In the beginning, writers who have just begun to fight are motivated. They outline another book and start writing. Why? Because they can’t not write. They love writing.

Writing For Love Makes One Persist

All those writers who were summarily rejected are now free to embrace indie publishing and the technology of ebook readers that allow their work to find an audience. All those authors who wrote, and kept writing, for the love of writing, and who once buried rejected manuscripts in the bottom of a file drawer now have a chance to place their work – their words – in front of readers.

The smart indie authors have their manuscripts edited, proofread, and adorned with professional cover art and then published as ebooks, print books, audio books, or all three!

Readers find the books they want to read without big publicity machines to guide them, and they can get them at a bargain too. Most indie ebooks are priced less than five dollars making them an impulse buy for most readers. Who bats an eye at paying $3.99 for an ebook when a Venti Cappuccino costs more than that, as does a snack at a food court. A movie ticket costs much more than that. Plus, you can re-read the ebook as many times as you wish.

Post Script

An ebook is a great value and a lot of entertainment for such a small investment. Try one today. I’d love it if you’d try one of mine, or grab the Christmas on Main Street Box Set coming to a cyber bookstore near you very soon.

(If you like Romance and Sex — and Romance and Humor — in your novels, try a book by Joan Reeves. Joan’s books are available at most ebook sellers, with audio editions available at Audible and iTunes. Look for print editions in late 2013. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Visit SlingWords, Joan’s Blog, or her Website. Follow Joan on Twitter: @JoanReeves)


About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. She lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan's mailing list: http://eepurl.com/Yk61n and visit her at JoanReeves.com and her blog http://SlingWords.blogspot.com.
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20 Responses to Writing For Love by Joan Reeves

  1. E. Ayers says:

    I had a drawer filled with rejections. The kind that made me cock my head and reread them a dozen times just to be certain that I was being rejected. “I fell in love with this story.” But, there’s always a but! The problem was I didn’t write an ordinary romance, mine aren’t stereotypical romances because I don’t take the life out of the characters lives. And since I failed to do that, I created a great story that also happened to be a love story so they couldn’t figure out how to market me. The general lit folks didn’t want me because there was a love story tucked in there. The romance folks couldn’t handle it because it was more than a romance. And the women’s lit folks couldn’t use it because it wasn’t just the heroine’s journey. I banged my head on my desk for years. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that the bad boy is going to change and everyone will live happily ever after. You can smooth the coat of the tiger, but you’ll never change his stripes. And life often is the biggest obstacle in a relationship.

    Obviously, most of my books have heavier content, but if I want something light to read that will make me smile or even giggle – Joan has several. So I’m waiting on her next book!

    As a reader, I’m thrilled with indie publishing because I can afford to read without breaking the budget!


    • Joan Reeves says:

      E., how beautifully you expressed the frustration that filled so many talented writers. Your description of what you write was perfect too. I’m one of the lucky readers who has benefited by your becoming an indie author/publisher. Keep up the stellar work, my dear!


      • E. Ayers says:

        Thanks so much, Joan. I really appreciate your endorsement. Compared to you, I’m just a dust mote in the universe next to your stardom. Unlike many group blogs, we’re very fortunate to have talented newer authors and some super stars. There’s not one bad apple in the bunch! And the range of our writings extend beyond the middle-of-the-road readers.

        I’m so excited about our boxed set because it will give our readers a chance to get to know all of us! I suspect that there will be more sets coming from us in the future.


  2. susanrhughes says:

    I agree with everything you said. Two different editors will give you opposite advice on how your work should be improved. So frustrating. It’s great to be in control of my own work.


    • Joan Reeves says:

      Susan, I think being in control is one of the best things about indie publishing. I always think of indie publishing as another option for writers who for so long only had one choice.


    • E. Ayers says:

      When I realized what was happening to my hero and heroine under the direction of an editor…I pulled the contract. I don’t expect everyone to love every character I write, but an editor does not need to “change” my characters to something that they aren’t. Not every man is going to be the epitome of sweetness twenty-four seven. That’s not real.

      Anyone who has ever lived with a man who was driven to succeed, knows that the private life often takes a backseat in the relationship. That doesn’t mean that he loves anyone less or that he isn’t sorry that he forgot some important date. In real life, we learn to give those men room. We treasure the good times and the fruit of his labor – just don’t try to remove it from my story!


      • Joan Reeves says:

        E., said, “That’s not real.” What a complex and profound statement you made. Those 3 words contain the kernel of wisdom about what makes characters real to the reader. In each book, the author creates a world inhabited by characters who have specific attitudes, behaviors, and backstory that together determines what he would or would not do. If an editor doesn’t understand the character and wants him to behave differently, then the editor is asking for the character to be artificial — not real to his identity.


  3. Carol says:

    The best rejection I ever received was from Harlequin. Almost an entire page of why they didn’t accept my ms. I never gave up writing. I couldn’t, it’s in my blood.


  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    I definitely write for love. Ultimately loving characters makes them real and seeing their stories on the page is a thrill. Rejection, is a part of it for all of us who do this work and it’s never easy. I think you’re right, that’s just one reason for loving what we do…it gets us through those sucky times. Joan, in my house the mantra is: “Writers, write, right? So get Busy!” 🙂 Love this group and all the wonderful posts! Happy Writing my Friends.


  5. monarisk says:

    My FRW chapter had a one day conference called Super Saturday last week. The theme was: Shifting to self-publishing. Heading the conference was Dianne Moggy, VP of Harlequin, from Toronto, Melissa Jeglinski, from The Knight Literary Agency, and an acquisition manager from Barnes & Noble. They all admitted that indy publishing is a new way of life they all have learned to accept and live with.


  6. Pingback: How I found My Editor in a Barnes and Noble Bookstore | Reno Gal Says

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