How to Stay Focused  When Writing by
                           Joan Ramirez 

It has been said that everyone loves a lover. Coming from journalism and academic backgrounds, it was quite a transition for me to write romance. It sounded easy. Take one hero and heroine and blend in trials and tribulations, a black moment when the lovers part, and end with the lovers living happily ever after. I did my homework, reading some of the greats in the genre. I told myself that I didn’t become an award-winning journalist or elementary school teacher overnight. I could do this. So I put pen to paper and did character sketches and an outline and started to type. 
Here are my observations: 1. Writing is not for the frail of heart. It takes work to make those love scenes and conflicts work. 2. It takes a lot of molding and shaping to make characters that resonate with the reader come alive on the page. 3. It takes imagination to design an eye-catching cover. 4. It takes time, energy, the right attitude, and tons of effort to pursue a career as a novelist while still working on a day job. 5. It’s worth it when you have your own hero, which I do in my husband, to encourage you, no matter how many times he has to listen to the same scene.
 I’ve done one through five. Now, I push ahead to find the right editor/agent for my romantic suspense and the series that I envision will follow. As I do so, I take courage from someone I admired who left this earth too soon. Her first book in an award-winning series was published when she was sixty five. I quote, “I woke up in a cold sweat the day after I got the contract from my agent, thinking of how many times I wanted to give up. I’m glad I didn’t.”

 Joan Ramirez,  Relatively new member of LIRW but not to publishing with three nonfiction and one fiction novel of her own plus mystery short stories online. 

Source: October 2017 Long Island Romance Writers Shorelines Newsletter