People always ask me what it’s like to write. I say it’s like playing with a Rubik’s cube the size of a house with tiny little squares the size of a postage stamp. We move words around until they make some sense, accurately reflect the images in our mind, and hopefully strike a chord of emotion in the reader.
I love to write. I started writing when I was fourteen. I wrote a book of poetry. I have no idea where that book is—probably in a tattered cardboard box in my mother’s attic collecting dust—but I would love to look at it again. The beautiful thing about all forms of writing is that they act like a time and date stamp of our thoughts and feelings at a certain moment in our lives. I guess that’s why so many people keep journals.
Like all artists, I have struggled to get paid for what I do. I have written copy for brochures selling everything from dental equipment to retirement living. I have written about local building projects, water contamination, and community fairs for small local newspapers. I have written TV movie projects inspired by real life stories of dying mothers looking for someone to care for their children and women who survived physical and sexual abuse, which I pitched from one network to the next until there was nowhere left to pitch. I have written erotica scripts where every ten pages there is a simulated sex/love scene. With all of these projects, I managed to get paid to some degree, but I have never made a living as a writer.
I know a few successful writers who make upwards of a million dollars a year doing what they love. I am not one of them, though I do hope that a little of their good fortune might rub off on me. A few years ago I became so disenchanted with writing due to my lack of financial success that I stopped writing for two whole years. It was the most foreign experience for me. I missed it. I craved it. I felt guilty for not writing, but I could not handle the disappointment and pain of not being financially successful at that which I loved.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought my mind was going to explode with ideas. Writers write; whether we are compensated financially or not, it is just something we have to do. So, I chose a new medium: the chicklit novel. With a new medium to explore, I was faced with endless new challenges: How long should it be? What voice should I use? Where do I find an editor? How do I find an agent? How do I self-publish? Throughout the process I found myself asking, “what do I do now?” Nobody was answering, so I just figured it out on my own. It was just another piece of the puzzle that is writing.
Two years later, after endless challenges, I have my first published chicklit novel, “Blow Me”. It’s a tale of three women’s struggle with sex and love in the City of Angels and one women’s struggle with being a writer.
Lennie Ross can be found on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads