Monday, February 17, 2014

Writer's Guilt

It's official. Two weeks ago, I finished my last shift at the day job, and I'm now a full-time writer.

There's just one little problem... My brain doesn't want to write. It wants to read. This could be a good thing because I have nine RITA books sitting around the house, needing to be judged, but there's a guilty little part of me that says I should be doing more, writing more, more words, more, more, MORE...

And I've realised that my expectations of myself have probably been set a little high the last few months.

It started in November. You may know this month as NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It's the first time I've succeeded in completing the challenge and since the start of November, I basically wrote the last book in my London Steampunk series, Of Silk and Steam, in six weeks. I've also finished a short story, edits, most of a novella and half of a secret project I've been dabbling with, amongst the merry chaos that is Christmas, New Year's and the Beta Hero having some time off work and hence wanting me all to himself.

So now, all I have to do is finish a little section in Of Silk and Steam that wouldn't work at the time. And my brain doesn't want to. It's had enough. It refuses to co-operate.

It seems to be a common occurrence in my writing cycles. Growing up, I lived with my nose in a book. Then when I started writing more frequently, it gradually swung to the other end of the scales. Now that I'm a published author, reading is a guilty pleasure. I never had enough time for it whilst I was working both my day job and writing in my 'spare time' (AKA getting up at 5am in order to get the word count in). Granted, there's always a book in my handbag for lunch breaks or long waits at appointments. But every now and then I go through what I refer to as my 'Reading Phase.'

My TBR pile... It calls to me...

I think it's safe to say that I've been burning the candle a little bit, and this doesn't help creatively. The hardest thing to do is let myself take time away from the writing and refill the creative well with some good books.

I can practically guarantee that I'll be halfway through a book on something completely unrelated and all of a sudden my brain will unlock and that missing section of the manuscript will unload itself straight into my head. But it will take its own sweet time. Obviously it needs to percolate a little more.

So I guess I'll just tell myself that I'm allowed to read. And stop feeling guilty about the low word count at the moment.

My currently reading pile... Yes, I know. I'm a spine-breaker. 

So in hopes of rejigging my creative knot, anyone have any good recommendations for me? I'm just hanging out for a good steamy romance.


Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.



He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her? 

It’s his duty to turn her in—she’s a notorious spy and traitor. But after one stolen moment, he can’t forget the feel of her in his arms, the taste of her, or the sharp sting of betrayal as she slipped off into the night. Little does Mercury know, no one hunts better than the Nighthawk. And his greatest revenge will be to leave her begging for his touch…

To purchase My Lady Quicksilver


  1. Bec as one of my very favorite authors I can joyfully recommend Sara Humphreys' TALL DARK AND VAMPIRE! I just finished it last night and I didn't want it to end. It was fun, suspenceful, surprising and full of sci-fy & superhero & James Bond movie omages. I had a blast - you'll love it ;-)

    1. Combination of sci-fi and superheroes? Sold! Going off to check it out now, thanks so much.

  2. Check out Archetype by MD Waters, it's not exactly romance, but there are steamy bits to it and it's a fab dystopian sci-fi.

    Also, great contemporary romance series - Knitting in the City by Penny Reid are very fun! :-)

    1. Wow, Archetype looks really interesting. Not sure who the hero looks like! Thanks!

  3. This is the second time I'm trying this! In your genre of writing Jillian Stone and Zoe Archer are good for love scenes. Jillian is in the process of writing an erotica book. Samantha Young does contemporary writing all taking place in Scotland. And then there is another favorite of mine, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her books dark with lots of love making going on. Her book are of the paranormal kind. Greek Gods walking the earth among us now. people who are were-animals mixing in with society... Beth Blumenfeld

  4. Thanks Beth! I adore Zoe Archer and i've read a couple by Jillian. Will be interesting to see what she's doing in re: to erotica.