The Great Experiment: Romance Writing In 365 Days

Lori Osterberg
May 5, 2017 · 3 min read

I’m writing one story on Medium for 365 days straight

Why? Why not?

Because I’m a writer.

A few years ago I ran a photography website. After years of operating a successful wedding photography business, I decided to coach photographers on the business side of things. I blogged every day. I wrote about business strategies for operating a successful studio. I published over a dozen books.

But times change. I changed. So I sold the business and decided to move.

I reinvented my life. My husband and I sold off our home, we got rid of two-thirds of our stuff, and we set out to slow travel the world. To us, that means a few years in one geographical region before we move on. Right now we’re in the Pacific Northwest, extensively touring from Northern California up into British Columbia. We settled into a little place in Portland right on the river.

I’d always dreamed of becoming a successful novelist. So I started writing. And as of today, I have four novels to my name. I love writing romance. I love writing about reinvention. So my novels focus on contemporary romance for women over 40. Because midlife is an amazing time of life. Love and romance don’t end when we reach our 40th birthdays. It’s different. We’re facing many things: career changes, caregiving for our parents, empty nests. But love and passion never fade away.

Part of me loves blogging. I’ve been doing it for over a decade. I was one of the first to sign up for Twitter. The concept of small daily entries thrills me.

So why not write a book in that fashion? Why not, indeed?

Here’s my starting point.

I have two characters loosely defined:

>Hilary Krall, a 52-year-old marketing executive who works for a major outdoor clothing company. She’s divorced. She has a 20-year-old son who’s currently in college.

>Jake Collins is a 48-year-old winemaker for an up and coming winery. He’s divorced. He has two kids, a boy who is 22 and a girl who is 24. They are both finished with college and out on their own.

I will write and post one new “chapter” each day for 365 days. Chapters will be short — I’m shooting for 250 words. But I’m a writer, and I LOVE to write. Will the 250 be stretched on occasion? Yep, pretty sure of it. The first chapter is 274 words.

All chapters will be written from Hilary’s viewpoint. “I” will be Hilary. Her thoughts. Her ideas. Her goals. Her dreams. Her ambitions. Her changes. Her desires.

I’ll add characters, places, concepts, and details with each new day. The purpose is to let Hilary and Jake’s story unfold one day at a time. One tiny look at Hilary’s life as she explores the next year of her life.

Novels may be fiction. But they are based on the writer’s moods, personality, dreams, and experiences. As I change, Hilary and Jake will change too.

I’ll let you know how it’s going along the way. I have no idea what this “experiment” will bring. I’m doing it for fun. I’m doing it to learn and grow as a writer. And I’m doing it to share …

… with you.

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Writing a romance novel in 365 days

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