Romance author Heidi Hutchinson grew up around a family of storytellers and wordsmiths. She began writing in her genre at a young age, hiding short skits of her in various places to keep them a little secret from her. She writes contemporary romance that deviates from the stereotypical genre you’d find in your local bookstore.
“I like to include my favorite thing when I write a novel,” Hutchinson said. Nerds, tough women, goofy boys, feelings, redemption, friendship, and kissing are all common themes that Hutchinson aligns with.
How Hutchinson is disrupting the literacy industry
Because she dislikes writing in the “normal” romance format, Hutchinson had difficulty perfecting the writing for a market. “I tend to take things from my life and the people I love and write about it,” she said. “Sometimes that works for me, and other times it doesn’t.” When his story resonates with his writers, that’s when he knows he’s right where he’s supposed to be. Once, she received an encouraging email from a reader who told her that her writing changed her perspective on a thought they hadn’t been able to understand for a long time.
Hutchinson’s Tips for Aspiring Writers
Hutchinson follows five tips that she says help budding writers. First of all, she wants everyone who wants to write to be brave. “It’s okay to be afraid to try. But be afraid and try it anyway. Write messy, write often. The more you write, the better you’ll get without even realizing it. Just keep writing,” she said.
It also states that each individual’s voice is special and unique just the way it is, so they should ignore the “gatekeepers” and “rule makers”. It’s okay to be dumb, soft, dark, or even crazy. Budding writers are tasked with writing the stories that are on their minds. However, the truth is that no one else will write them for them.
Writers must trust the process. Hutchinson believes that “there are plenty of well-intentioned advisors who will tell you ‘this is how you do it.’ You have to figure out your process. There is no “right way” to write a book. “Every accomplished writer has had their process and starts to grow and shape what works for them. Some plan and plot ahead, while others jump in blindly and find a story along the way. Anything that makes your words flow freely and honestly on the page is what a budding writer should do.
When you want to quit, move on. All writers have struggled and wanted to lay down their pen, and only the best have overcome the slow spots, doubts, and naysayers. Writing is a process and it comes in ebbs and flows. “One day, you’re the god of manuscript, and the next day you’re an outsider who can’t remember the word,” said Hutchinson, who has expressed this same phenomenon recently.
Lastly, Hutchinson suggests reading the bad reviews. She acknowledges that this advice is rare, but when you feel like the worst writer in the history of the world, go to the reviews of your favorite books. The ones that have moved and inspired you also have bad reviews. This helps writers put things in perspective. “People have always seen and will always see things differently. But your book could be someone else’s favorite,” she said.
Hutchinson hopes to be able to write until she physically can’t anymore. The industry is constantly changing and changes as society grows, but she recognizes that it moves and grows with her. She hopes to continue writing and inspiring budding writers for as long as she can.
Author: Carly Orris is a freelance writer and publisher based in New York. Her writing focuses on female empowerment, travel, entertainment, and lifestyle. Find her on Instagram at @carlyorris