Saturday, May 10, 2014

Writing Joy: Nan Reinhardt

The great Irish poet/playwright Seamus Heaney once said, “I've always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.” Being Irish myself—nearly 100 percent if family lore is correct—and a writer, I know Heaney’s feeling. My joy is complete when I’m writing. Stories are one of my greatest delights, and nothing makes me happier or more full of joy than sitting down to work on a new story or finishing one that been in the works for a while.


As it happens, I’m also a professional editor and as I work on other writer’s manuscripts, I often wonder if they found as much joy in the writing as I do. I hope so. I’m not a slash-and-burn kind of editor because crazy as it sound, if I over-edit, it feels like stealing an author’s joy. So when I edit, I try to remember the enjoyment I get from writing and how I’d feel if someone took my story apart, ignored my voice, and destroyed my hard work.


Like most writers, I’m always writing, even when I’m not sitting at my computer. I write when I drive, when I grocery shop, when I sort the laundry, when I swim laps at the gym, when I wash dishes or run the vacuum. I confess, I even write when I’m at lunch with friends or at meetings where I’m supposed to be focused on other things. Writers can’t turn off the creative urge, and for me, and probably for most writers, everything, everyone, every place and every event is novel fodder.

But the real joy comes in the actual writing, the tapping of the keys on the laptop or the scratch of pen on paper if I happen to be writing longhand, as sometimes happens. The words form, the characters speak, and as each new scene develops, the pleasure of the creating makes my heart sing. When I finish a book, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment and even a little bit of awe. There’s more than a sense of personal satisfaction, it’s as Seamus Heaney said, a moment of reward and inexpressible joy.

Nan Reinhardt is a writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last 17 years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

But writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!) and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.

Visit Nan’s website at, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly.
Twitter: @NanReinhardt
Talk to Nan at:


  1. I'm with you on the joy. When I procrastinate about the difficulties in writing and "having" to sit down and do it, I think that joy has faded. When I start typing it always reappears as if by magic.
    Love your stories!

    1. Thank you, Roben and thanks for stopping by! Yes, the joy always reappears, even if we're convinced it's gone forever!

  2. I loved your post, and your attitude toward the writers you edit for. Oh, and for anyone else that comes around--those books up there. They're really good!

    1. Liz, you always make me smile! Thanks for coming by and being my best promoter! You're the best, baby!

  3. Cheryl, thanks so much for hosting me today! Enjoyed my time with you!!