I’ve been criticized for “wasting my talent” by writing for entertainment. When people learn I write contemporary romance, the criticism gets harsher. Why would I want to write that when I could be writing the next To Kill a Mockingbird? One of my friends even asked me when I would give up romance and write a real book. But guess what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing for entertainment (and romances are real books).
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic she argues that art doesn’t have to be meaningful or unique. That’s a hard pill to swallow for creatives who are known for inflating the importance of their work to epic proportions. However, art is still worthwhile even if it’s not painted on cathedral ceilings or preserved in a museum.
Writing for entertainment
The romance industry makes $1.08 billion dollars a year, which is the same as the mystery and science fiction/fantasy genres combined. Undeniably, romance is a big business, but it’s also a very saturated market, especially with the rise of self-publishing. Competition is fierce and it’s not for the faint of heart.
Romance readers are voracious and read more books in a month than most people read in a year, so there is room for newbies like me. People read for all kinds of reasons and they aren’t always looking to analyse Shakespeare.
I’ve used reading as a break from real life when I needed to escape into another world. I did this for serious reasons, such as when my dad was sick, and for less serious reasons, such as needing a break from laundry.
Everyone has the right to be creative and it doesn’t matter what we’re creating, who consumes it, or why they chose to. Go forth and be creative and forget about all the noise. Let the critics make their own things instead of worrying about yours.
Why do you create?
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