Writing romance novels

Writing for entertainment

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.

Elizabeth Gilbert

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 authors write

Why do you create?

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11 thoughts on “Writing for entertainment

  1. Writing for fun is great! Life doesn’t have to always be so serious. It’s important to communicate important things, but if I only wrote serious things it would put a massive damper on my creativity.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t be able to only read and write serious, important things because it would simply feel too heavy. Sometimes we just want an escape and to read, write, create, draw, dance…whatever…for fun only 🙂

  2. So many of us are use to justifying our creativity or why we should start being creative in the first place, that we criticize those who, Just Do It.

    When I create with my children, I get no flack – “oh how loverly,” they say. “you are supporting their imaginations,” they comment. But when adults create, it is not always immediately embraced. If we choose it as a career — oh darn, the is pink…

    1. It’s true and people often approach with judgement instead of curiosity. First they scoff at you, then when you find success, they ask how you did it, lol. Children have such freedom with their creativity and playfulness until society starts to stifle them in what is acceptable. Adults need to embrace their childlike qualities and create like no one is watching 🙂

      Thank you for reading!!

  3. I read whodunnits. Having read, and often re-read, everything from Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, P.D. James, and more, my wife and I discovered cozy mysteries. Lighter and easier to read, they are great entertainment. We have found some very good, emerging authors.

    1. At a recent writing conference, I did a class on “cozy mysteries,” which I had no idea existed until I saw the agenda.

      There is some incredible genre fiction out there and so many books on my “to be read” list that I fear I will never catch up, lol.

      I’m careful not to read romance when I’m writing it because I don’t want to be inadvertently influenced, so I stick to my health books or Stephen King, James Patterson and Ken Follet 🙂

  4. Reading, as well as writing, is multi-faceted for me. I read to learn, explore new worlds, and escape from reality. Writing helps me learn, grow, reach, stretch, explore new worlds, and also escape from reality. I don’t understand why people feel the need to be so critical!

    1. I am addicted to reading health resources so I can keep up to date on the latest research. There are definitely times I set aside to “read serious books so I can learn and grow.” But I also love to read genre fiction and get caught up in a story with characters I can root for (or hate, lol).

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