I won't pretend it's a hardship to spend every waking moment reading romance novels. That's pretty close to my description of a perfect job, right behind "adult product tester" and "wine quality assurance manager."
But still, it's time consuming. It's also a good reminder of a few things we writers sometimes forget in our dogged pursuit of agents, book contracts, and joyous reviews from readers who had spontaneous orgasms upon opening our latest masterpiece.
Here are a few things I'm hereby commanding myself to remember:
- Amazing books get published every day, some that make me swoon over the quality of prose and storytelling while thinking, "I couldn't ever write like that." That's true, I couldn't. But it's also true no one could ever tell my stories the same way I could. And I couldn't tell your stories the same way you could. The great thing about books is that no two are exactly the same, and thank dawg for that.
- Lousy books get published every day. It's true, and as much as we all like to imagine that only quality material rises to the top, that's not always the case. But this fact neither detracts from nor builds my own experience as a writer. Pointing out examples of lousy writing that gets published just makes us look petty and snobbish.
- Every published novel I pick up to review for this contest has been rejected or ridiculed by someone at some point. Guaranteed. This business is subjective, and just because one agent, editor, or reader doesn't want what you're writing doesn't mean everyone will feel the same.
I leave you with this gem I spotted on Facebook this morning. Amen, Mr. Maraboli. Amen.