Does writing romance make you a happier person?
I've been thinking about this question over the past year, in which I've noticed an uptick in my glad-to-be-alive moments. At first I thought my newfound happiness had to do with my daily practice of yoga. Then I thought the beta-blockers I've been taking for my wonky heart have had a positive side effect.
But the third and perhaps most decisive factor has been a switch in my writing gears. I used to write dark, depressing stories of love gone awry that--truth to tell--no one had much interest in publishing. It was bad enough being stuck in those dreary imaginative worlds for three or four hours every morning as I toiled away in my study. Yet after I stepped away from my writing, I couldn't shake the feeling off. I was growing as morose as the women I was writing about.
I needed some happy in my life, and I'm grateful to my agent for suggesting I step outside of my comfort zone--which is women's fiction--and try writing some traditional romance. I soon found that writing toward a happy ending gave me something to smile about. Romance writing is like playing a baseball game knowing that at the end of the ninth inning, you're going to come out the winner--a chance to imagine everything going well for both your characters and yourself.
Here's to sunshine after a long rain!