I starting thinking about the things that people call their guilty pleasures. So many women I know call romance books their 'guilty pleasure' like it's something to be ashamed of for liking. With Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels becoming such smash hits, we've been seeing a few people becoming a little more proud of their interest in the genre, but they still get this guilty smile as they say it.
I started reading the quasi-romance books that most teen girls read, starting with V.C. Andrews of course. The passion in those books, despite their teen audience, was hot and heavy and I couldn't get enough. I read through the Casteel series (my favorite), the Cutler series, and all the other family saga books. While they weren't officially labeled as romance, all us fourteen year old girls knew the truth. Those books are hot.
As I got older, my tastes broadened like any good reader. I started reading Catherine Feehan, Julie Garwood, and whatever else my small town library had on hand at the time. I had begun writing in my teens as a serious hobby, but I never allowed myself to consider writing romance. It was still considered a guilty pleasure and nothing more.
But as the old cliche goes, you should write what you know. I think writers at heart are all daydreamers, and my daydreams weren't about the things I was writing. Adventure, spy thrillers, horror, I tried my hand at everything, but my mind kept going to romance. Romantic stories are practically all I daydream about because to me they are a great escape from the realities of life.
Finally I gave in and sat down to write something with a bit of romance. I started and didn't stop. I started new stories and the best part is I didn't feel like I was working. I was having fun writing. It had never felt so fun. Writing romance has been fun rather than a chore, and I must say it's really helped my overall disposition. I'm happiest right after I've written a chapter that I henjoyed writing.
I don't feel so guilty about my guilty pleasure anymore. There are a lot worse things to feel guilty about than reading or writing! I, for one, think my guiltiest pleasure is certain reality TV programing. Big Brother Canada, anyone?