Giving Up On Romance?

*Heavy sigh* Recently, (as I’m working, teaching as a volunteer, dealing with life in general, writing fan fiction and crit fiction, and continuing to attempt to finish novels like Oracle) I read about five romance stories available on Amazon for my Kindle. All of them were by white writers and half of them were historical romances. At the behest of my friend, I also started reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. But for right now I want to talk about the romances I read.

I’m glad I didn’t pay for four of them. The fact that four of them were offered for free has no reflection on their quality. The fault lies in the genre of romance and the publishing market itself.

Romance, as much as I love it, appears to be a pitiful genre. A pitiful genre fluffed with toxic disappointments and ignorant white fantasies. I mean, J.R. Ward pretty much destroyed my desire to read anything for almost ten years. That’s not an exaggeration. I literally never wanted to pick up another book again, especially not a romance. It wasn’t just because of what Ward chooses to write in her books (and what she actively chooses to exclude), its because I lost all faith her as a writer because of things she posted on her blog and her cloud of brainwashed flunky readers backing up her every word. I lost faith in all authors at that point. Even myself.

With the extreme deficit of general love in my life, I’m not sure my brain is wired to want literature devoid of that sweet pulsing vein of erotic, romantic passion. As long as writers are pandering to a specific pattern, a marketable trend, romance can never be what I need it to be. And I’ll never be satisfied with the way things are.

Faced with an impossible choice: Ween myself off romance and find something more fulfilling? Or have faith that underneath all the crap there’s a few shining jewels of romantic literature worth the time its taking to find them?

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mind trap, heart trap

Not exactly having led a charmed life and with a severely limited support network, I often find my thoughts occupied by worries and replays of humiliating, angering, and painful experiences.

Usually, these thoughts and feelings are triggered by a poke from messed up things that are happening in the now. It’s hard to break free of that pain and agitation because one bad thing that happens now is only another thing in a long line of related trials long-since passed. It gives the suffering a sense of endlessness with nothing adequate enough to balance it out.

Every second that I spend hurt and confused by the past, I feel it takes away chunks of time in which I could be writing. I try not to blame myself for the way I feel, disparage my own beliefs, or for the things that have happened to me, but I want to break this cycle. Without help, I wonder if it’s possible.

Progress

I have made some surprising progress with Path of the Righteous, my novel set to be released by the end of Spring.

I’m not much of an editor but looking at the story myself instead of getting someone else and waiting for them to do it for me has really brought me to appreciate my work instead of look down on it.

This book has been around since I started writing it in college, in 2008 I think. As I edit, I see why this book came to me and why I wanted to write this story in the first place.

I’m over halfway through the book and I’m excited to finish editing.