You know the drill. You’re having a nice conversation over dinner and your companion seems really interested that you’re a writer. He/she is even more impressed that you have finished a novel and are actively trying to publish. And then comes “the” question:
What do you write?
The most recent time I told someone this, he literally laughed in my face. Seriously, sound came out of his mouth as he mocked me.
“Romance? Pssst.” (More laughing)
It was as if I said I take a razor blade to newborn puppies. Even though I’m really proud of what I write, I felt so embarrassed. Let’s face it, having someone laugh in your face is never a feel-good kind of moment, no matter how many glasses of wine you’ve consumed.
Leading up to this joyous encounter I had been doing pretty well with the haters. I’ve joined writing groups lately, which seems to have made a big difference in both my writing and my writing life. But my writing group wasn’t sitting at that table with me while someone laughed at my biggest dream.
And I know all the stats. I know how much money the romance industry generates each year. I know that there couldn’t seriously be anything wrong with a genre of fiction that promotes a happy ending. And I definitely know that this laughing person was a total d-bag.
Still, it hurt.
I remembered all the hours I’ve poured into sitting diligently at my computer. All the rejections letters I’ve received. All of the almost-published stories. The time, the energy, the emotions. And here is someone completely discounting all of it because they are, in essence, ignorant.
But, like so many things in life, I knew what to do. I had some more wine, brushed it off and wrote a blog post about it. 😉 Because seriously, you might want to think before you laugh at someone with the power to write.
So, I ask you fellow romance writers: How do you handle the romance haters of the world?