No, not really.
Well, kind of yes really.
Clearly, my relationship with romance is best filed under “it’s complicated.”
You see, I write romance, and even when I’m not officially writing romance, I’m writing stuff with romantic elements because I believe romance is a part of life and to ignore it in fiction is wrong. (That doesn’t mean it has to be the main characters, but someone should be getting their Cupid on.)
But at this time of year…I just don’t want to. I have some really crappy history with the month of February. See, two years ago, just after Valentine’s Day, I found myself on a chair lift with my sister. I was crying and telling her that I was pretty sure my marriage was over. Not so long after that, my now ex-husband confirmed it.
So, while most people are either planning their Valentine’s dates or their anti-Valentine’s nights in/out, I tend to watch movies with a lot of explosions and dismembered bodies. The funny thing is, I don’t even mourn the loss of my marriage. It was for the best, I’m in a much better place mentally and emotionally. It’s all good. But I mourn the things my marriage ruined for me…including Valentine’s Day.
That means this is very much not the time for me to write romance. Honestly, I don’t want to write it, read it, look at it, hear it, smell it….anything it. For the month of February…I hate romance.
And, even as a romance author, that’s okay.
When this happened last year, I fought against it. Hell, I railed against it. I was all about trying to have the best, most awesome Valentine’s EVER (never mind that other life stuff was going on that had me and everyone around me sad.)
That was the dumbest thing I ever did. Because it meant I was trying to write through not only the sadness but also panic. It didn’t work. I scrapped almost every word I wrote in February because they sucked ass. I knew I wasn’t feeling the romance, but I tried to force my way through it anyway because I’m stubborn.
Don’t be me. If there is a time of year or a time of day when you know you won’t be able to write what you’re working on–accept it. Now, I’m not saying don’t write anything, or scrap the project, or put it off forever. I’m simply saying that there is a time for everything, and if February is your time for explosions and dismembered bodies, it’s totally okay to use February for that and to get back to falling in love in March.
Every author is different. We each have our own unique strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. Know yours and work with them to make the most effective use of your time and energy.
Do you…nobody else can.