Have you ever been sitting in class, driving to work, washing your dog, cooking rice, or fixing your toaster, and have the idea…?
But then you dramatically pause, twisting your face in that “Is something fishy burning in the kitchen?” kind of way, and wonder what the heck you’re gonna write about. That’s when you throw the hopeless toaster in the dumpster and start looking for a purpose. Or maybe you start writing about the toaster, but either way you’re thinking of ideas. Your planting seeds hoping to find a purpose in the book you want to write.
I was 16 when my purpose was planted after hearing a quote from a TV show, “Love is what’s left after the passion and the romance dies.” And I heard the married person in the room sadly agree with that statement.
It was like taking a rubber band snap to the heart. I mean, did that happen with everyone? Is that why marriages didn’t work out? Is that why all the relationships I looked up to were falling apart?
Well obviously it works out for some people, so what keeps the spark alive for them? Is it even a spark? People keep talking about it, so what does it feel like? And ladies and gentlemen…that’s when the seed began to take root. But it wasn’t until I was 19 when I saw the sprout. I wasn’t much of a reader, but my roommates were, and one had shoved a novel into my hands and said…
I wasn’t all for the idea…
Convinced, I read the book “Take a Walk with Me” by Marcia Lynn McClure. It was a Christmas themed love story and the lead male character says to the female love interest, “There’s no conflict, Cozy.” – “Sometimes people really do just fall in love and live happily ever after.”
There it was! It was Marcia who had a philosophy, wrote it by telling an incredibly happy story that left me smiling the whole time, and it led me to new questions, theories and a determination to find out more. Obviously relationships get messy, so what happens then? But there I was, 19, with no dating experience whatsoever, so what did I need to learn to start something that lasts forever? Better yet, happily ever after?
And that’s why I read close to 400 romance novels in the last 5 years. No joke. I didn’t get out much for a while. But in truth I wanted ideas; the kind authors and filmmakers put out there because they enjoy true love stories as much as I did. And those stories began to turn my purpose into idea, which then turned into stories of my own.
When I started writing them down, I simultaneously lived my own experiences. And gradually my stories changed as I began to figure out my reality. I found out firsthand what that spark was, but learned a little of what it takes to ignite it into a flame. Books and movies, though created for entertainment, are possible answers to our “what if?” questions. Sometimes it happens quickly, and there isn’t much conflict involved for two people to be together. And sometimes it’s extremely wild and messy. But if it’s worth fighting for, then it’s worth keeping alive. Or finding again if it’s ever lost.
And for all the characters I could personally relate with, it was wonderful knowing there was someone out there who knew my story; who could put words to my feelings. But more importantly, inspire me to look for something great and not settle for anything less. And right away I wanted to do the same for someone else. Everyone deserves to believe the passion and romance lives on and grows stronger with every passing year and battle won.
So until next Sunday with some personal hilarious date stories and what specifically inspired me…
Cheers to you, XO