I love to write romance. But I also like to read romance. Sometimes it’s entertaining. Sometimes it’s just fun to let myself flow into the world of fiction, falling in love with the characters I read about, feeling their feelings, rejoicing in their commitment to love. There is a precious appreciation of that moment when all is right with the world, and the future shines bright.
Real life is not always like that. Today is one of those days. I’m going through a deep grief thing, and as we learn to accept in life, it is what it is. I've been in a lot of pain.
I’m well aware that grief is real, and full of stages, and takes time to process and get through. I’m also aware that when it’s raging, it is exhausting, and painful, and makes even the most normal daily activities and responsibilities seem almost impossible. And here I am.
So what helps? I don’t seem to be able to work on my current manuscript this week. But I know the words will return, so I’m letting it go for now.
I’m staying in “gratitude”, mindfully remembering how many things are beautiful and happy and positive in the world, even though there is the pain of loss in my heart.
But I’m also giving myself a break from “reality”. I am reading. I’m so grateful for the bevy of writers who pen the warm and inspiring stories of love and joy. My reading is a break for me, an escape from those current overwhelming emotions, a focus on something other than my own pain. It's working.
Those fictional characters face challenges, climb over hurdle, heal from past loss. But they have hope. I can cheer for them, and realize that real life is thorny too.
I come back to the “real world”, and face my feelings again, and do the “next right thing.” It will get better, I know. It takes time. The sun will shine again. But for now, I’m sure grateful for this magical world of fiction that is helping me through. Thank you, my friends! Keep writing!
How about you? Does reading romance help you sometimes deal with life’s trials? I’d love to hear about the hope.
Christine Bush is the award winning author of many books and novellas of sweet romance and romantic suspense. She also writes Middle Grade Fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working with clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or teaching Psychology at a local college. She lives with her family and two crazy cats in northeastern Pennsylvania, and loves to hear from readers and aspiring writers.
Her now romantic suspense, “Almost Anonymous” can be found at