When I was in high school, my favorite teacher pulled me aside after English class one day to give me some advice about a writing project we were working on. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned that it was clear to him that I was a romantic. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what that had to do with anything since the project was a research paper.
That comment has stuck with me all these years and I mull it over now and then. For quite a long time, I had trouble reconciling the idea I had of a flighty, head-in-the-clouds romantic with the more serious, realistic person I saw myself as. It was almost embarrassing to think others saw that much of a starry-eyed dreamer in me.
But what’s so bad about that, anyway? The label has grown on me with time. To the point that I don’t even flinch a little when I tell people I write inspirational romance. Now, I’ve read romance for many years, since I was quite young. I’d pick up a Janette Oke novel my mom had just finished and get hooked. But I always felt like there was a bit of a stigma around the genre. Like it wasn’t serious enough to be real literature.
Since I started writing, it’s crossed my mind many times that maybe I should write about more serious topics. Even compared to others within the romance genre, I write light stories. Sweet books. Easy-to-read. And honestly, that’s the type of books I like to read, too. Does the lightness make them less valid than deeper books that delve into the hard parts of life?
I don’t think so. I believe that God gives writers different focuses for a reason. Many writers, in romance and other genres, handle heavy issues beautifully, touching hearts and healing wounds. But there are others who handle life’s problems with humor or sweetness. Are any of those better than the others? Nope.
Just like God created people to perform different functions within the church and likened it to the human body working together, I believe He made different writers to perform different functions. Together, we make up a whole, a spectrum of writers all writing the multitude of words God gives them. Between us, we can touch hearts with serious words or funny ones, deep words or light-hearted ones. No one way is better because each reader will respond to something different.
So, write what you feel led to write. The words that God gives you will find their mark in His timing. Isn’t that a wonderfully freeing thought?
Abbey Downey never expected her love for writing to turn into a career, but she’s thankful for the chance to write inspirational romance as Mollie Campbell. A life-long Midwestern girl, Abbey lives in Central Indiana, where her family has roots back to the 1840s. She couldn’t be happier spending her days putting words on paper and hanging out with her husband, two kids, and a rather enthusiastic beagle.
You can check out Abbey's books at www.molliecampbell.com