Villa in Tuscany

Monday, May 08, 2006

Women, Resilience and Romance

Today the L.A. Times had an interesting article about women and their natural resilience to adversity. Biologically and psychologically, women were far more capable of surviving difficult times than men. Women have a naturally more dependable in crisis situations than men. Not in a "let me solve the problem" way but rather as able to adjust to a bad set of circumstances and another route for survival. They find more to live for in their lives than men. They are more apt to create social networks to get them through the tough times.

While the article in and of itself is fascinating, it is also interesting when applied to the romance genre both for readers and writers. As readers, I think women are attracted to stories where they see women face tragedy or adversity and triumph. They have a natural desire to read such stories because, in lesser or more ways, it mirrors their lives. Not many of us go through what a romance heroine goes through, but we do go through day to day crisis which affect us in much the same way. We also look for the happy ending. We believe in happy endings, it is in our nature. The world needs us to provide the optimism in order for it to keep turning.

I've often heard the comment about how supportive romance writers are of each other. The wealth of networking is amazing for the genre. Whether you are a member of RWA or not, you will find a place where you can find like-minded writers who are willing to support you and offer assistance whenever needed. We are quick to take the success of one writer and celebrate it rather than lament our own lack of success. Romance writers have a built in cheerleading section. It is our nature to press our friends and writing buddies to finish their stories or work out that conflict. Quite often our writing needs to be nurtured. Generally, we have to look no further than the Internet or our friends for caring advice. We care passionately about our writing and our writing friends, feeling the flush of excitement when the get "the Call."

I think it a unique situation and one we should appreciate. It is another positive approach to romance and another reason we should be proud of our genre.