Hearing peopled criticize romance novels by describing them as escapism has happened more times than I can count. The thing is, I don’t personally view labeling something as escapism as a negative thing. Sometimes people simply need to escape their lives, to transport their minds to a place where the problems are not their own and they’re guaranteed a happy ending when all is said and done. There is extreme value to mental health in that respect.
Let me give you an example: This past Tuesday, July 4th, I woke up with a slightly blurry left eye. As the day progressed I lost nearly all vision in said eye and at about 3am that night I had my husband take me to the ER. I won’t go into all I went through between that point and Wednesday evening when I was admitted to a different hospital to start treatment for an optical nerve inflammation. Over the course of the next day I received a spinal tap, numerous blood tests, and two MRIs. I still don’t have all the test results back, but along with the inflammation (which MS is suspected to be the cause), a pituitary macroadenoma was also found. Yep, that’s a little growth/tumor on my pituitary gland … in my brain.
I am absolutely terrified.
So what do you think I want to indulge in at the moment? Yes, you are correct. Escapism, specifically romance. Even with basically only one good eye at the moment, you better believe I’ve been hiding in books as much as I can since this has all happened. And when reading has gotten to be too much I’m watching a romance movie or show. It has done wonders to keep me from completely spiraling.
In other words, escapism books are just as valuable as any other form of literature. They simply exist for a different purpose. I know that book snobs will never stop criticizing the romance novel and other forms of book-y escapism, but for those of you out there that need to hear it … it’s not silly or lesser than in any form if it makes a positive difference in your life. Basically, the literary snobs can suck it because their opinion means as little as what they seem to think of escapism books.
So fellow authors, don’t be discouraged, keep writing those amazing books for us readers to escape into, and I will also continue to do my part to contribute to the myriad of options out there.
Okay, I think that’s all I can write at the moment. And I’m sure there are a ton of typos in this because my sad little eye doesn’t have the energy to proofread it in any way. Whatever I typed is how it’s going to be. *sigh* Hopefully my rambling made it’s way to hit the point I wanted to make somewhere along the line, which I’ll reiterate: Romance novels are fantabulous to enjoy and are also good for mental health. Write them, read them, enjoy them without embarrassment or shame.
Until next time … love to all of you!