Since the Quirkies shared books they felt were the most romantic, I started wondering about what we mean by the term romantic. Turning to dictionary.com, the first entry that popped off the page at me listed romantic as meaning fanciful, impractical and unrealistic. And while falling in love is frequently all of those things, the definition itself mentioned nothing about love or relationships or expression of passion and affection. The next down the list referenced romantic as meaning imbued with or dominated by idealism. Again, the "love" word was absent. Not until the third definition down did we get hit with the big "L." There were six entries in total and only two explicitly mentioned love. The final definition listed romantic as meaning imaginary, fictitious or fabulous.
It struck me, after reading this, that it was not so much the passionate, sweet or sensual love stories we keep forever etched into our minds that embody the Valentines holiday. Instead, it is our work as writers itself. Being a writer of fiction is a romantic venture, whether you actually write romance or not. The effort can be called fanciful, impractical(because really, writing does not make anyone wealthy unless they're JK Rowling and a few other exceptions), unrealistic, and dominated by idealism. In it we launch ourselves into an act of creating the imaginary, fictitious or fabulous. And mostly, we do it because we love it. Okay, so there's that "L" word again.
To celebrate Valentines Day in my household, I'm going to sit down and write more of my manuscript. Maybe not the way one usually envisions spending this holiday, but I already got the flowers from my husband, so I'm all set.
Happy Valentines Day!