Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Robin Covington of Romance University, a Top Ten Blog for Writers.
Ollin asked me to write about how I bring romance into my life so that I can write romantically.
I almost fell out of my chair with hysterical laughter. I have a full-time job, a wonderful husband, two active children under the age of ten and a ginormous puppy who likes to steal our underwear.
Romance is not an everyday occurrence in my life.
Most days, I’m lucky to stay awake long enough to meet my daily word count.
But, when I thought about the question a little longer, I remembered the jingle from an old perfume commercial:
“I can bring home the bacon.
Fry it up in a pan.
And, never, ever let him forget he’s a man.
‘Cause I’m a woman!”
Now, when you get past the obvious over-the-top-cheese of the whole thing, the thought behind it rings true. We are all busy and between car pools, strep throat, work deadlines, making dinner, laundry and house-breaking a new puppy, we rarely have time for a quickie with the hubby–forget about actual romance.
But, romance is my business. My trade and passion is for . . . well, passion. So, how do I makes sure that I bring romance to my life so that I can write about it? I have to do it with purpose and with planning and dedication–just like my writing.
The Secret To A More Romance Writing Life
Plan for it
Yep, planning sounds like a bucketful of romance but it is essential. Just like I plan my writing time, I also plan for romance.
Date night happens in our house once a month and it is essential to help us remain connected. Even just a simple dinner of uninterrupted conversation and grown-up food can make the difference in how I view the world. We hold hands, take out time strolling by shop windows, view a movie with a rating above PG-13–all things that make me see the world differently.
When I don’t have my kids vying for attention, I notice other couples, and how they interact romantically. Then, I focus on the Main Man and remember the fun and sexy things about him that get lost in the bustle of soccer games and scout meetings. It isn’t spontaneous, or always convenient, but neither is writing about romance on a schedule. But, once I dive into it–the muse takes over and suddenly romance is in the air.
I think Stephen King said that in order to be a good writer, you must also read. I think it is also true for bringing romance to your life.
I subscribe to Cosmopolitan magazine and I read romance novels by the dozen, and it makes my mind wander to romance and sex. It just happens. It causes me to want to put those feelings on the page and also create a little bit of that magic in my real life.
Always Say Yes
You’ve probably seen the Jim Carrey movie “Yes, Man” where he makes a vow to say yes to everything for a period of time. While the results are often hilarious and sometimes unexpected, his character finds himself trying new and exciting things that make him happy and bring adventure into his life.
It is the same with my writing and my life. When I say yes to that new idea–magic happens on the page. When I try a new writing technique or genre–doors and opportunity open up for me. When I seek out new experiences for myself and the Main Man–magic happens. We learn new things about each other, and create new and fun memories.
I always like to remind myself that our amazing love story all started when I said “yes.”
Find Romance In Everyday Things
You know, when you’re busy, you miss the little things, and it’s not like anyone has time to make the “big gesture” everyday.
So, you have to look for the romance in everyday, routine things.
In my writing, that means that I find something for that couple that becomes romance for them.
In my soon-to-be-released novel, A Night Of Southern Comfort, that “little thing” is a pie at the local diner. It’s a special treat between the two of them, and it becomes romantic. In real life, the same thing applies. The Main Man and I have private jokes and we each try to be kind, loving, helpful, and supportive. You’ve got to look for the little things to show each other that you love each other–even in the middle of all the bustle.
Robin Covington is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, and a guest contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. Her debut novel is A Night of Southern Comfort, coming on June 15, 2012 from the Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook and Twitter.