Tonight is why I write what I do
So our cat, Bird, is seriously ill. But the vet can't figure out with what. He keeps getting dangerously high fevers, and right now he's cuddled up with Sasha and a whole lot of ice. Come morning we're taking him straight to the vet.
But I probably won't sleep because I worry and obsess and can't let things go. I try not to worry, the way I'm advised. I try to stay calm and not let shit get to me, but it does. It eats at me and eats at me until I deal with it, for better or worse.
And it really really eats at me that people think my books (and the books of many authors I love and respect and admire) are less because they don't focus on the queerness of my characters, that I write queer as incidental instead. That my books are less because fluffy is basically a five-letter word in the sacred Land of Writing.
But I write for me, above and beyond all else. I write the stories that I would want to read when I am exactly as I am now: crying, afraid, unable to sleep, half-resigned that in the near future we will no longer have a Bird.
The morning I got mugged, I wrote. The night Pumpernickel died, I wrote. When I'm scared or distressed, I write. On the rare occasion I can't write, I read. Words have always been my greatest comfort, the place where I felt safest.
So I won't tolerate anyone telling me that what I write is wrong because it doesn't meet the standards of people more interested in drawing lines in the sand, setting hard definitions of what's "right" in queer romance, and telling me I'm wrong.
I write the stories I want to read. Fantasy. Worlds where people like me are just people, not Queer People. Just the normal fucking people that we are. Stories where I can trust the end will be happy, and I won't have to be absolutely miserable the whole time. Some of my stories are serious, some are pure fluff and nonsense, and most fall right smack between those two extremes.
But all of them, to my knowledge, have helped somebody get through a day or a night just like this one. And that is all I've ever wanted my stories to do. Not every piece of queer romance has to also serve as queer literature. Nobody asks every other piece of romance (or fiction) to also double as literature. That's what romance can do; it's not what romance has to do.
I write what I do to help change minds. The more something is treated as normal, the more people see it as normal. But mostly I write to help myself. It's an outlet. My cat may survive whatever is making him sick, and god do I hope so.
He may also not survive, and when that happens, I'll likely come home and write something hopelessly light and fluffy and sweet. Because it will help me, and somewhere down the road, maybe it will help someone else.
(and if you wanted to know what's getting me through tonight, I'll give you a hint. The working title is: The Lonely Dragon's Secret Treasure).