Shine Theory

So I may have mentioned a few weeks ago that I love the Olympics.  They can be examples of some of the most beautiful human moments – and not just the victories.  From the two runners who became iconic for helping one another across the finish line to the swimmer who gushed excitedly (in Chinese) after missing out on the medals because she’d just gotten a personal best to the teenage American hurdler who said with extreme poise when she missed out on the finals that this was just the end of her season, not the end of her career.   Our greatest strength of character is often revealed when we are tested with failures rather than greeted with victory.

Writers have to have a lot of that kind of strength of character.  We deal with a lot of rejection.

I wrote a few weeks ago here about how writing is like the Olympics, but that was before I saw this article in New York magazine about “Shine Theory” and the Olympic athletes and I realized that the Romance Writing Community is a perfect example of that powerful and positive theory.

Now I think Shine Theory may be something made up by this journalist and her friends because I’ve found no independent scientific reference to it in my searching of The Google, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome.  The basis for it seems to be the idea that “I don’t shine if you don’t shine” wherein women (and I’m gonna add men and just say people, cuz I like inclusiveness) support one another and invest in one another’s success.

In romance, I’ve often heard the phrase “A rising tide raises all ships.”  We all want more romance readers.  And we all know that romance readers are voracious.  I’ve never met anyone who read an amazing romance and said, “That’s it.  I’m done. No more reading.”  Nope.  Readers want MORE when they find books they love.  More from that author and then more like that author and then more in general.  We’re addicted to that sigh-worthy feeling at the end of a great book – and we want to pass that feeling along.  And so romance has always been, in my humble opinion, one of the most supportive industries we can be a part of. 

Yes, we all have to deal with rejection, but we have teams of fellow writers – like the Rubies, RWA Chapters, and critique groups – to bolster us up and keep us going.  To keep encouraging us to put good work into the world.  To remind us never to give up – even if we’ve fallen down on the track and twisted our knees.

There is an incredible camaraderie in romance writing, and I always feel privileged to be part of a community where the instinct is to band together and give one another a boost.

I was watching the women’s high jump last week (because my oldest nephew is a high jumper and I have become rather passionate about the sport) and I saw another moment that stuck with me.  The youngest member of the US team failed to clear the bar on her final attempt and another competitor from her team who was still in the competition, a four-time Olympian who had never won any medals, took time away from her own jump preparation to go hug the young athlete and bolster her up after her elimination.  Later, that same four-time Olympian lost to another high jumper she’d been competing against for over a decade – and they hugged.  She put aside her own disappointment and was happy for her friend and competitor for finally taking home the gold, the dream they had both been chasing.  It was a moment of incredible grace.  A Shine moment.

Let’s shine together.

Have you seen moments like that in life, sports, or writing?

RED HOT READS – Fan Girl Friday Edition

Hola, Rubies and Ruby friends – TGIF! Am I right? It’s been a loooooong week in the Talley family hacienda and I need a few things this weekend – a margarita, a morning in my PJs and, of course, a good book. I just finished up Colleen Hoover’s latest (as mentioned last week) and it […]

Announcing the 2016 September Hour-a-Day Challenge!!!

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HOT Reads Edition of Fan Girl Friday

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How Writing is Like the Olympics

I love the Olympics.  It isn’t just watching the greatest of each sport do what they do (though that’s definitely fun too) – it’s seeing the athletes who don’t necessarily expect to come home with the gold (or even the bronze, or even necessarily make it to the finals) put everything they have into an […]

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Fangirl Friday!

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Who Are the Nice Girls Writing Naughty?

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Last week, you may have heard it was the Romance Writers of America annual conference in San Diego.  Two thousand writers converged on the Marina Marriott Marquis and discussed all things romance (sometimes while lingering by the gorgeous pool and getting sunburned over mojitos).  The workshops were informative, “imposter syndrome” became the catch-phrase of the […]

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RWA Nationals Recap – fangirl moments

We’re back from RWA Nationals in San Diego. As always, it was a wonderful, exhausting, inspiring place to be! I’d like to recap some of my favorite things about the conference. But there is too much to say in one post. So we’ll be making several posts–about workshops, keynotes, “data”, and–first up–fangirl moments.  If you […]


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We’re at Nationals!!!

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Getting to Know Your Characters Through Audio

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Hey y’all, I’ve taken over Fangirl Friday for the month of July! Now most of you know that I’m a little different (my mom says I was born this way) so I thought I’d change up FGF. We’ll get to the books on sale and new releases, but first, I’d like to know what you’re […]

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Meet 2016 Golden Heart Finalist T.L. Sumner!

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