I’ve said from the beginning that I wanted to write a “chick lit” novel, but then I changed that to “lady lit,” because of the negative connotation of the former phrase. Chick lit, flicks and tv clicks 🙂 are not intellectual enough for the professional crowd, I guess. Nevertheless, I’m unapologetically pursuing a Lady Lit novel because my instincts have always told me that writing something geared toward young women was not only a worthwhile task, but a valuable one. Recently, I’ve been able to articulate why: relationships are spiritual.
Let me explain. Lady lit often focuses on relationships, and is dismissed by many for that reason. However, I argue that that rejection is a grave mistake because women (I really can’t speak for men) experience some of their earliest and most profound periods of growth from their relationships. That growth, I believe, is better described as an individual spiritual journey due to the following:
1. Relationships introduce women to extreme and deep emotions such as ridiculous, drug-like happiness and soul shattering grief.
2. They force women to sincerely look at themselves through another person’s eyes, internalize how they are perceived by others, and face the questions “what aspects of my personality make me who I am?” and “what qualities are holding me back?” and
3. All the compromise and vulnerability required to make relationships work compel women to figure out the things in their lives that are most important.
Does that sound like fluff to you? Or something worth intellectual and artistic exploration?My point is that while dating and stuff can be funny and light, relationships are actually pretty deep. And when a girl is lost and looking for…something—guidance, assistance, sympathy, hope, etc.—I believe that lady lit, chick flicks and all that girl stuff is often the answer. It has been for me in the past, so it must have been for others as well. Thus, if I can tell a story that gives a girl some clarity or makes her feel better about life, I should do it. That’s a big if, true, but it’s worth a try….
P.S. In my “research” for this blog post, I came across an article by my friend and former Crimson colleague Hana about Why Smart Women Like Chick Lit. She makes a different argument, but it’s worth a read!