An old joke ...
A Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, and a rabbi were discussing when life begins.
"Life begins at conception," the priest insisted.
"Life begins at birth," the minister said.
The rabbi pondered the question for a moment and said, "Life begin when the kids move out and the dog dies."
This week's writing prompt asks whether there's life for an author outside of writing. My response is, "Goodness, I certainly hope so."
For an author, writing is essential to, integral to, but not the be-all and end-all of life. It can't be, because our experiences inform our writing. Without writing, we can still have and learn from our experiences; but, without experiences, we have nothing to write about. Without experiences, our writing becomes flatulent and florid, utterly without substance or worth.
So, what does a romance writer know about worth?
Content produced for entertainment does not imply a lack of worth. If that were so, then Hollywood would be bankrupt. English literature teachers wouldn't keep trying to force their students to read Last of the Mohicans or Ulysses. We wouldn't revere William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, or Oscar Wilde as practically godlike in the firmament of English literature.
No, I didn't answer my question. A romance writer knows about worth because romance, as a general rule, focuses on the happiness of women. It's the only genre that consistently and deliberately heralds women as protagonists who act and are not merely acted upon. It's the only genre that upholds women as worthy of being written about.
That's what a romance writer knows about worth.
As for life without writing? I could live like that. I just wouldn't want to.