The Armor We Need – A Struggling Author’s Insights

There are as many writers in the world as there are stars in the heavens. A great number of them will crash and burn, falling stars that give up their dreams for any number of reasons. It’s a sad state of affairs when these potential writers give up simply because they can’t seem to grasp that they may never be the next Stephen King, Anne Rice, or Neil Gaiman. Success does not come without effort and it sure in the hell does not come over night.

Some writers start out with stars in their eyes and dreams of becoming the next Stephanie Meyer who Hollywood and the World eat up with a spoon. I’m not saying dreaming is a bad thing—it’s not. The dream is what keeps us going when it seems our hope is crumbling to dust around our ears. It inspired us to take that risk, but although it inspires the reality is that being a writer, much less a successful writer, is not an easy road. From the outside, it may seem it all slides into place with the ease of two Legos snapping together, but it is far closer to being a 500 piece, jigsaw puzzle, composed of nothing but blue sky and green leaves.

Any author worth their salt will tell you that to succeed at your craft you have to sell yourself. If you have no idea who you are, that’s impossible. I myself am still trying to discover how to put those 500 pieces of green and blue together and create a cohesive picture of myself. For some it comes easier and for others it is more difficult for any number of reasons. In my case I’m fascinated by so many things, it’s difficult to narrow it down. I had a boss once who nick named me Sponge—yes Sponge. His reasoning? He claimed he could hand me anything to do, whether I had a clue or not about it, and by the end of the day I would be an expert. Now I wouldn’t go that far, but he had a point.

I’m a stubborn woman who if it were not for my hard head wouldn’t have lived to see thirty much less the forty-one that I just celebrated in February. That brings me to a major point that I would love to share with all the other newbie writers out there—armor.

Yes, you heard that right I did say armor.

Insecurity is always with us from the moment we take our first wobbly step to the moment we walk into that first high school class and realize that if we don’t wear the right brand of sneakers we are considered the low man on the totem. All humans want to fit to belong—it’s in our nature. Standing on the outside looking in, let’s be frank here, sucks with a capital S-U-C-K-S. That old survival of the fittest line isn’t just a line. It holds an incredible truth that is an ingrained part of every human being. We all have the ability to succeed but the bitter truth is we cannot, if we wish to succeed, fall into that ditch of despair and just lay there waiting for the mythical knight on the white horse to rescue us.

We need to snatch a suit of armor and a weapon, fight our way to the top of the mountain and hope we don’t slip and fall face first in a patch of fresh manure. Even if we slip though we need to push ourselves back up, swipe the shit out of our eyes and march on. We all slip once in awhile and trust me folks my armor is so damn dented and rusted it isn’t funny, but I’m still out there fighting my way up to the top of that impossible mountain. Just because another warrior elbowed you in the ribs, gave you a bruise the size of Texas, then thumbed their nose at you doesn’t mean it’s over.

Pull out that can of WD-40, lube up those rusty joints, and sharpen that sword. Just because you lost the battle, doesn’t mean that you lost the war.

Rock On & Blessed Be!!

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6 comments on “The Armor We Need – A Struggling Author’s Insights

  1. Armor, yes, and sometimes just another concept of what “success” means. If a writer can’t feel he/she is successful until a book is on the NYTimes bestseller list, or there’s xxxx dollars in the bank, it’s a sure path to disappointment for all but a rare few. If you can read your story or novel when it’s done, and say, “Hey, that’s pretty good,” that too is a kind of success, and maybe a more meaningful one. And if you get it published, and somebody else writes to say (oh, joyous day, no matter how many of these you get): “Hey, that’s pretty good,” you have definitely made it. Forget Stephen King. He writes Stephen King books. He would most likely suck writing Your Books. You’re the only one who can do that.

    Victor J. Banis

    • Thank you so much for getting what I was trying to say. I’m personally a writer because that’s who I am. Yes, it would be nice to have the kind of success that Mr. King has, but for me that is just the icing on the cupcake so to speak. I love what I do. I loved it before I was published. I still love it. I will be a writer no matter what until the day I pass from this world into the next. Nothing anyone says or does will change that. 🙂

      Blessed Be!

    • Thank you, sweetie. 🙂

      It just demanded to be written. There was a great deal of crap swirling around in my brain and I figured if it didn’t get out there was no hope for my real writing. Stupid muses are still being a pain in my arse. lol

      Blessed Be!

    • I learned a long time ago that I needed mine to be really bloody tough over my heart and I also needed a really good helmet ala Darth Vader. *grins*

      If I’d allowed every person over the years that told me I sucked and needed to just give up, no matter on what, I wouldn’t be standing here now. Early on when I was writing fan-fiction I had a few folks that were less than nice about my first writing. I actually had one person who kept telling me I needed a beta reader because they didn’t understand the concept of “crack fic”. After I had declined numerous times said person took it upon themselves to prove their point. I received an e-mail, my story attached, and they had marked it up with red and basically shredded it to bits without permission. I was just dumb struck. My reaction was to send a very polite e-mail back telling the person that had I wanted a beta reader I would have one. I also told them that to “edit” my work without permission “just because” was rude to say the least. Let’s just say I never had a problem with that person again.

      Had I been a less stubborn and armored individual I might have vanished from the internet and writing all together. I did neither and years later here I am, a published writer, and still struggling up that formidable mountain. I’ve found over the years that people say and do a great number of things that they either don’t mean in the heat of the moment or for other various reasons ranging from the personal to the absurb. It doesn’t matter though. We’re all just trying to survive and I’ve chosen to recall that little saying from childhood “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

      Blessed Be 🙂

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