Thursday, August 22, 2013

Writers are heroes too, you know

Ignore those who claim that a writer's journey isn't for the faint of heart. Believe me, it's an adventure the likes of which Alice or Frodo have never seen.

While you're at it, balk at those who try to tell you that being a writer doesn't amount to much. With your head high and your voice strong, tell them that the writer is somewhat of a superhero.

Have them think about any hero with any super power, any one at all, and I'll show you the writer has it too, without a doubt.

"Super strength," they might say. Well, yes, writers need it to balance all those characters, do they not?

"Surely a writer can't read minds," they might retort. Why, yes they can! How else do writers know what's happening in their characters' heads?

"Super speed?" Please! Have you seen a writer's fingers burst across a keyboard?

"Okay, okay," they'll likely say, "but if writers are superheroes, they've got to have supervillains!"

That's when you'll pause, furrow your brow, and speak real low, making sure they know the severity of what you're about to say.

"Think of the worst villains you can, the most evil, dastardly ones there are. Think of Voldemort. Think of Smaug. Think of the Wicked Witch and the Red Queen. Now put them all together. That thing... that most hideous, most vile, most sinister thing standing before you... is like a rolly-poly little puppy compared to the foe that the writer faces. You see, the writer's villain is in his or her own head."

That's right. Those sad saps are sorely mistaken if they think a writer sees no adventure. Sure, they begin their journey at home, safe and sound. But faster than the blink of an eye, writers are wading through the thick, mucky swamp of ideas inside their brain. They must watch out for leeches and crocodiles disguised as bad ideas. If the writer successfully fishes out a good one, and climbs out of the muck, it's off to Mount Doom where only then the treacherous path of crafting the story begins.

Slowly and steadily the writer must climb, one foot at a time. One misstep and the mind will send the writer hurling off a cliff, down, down, down into the deepest canyon one can imagine.

This is the dreaded writer's block.

Only blackness awaits the writer there. Blackness and misery with no end in sight. But skilled writers have strong powers, and with hard work and focus, the writer can emerge from that abyss and continue up the mountain.

Let me tell you, the top of that mountain is glorious. The writers stands there tall in his or her heroic stance, proudly taking it all in.

Aching? Yes.

Tired? Most definitely.

Satisfied with a job well done? You better believe it. A finished story is the most satisfying thing there is.

And so, the journey ends.

The writer hangs up his or her cape.

The mind is put to rest.

Until they meet again... the next day.


  1. Loooooved this, Ryan. SO GOOD.

  2. Creative. Fun. Smart.

    Well played.

  3. Very creative and astute. I've been writing all.og my life for pleasure and both of my children are creative writers themselves. My interest was piqued at a young age when my Mother always read to me and told me that books could be my friend. I was hooked and I passed the tradition on to my children. My mom's passed on, but everytime I put pen to paper, she's with me. Thanks Mom