The Wussiness and Bad-Assery of Writing

Currently, I’m a nobody when it comes to writing.

No one knows my name. No one quotes my phrases (not that I have any). No one cares what I have to say.

(Well, generally speaking, at least. I’m pretty sure my mom knows my name.)

I have a heightened awareness of my insignificance.

Anyone who wants to be a writer for fame definitely picked the wrong vocation.

Luckily/Unluckily for me, I want to be a writer because it’s what I love to do. I love picking words from a vast collection and stringing them together into meaningful sentences. I like creating entire worlds with only 26 letters. I enjoy telling stories that people may or may not want to hear.

So I’ve at least got that part of writing down.

But as the years go by, I find myself yearning for my words to be read by other people. And as the years go by, the rejection from agents and publishers gets harder and harder to bear.

I’m still trying to get published. I’m not saying that I’ve given up. (Plus, there’s something to be said for being an actual struggling writer.)

But let’s just say I have down days. Everyone has down days. I’m not alone in that.

Anyway, during a particularly rough down day, I started thinking about two qualities writers should have that are completely at odds with each other.

On the one hand, writers should be giant puddles of wussiness, like crybaby-extraordinaires, and on the other, they have to be steel-eyed bad-asses.

The sensitivity and low self-esteem that writers can have are a boon. You feel things more deeply when you’re a mess of emotions. It helps, believe it or not. I think all good writers should have a current of empathy at their cores. Obviously, I’m exaggerating when I use the term “wussiness,” but you know what I mean. The ability to be down-on-your-luck-and-mopey allows writers to connect with other people’s situations. And that’s integral when it comes to story-telling.

But at the same time, writers have to be able to take those knocks that come with rejection and get back up again. They have to be like Captain America before he got all Super-Soldiered. It takes a certain level of Clint Eastwood-toughness to be told, “This work that you have poured years of time, effort, and ink into is not worth anything,” and still keep trying to prove its value. If that’s not the definition of bad-ass, then I don’t know what is.

Side note: Bad-ass (adj.): To be of or close to attaining the level of holy-freakin’ awesomeness that is a mix of a Pacific Rim Jaeger, Master Chief, and Darth Maul.

So that’s all for now. Was just thinking about those kinds of things. Catch you guys later!