Writer’s are warriors in their own right, and rather unsung if you ask me. I am by no means trying to compare authors to the heroics of soldiers or police officers or firefighters or nurses, etc. But when you bravely tell your friends or acquaintances you’re a writer, they usually seem to get the impression that anyone can do it. They’re almost right – anyone can sit down and put their thoughts onto paper. But for a true author, it is their passion, their first love – and they never give up on it.
No matter what we write, fiction or nonfiction, how we approach it is the same.
Our Sword and Shield = Our Pen and Paper
This is where our harrowing tales first come to life. We’ve let the beginnings of our tales ferment in our minds, so this is naturally the next step. Whether you’re writing an outline or jotting down a few notes, putting those words on paper are more or less engraving them stone. Of course, some details will change along the way, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
Our Trusty Steed = Our Computer
Back in the day, it was our typewriter. And if you’re still using one, kudos to you. Just know you’ll most likely be retyping the entire thing onto a computer as so many agencies and publishers would rather deal with electronic submissions – less paper, going green, saving the Earth and all that. But our computers are the modern day steed. Just remember to BACK IT UP! Like how an actual horse takes a random dump on the trail (sorry for the semi-graphic description) there is always the occasional power outage or program hiccup that could cause us to lose everything we just worked so hard on. Care for you steed – keep it clean, make sure you have the proper anti-virus programs in place, and always remember that giving it a swift smack will NOT fix what’s broken.
Our Squires = Our Editors & Proofreaders
These folks make sure we’re ready for battle. They go over every detail, assure us we’re properly armed and that our stories are as strong as they can be. If you’re lucky enough to have such assets under your employ, you’ll face the battlefield with far more confidence than ever before.
Our Brothers & Sisters In Arms = Our Fellow Authors
We are not alone. The more authors we have at our side, the stronger we’ll be. We are here to support each other, offer words of encouragement and advice, and echo our war cries when we finally charge into battle.
Our Battlefield = The Sales Shelf
Whether that sales shelf is brick and mortar or of the virtual variety, we will face the same obstacles. We’ll need sales and reviews (good ones) to keep charging forward. Some battlefields will be more challenging than others, but our goal is always the same – VICTORY!
Our Enemy = Our Harshest Critics
As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Critics will try to make or break you. Some will turn out to be one of your biggest assets, as you will learn far more about you and your writing from a brutally honest critic than you will ever learn from a friend or fellow author. They don’t care about hurting your precious feelings. They just want everyone to know the harsh truth. Be ready and stand strong.
Our People = Our Readers
We should always write for ourselves. We love our stories and want only to share them. But once you’ve established a fan base, no matter how big or small, they quickly become our biggest motivation. When they love our stories as much as we do, they become our most loyal followers. They will be there when we return from battle, waving their banners and praising our deeds. Thank them. Honor them. Love them as much as they love you.
These days, our battlefield is far bigger than it was years ago. Modern technology has changed the rules of war, but the basics will always be the same. Arm yourself, have faith in your kinsmen and yourself, and never forget why we’re here in the first place – to write and be read.
Keep scribing, my friends.