Force isn’t related to size; it’s what’s inside you that divines your destiny.
Will you risk or sacrifice everything to accomplish feats of honour, courage or nobility?
That’s a hero.
We all love heroes. We all need heroes.
They inspire us, support us and protect us when the ‘dark soul of the night’ closes in around us. Their comforting effect is deep seated.
To be one, your well of courage must be deep. You’ll repeatedly dip into it to overcome obstacles – fear, pain, hate, love, suffering and death – any unknown, faceless villain that needs to be slain.
But size is not the key.
The hero story
The Tale of Despereaux is about a teenier than tiny mouse who falls in love with a princess, then experiences betrayal and loss. Armed with only a needle, he embarks on a hero’s quest; throughout it he faces unknowable villains and darkness that block his way, with only hope in his heart as courage.
The tale contains deeper layers that speak of courage, the importance of being true to oneself and finding one’s calling in life.
Isn’t that the life of a writer?
Naming your writing foes
As the story progresses, Despereaux learns to trust in the quest to which he’s committed himself.
By facing the situations in which he finds himself, he uses courage to overcome his foes, find the skills (or help) to overcome those obstructing him, he fulfils his quest and makes a better life for himself.
The tale contains a constant premise – hope, courage and perseverance.
As a writer, those three weapons can make your day just a little bit better.
Activate the archetype hero within yourself – the best way of doing that is to slay those dragons.
Name your foes, fears and foibles:
You’re afraid you’re not good enough
You’re afraid you’ll screw up this piece and fail
You’re afraid you don’t have enough experience to start, write and finish this piece
You’re afraid because you’re not a trained journalist
You’re afraid people will call you out as fraud
You’re afraid you shouldn’t be doing this job
You’re afraid of being laughed at
Call them out to yourself.
Own them and laugh at them.
Finding your hero – within
As courageous as Despereaux is in his tale, perhaps his greatest virtue is honesty even in the face of grave danger to himself.
He demonstrates integrity time and time again.
He accepts who he is, is smart enough to see his unique qualities as strengths and uses them to succeed in spite of being the smallest and weakest character in the story.
So, grab your shield [daring and experience]…
Take up your silver sword [words] …
Protect yourself with chainmail [belief]…
Build an army around you [your strengths].
Go forth and create.
Write your heart.
What are your dragon fears? Have you made yourself the hero of your own writing tale?