Writers don’t often get called heroes.
They write of them, create them, role-play them, even kill them. They just aren’t too readily recognized as them. Which is a shame.
As a sometime (and really wanting to be more-time) writer, an editor and publisher of writers, a critiquer and facilitator of writers, and a very long-time reader of writers — to sort of quote someone famous — I drink and I know things. At least I drink. And pretend to know things. But I do know writers, and I do know heroes, and I think it is about time I acknowledge the heroics of writers.
They are patient. Look at any writer with an acceptance at RBE and you’ll see epitomes of the old ‘patience is a virtue’ praise. I’ve been there myself, a time or two, and I can testify to the enduring patience of a writer with an accepted story awaiting its appearance in publication. Never thought myself particularity heroic for this reason, but I recognize such in the authors waiting on me.
They persevere. See above. Seriously, that’s a prime example, but there’s some much more. They work toward goals, personal and professional, self-initiated and solicited. They write through sickness and in health, weather horrible and delightful, to deadline, underpaid, against the odds. Put simply: writers write.
They move forward. Editors slice, writers adapt. Editors tweak and twist, writers work with them. Not too many other professions out there wherein the originators, the creators, change their designs, adapt their babies, to the direction (whims?) of others. Writers make progress despite the chances.
They take action. Writers don’t stand idly by; they do. They create life and share it all about. They find adventure and they grab it by its neck and they hogtie it and they bring it to the masses. Writers aren’t just talkers; they do.
They share. All that life they create — they share it. They don’t horde it, don’t hide it, don’t hijack it. They bring it to their campfires and they spread it around. They bring the joy and the tears, the thrills and the fears, the discoveries and the jeers and they sprinkle it about, inviting others to enjoy it all, enticing others to create with them, inciting others to tell their own stories. Writers know it’s not all about them.
They have courage. It takes strength to open one’s self to criticism, to correction, to the risk of ridicule. There is bravery to be found in acts of creation, for failure looms all about, and only the courageous dare expose themselves to such potential cruelty. Writers brave these dangers with steadfast fingers and strong hearts, knowing the path through the shadows often reveals the brightest day. Writers persist with hope.
They help. Somewhere, somehow, at some point in time, the words of a writer change someone’s moment, day, life. Sometimes they never know, sometimes everyone knows. It’s usually not the point. Writers have something to say, and even if most of the outside world doesn’t acknowledge it, doesn’t deem it of value, there is that person somewhere in the world who is made better in some way by their words. And there’s nothing more heroic than helping.
There you have it: 7 attributes of writers we’d all appreciate finding in any protagonist our storytellers told the tales of. Indeed, we’d label such characters heroes — wouldn’t we?