One Saturday night my husband and I saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge. It was a compromise, believe me. Hubby prefers slapstick stuff or films with lots of action, and I adore sad movies. We figured this movie would be both exciting and sad.
There was one moment, one-easy-to-miss moment, that blew me away and as a writer, I
connected it to the craft of writing. Of course. As usual. I think as writers, we think everything can serve as a writing lesson, that everything revolves around us as writers because the whole world revolves around the opposite of us. As authors, we're not the axis of anything. We're never the center of the universe for even a millisecond because of all the rejection we get. So, forgive me if I watch a film and draw some lines between the movie and my craft.
After you've cut me some slack, check out why I recommend Hacksaw Ridge:
1. Be ready to kick it or slap stuff out of the way. The moment (one of many) that prompted this post was when a couple of hand grenades were lobbed toward Andrew Garfield/Desmond Doss. He immediately kicked one back toward the enemy and slapped the other one back, like it was a volleyball.
There are times when someone (perhaps a family member who's
an idiot not well-versed in the art of writing) says something stupid. Something like, “Why don't you just give up on that book you're working on?” or “It must not be any good, 'cause if it was, it'd be on in Barnes and Noble by now.” Or “Writing's easy. Look how many books James Patterson puts out every year.”
When that kind of grenade is tossed your way, don't even think about it. Kick it away from you. Send it back their way, even if it you only mumble the colorful response in your head.
2. Stay true to yourself. The real man behind the movie, Desmond Doss, never strayed from his convictions. He didn't believe in killing a person, and went onto the battlefield without a gun.
Stay to your course. If you are convinced you have a story to tell, write it, revise and edit it, and then work on getting it published. Don't let small obstacles prevent you from moving forward.
3. Keep telling yourself, “Just one more.” Desmond Doss, in spite of being exhausted, would tell himself, “Just one more,” and then all by himself would lower another wounded soldier down to the bottom of a cliff, so the injured soldier could be driven away from the battle to the medical tent. As a writer, there are times when I get feeling downtrodden. My manuscript has been rejected by an editor? Just send it out to one more editor, I need to tell myself. My manuscript has been rejected a bunch of times, making me feel like a total failure? I need to prod myself with Just start one more project.
So how about you? What movie or TV show can you connect to your writing? Or, what
nimroddy mistaken thing has a friend or family member said to you about writing?
Sioux Roslawski is a middle-school teacher (after discovering that retirement was not for her), is a freelance writer (she has stories in 15 Chicken Soup for the Soul books), belongs to two writing critique groups and rescues dogs for Love a Golden Rescue. She's also a mother to two, a grammy to one extremely talented fifth grader, and a future mother-in-law to a lovely bride-to-be. To read more of Sioux's musings, go to Sioux's Page.
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