I am absolutely thrilled to have Scott Morgan on my blog. I have been a fan of Scott's for some time. If you haven't had a chance to check out Scott's work, you are missing out. One of his favorite sayings is "Write for the Jugular," and he does just that. He is fearless when it comes to writing, and I admire that. I recently finished his latest book, How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch: 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand, a humorous look at the excuses writers use and how to get around them and get back on track. I learned a few tricks that I plan to use in scheduling my own writing time. I'm currently reading (and loving) his short story collection, Stories My Evil Twin Made Up. Many thanks to Scott for this guest post.
I was nine years old and underground the day my self-esteem died. On the other hand, Jill's pre-tween glower and women's lib indignation probably cemented my sense of melodrama, and maybe the trade-off was worth it.
Need me to back up a skosh? All right, then, let's look at me a year before the Jillening. At the age of eight I was a mack with the girls, just not in the way you think. My natural tendency then, as it is now, is to just … say things. At the time, I didn't realize that the way I say things tends to come off as if I'm giving commands. Which I'm not.
Girls usually just went along with it. I would take their hands and have them follow me ‒‒ to where and for what purposes are as much your guess as mine. They would giggle and pretend to be horrified in that way little girls flirt with little boys.
I grabbed Jill's wrist during rehearsal for some god-awful stage show we were putting on in the church basement in third grade. She didn't know where she needed to be. I took it upon myself to be the hero. I grabbed her wrist and pulled her, with assurance that I knew where she needed to stand.
What stuns me most is that I still have fingers on my right hand. The force with which Jill ripped her hand from mine crackled like a sonic whip. Her admonishment not to touch her "like that" cowed me in front of a church basement full of people I didn't like but knew I had to develop underarm hair with over the next few years.
A friend of mine makes her career coaching female teams how to organize. I could put her out of business by grabbing Jill's arm in front of a roomful of women. The collective (and, I admit, justified) indignation plowed me in a surf of estrogen heretofore and since unfelt by the little mack from
In that moment, they saw me as I was. Shocked. Fearful of reprisal. Unable to
say a word for fear of looking even more stupid. Girls, to my surprise, were
not just there to stroke my ego. Trenton, New Jersey
I've never so much as asked a girl for her phone number since. And if you're trying to do the math, allow me to help you ‒‒ it's been 31 years.
So what the hell does any of this have to do with writing?
The short answer? Everything. With every book and every blog, with every course I teach and every presentation I give, I am taking people by the wrist and dragging them to where they need to be. And every time I do it, I await that moment someone looks at me with righteous anger and eviscerates me in front of a planet full of people I varyingly like who also have to contend with armpit hair.
Ego, you see, is a fragile thing. It's most advanced weaponry is "No, please!" while fear comes armed with spikey baseball bats and crotch-rending stiletto pumps.
What I've learned about fear is miniscule, but I do know this ‒‒ you don't stop it. You can only manage it. You can't prevent its assault, you can only duck and weave and sucker-punch. Fear, it turns out, is a lot like having to go to the bathroom on a freezing morning while you're in your warm and cozy bed. It's going to compel you to do something about it.
My only suggestion? Put it where it belongs and flush it away as fast as you can. Or wallow in the mess you let it make in your bed.
Write for the Jugular, folks.
Scott Morgan is the bestselling author of Character Development from the Inside Out, a guide for fiction writers, and How To Be A Whiny Beeyotch: 71 Writing Excuses Meet the Back of My Hand. He also is the author of Stories My Evil Twin Made Up, a collection of short fiction. A speaker, teacher, and award-winning journalist, he also is the president of WriteHook (Write for the Jugular), an editing and writing services company for fiction and creative nonfiction.
Keep in touch with Scott:
At www.quillectiveproject.org - All proceeds go to benefit the Humane Society of Dallas Count's no-kill shelter, Dog and Kitty City.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/Mo0SZG