This passage is taken from Chapter 10 of Wergild, the first book of my Seer of the Sidhe series. The dagger was long, about the same as my forearm, and beautiful. I guessed fairy-make, but it could have been anything from djinn to merfolk. The hilt seemed inlaid with a deep jade enamel, with an intricate scrollwork of silver over it. A straight blade, and nearly the same width as the handle. On one side of the steel, the stamp…
Though you may travel far and wide,
No haven of life is found inside.
Viking hoard be cold as stone
Hot be heart and breath and bone…
I am such a perfectionist, and such a do-er (my sisters would call me an overachiever) that I forget to let myself and my work just be. I convince myself I am not doing enough, or I am not doing well enough. The merry-go-round in my brain just can’t let it rest. I’m either a terrible writer or I’m not giving my best. That kind of self-condemnation is destructive. And paralyzing.
My main assignment was to create a 1000 word max. short fiction piece based off of observations or notes that I kept during the duration of the class. I chose the image of a gate standing alone in a field.
Near the end of 2011, I sat down and sketched out my first rough idea for an urban fantasy novel. And as I enthusiastically brainstormed and developed ideas, a bitter voice in my head told me to stop, to give up, to throw the towel in and relinquish the dream of being a writer. “Better to give up than be known as a bad writer,” it told me.
“I am Saulo, the son of Lugh, and I am a creator of goddesses. I have birthed light and beauty into this dull world for centuries, though it be strewn with corpses and all the repugnance of humankind. So why in the name of the Morrigan can I only paint the same blasted woman over and over?”
We have all heard the little nuggets of wisdom and read all the articles on how to be a good writer. We’re taught grammar and punctuation in school. We are even taught that good writing looks a certain way, such as Steinbeck, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Steven King, Shakespeare, or all the other great story tellers of grandeur. We are also somehow led to believe that bad writing takes the waif-like, substance-less forms of works like self-published ebooks of the dinosaur porn variety, or even mediocre fanfiction.