Not a Hero, a Sage


Over the weekend I found The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. This title intrigued me since I’m already a fan of Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. When I came across the quote “Know the difference between a hero and a fool” it got under my skin a little bit. After some thought, I forced myself to read the page and be open to it. In my stubbornness I noted in 20170421_102406the book “replace the word ‘Hero’ with Sage.” Because that’s something I’d actually prefer to become. The interesting thing was one of the suggestions would then say, “Yes, sometimes a fool can become a hero sage by accident. But most of the time the fool just ends up dead.” It’s interesting because a fool may on the slight chance of pure luck become a hero by accident, but you can not become a sage by accident. You also can not become a writer by accident. You make the intentional choice every day to work at becoming a sage or a writer.

I often forget that. On my low days I feel I just stumbled across writing. That it just landed in my lap by accident. Writing is my intentional choice. Becoming a respected author is my goal and I will write this as a reminder on my low days that this is my gift, my life’s work, and no matter how tough it gets I will not yield.

You’re can’t become a writer by accident but a persistent writer will naturally become a Sage.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. ronsamul says:

    I think hero, sage, and fool are interesting ideas. You mention toward the end that you want to be a respected writer. I think that comes with a lot of things, including a sage. But, it also comes with constant curiosity, constant reading, searching for answers, trying to refine what you do best, how you write and think. It is important to be heroic and fierce, but it also important to listen and realize when someone is having the amazing spark of creativity. Teaching writing is really that gift in that I get to see people in various stages of inspiration, work, frustration, and acceptance. I guess what I am getting at is respect in writing is both your craft and your willingness to give something to other people (through writing, sharing, teaching).

    I’ve spent time with writers who are so cocky and sure of themselves, but I don’t respect them because they aren’t listening to the people around them. I also understand that they have published and are more accomplished than I am … so there is that… but that isn’t who I want to be. That isn’t the respect part that holds value for me in writing. I’ve tried to just be out for myself, and do what I need. I don’t like it. Perhaps I don’t see a writer building respect — but see them with a wealth of it, that they can drain or take care of and share. We all use ours in different ways. Ramble compete. 🙂


    1. ronsamul says:



      1. Jayne says:

        I’m grateful for your rambles they help me think and see these thoughts from a different perspective. I’ve never thought of a writer already having a wealth of respect. I definitely don’t want writing creds without giving respect to those around me. Either by listening or just giving in general. I guess it’s my positive thinking that writers become Sages. I’m sure there is a handful that don’t. I suppose that’s probably just more of the path I would like to take. And the writers I would prefer to be surrounded by.


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