Last week when I wrote about The Good Wife, I forgot to mention how the sheer audacity of the writers takes the show from good wholesome legal drama and transforms it into a daring, even shocking show that keeps viewers too enthralled to think about what they’re seeing.
At one point in the show, Eli Gold discovers that his client’s competition in an election had a boob job. They leak it to the press, write a goofy song about how she got bigger boobs… and then discover that she had a breast reconstruction after recovering from breast cancer.
But the sheer audacity of that moment makes it great. It’s not maudlin: there’s no awkward acceptance and apology. There’s just, “Oh sh*t!” and the recovery from a real, incredible mistake.
If only we real people had the audacity to dive into our actions and then accept our mistakes with such gusto.
We writers can’t say we aren’t brave. It takes courage and audacity to try a nontraditional career, to say, “This is what I want to do,” and pursue it without regard to its practicality.
But how many writers will give up because it’s hard, because they think they don’t have time, because they got a rejection notice? It would be easy, even smarter to give up, but think of all the wonderful stories that would have gone unpublished if their writers hadn’t had the balls to keep going.
Most people—certainly most women—know the Laurel Thatcher Ulrich quote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Did you know that Ulrich is a feminist and a Mormon, and was once denied the opportunity to speak at Brigham Young University women’s conference? Although the board of trustees did allow her to speak more than a decade leader, she was once thought too outrageous to speak to young women of her own tradition.
It takes audacity to say you want to be a writer, but it takes courage to keep saying it when other people tell you can’t. Pat yourself on the back today, writer. Remind yourself just how wild, crazy, hopelessly hopeful, and damned courageous you are.