Today, I'm going to start out the writing new year with an underrated animated film called Epic. Ever heard of it?
At the center of this fun film is a magical pod--the last thing the kingdom of plant men and women have of their queen, and their only hope of defeating the enemy Boggans who'd like to rot their entire kingdom from the inside out. That pod is placed in the hands and care of Mary Katherine (MK) by Queen Tara as the queen's final act.
Only problem? MK is a human, mysteriously shrunk down to the size of the plant warriors. She has no idea what she's doing there. She just wants to go home, if it can be called a home. She doesn't belong there.
Or so she thinks.
See, MK works better alone. It wasn't really her first choice--with her mom gone and her father, shall we say, distant, she had to adapt. "You may be connected," she tells Leafman commander Ronin. "But I'm kind of on my own."
As for Ronin, he should be the expert on working with others. "Many leaves, one tree," is the Leafmen's motto, of which he is a leader. But no matter how hard he tries to protect anyone and everyone, he seems to lose everyone he cares most about--his best friend; Queen Tara; and his best friend's son, Nod.
Nod is just tired of the Leafmen in general--or more accurately, just Ronin. He wants to do his own thing his own way, and usually does, no matter what anyone else says.
The perfect trio to guard the kingdom's last hope.
Changing gears here for a second. Writing has been aptly called the lonely craft. And it is. No one else can write our stories for us. We have to put on the noise-cancelling headphones and do it ourselves.
Our stories are a whole different world, where anything can happen. Where things happen our way.
Sometimes it's hard to remember that while we have to do the writing, we shouldn't do it alone. We need family, friends, readers, editors, and more to see us through.
Some of us have people to support us. Some of us don't. Some of us can't even figure out what the people we call our team are even doing. It's so easy to hide our story world away and do things our way.
How do we change that?
Accept your strengths and weaknesses. Accept your uniqueness, what makes you you. No, MK didn't belong in their world, but that gave her unique advantages and connections to the human world. A different perspective that could turn the tides of battle.
Yes, Ronin was over-protective. But perhaps it was that--the hurt he had seen--that made him such a good leader, willing to give anything for those we cared about most.
Yes, Nod was reckless. But is was his spirit of adventure that stepped in and pulled the Leafmen together for one more battle when the odds were slim.
You be you. You've got something no one else has. Use it to its full potential.
And remember, everyone you're working with has their unique strengths and weaknesses, too. Maybe where you have the disadvantage, they excel. Find a way to bring them in. To encourage them to make the most of their abilities. Nod wouldn't have come along if Ronin hadn't asked. MK's dad wouldn't have helped them if she had given up on him.
There will be mistakes as you and your team mates figure out those strengths and weaknesses and how to use them. Throughout Epic, all three characters make pretty big mistakes--multiple of which cost lives. While our mistakes aren't likely to do that, they can cause other problematic fall out. There's nothing to do but to climb back on your bird and fly again. To sort through the fall out and try again.
This is not a feel-good post that says anything is possible when you work together. People are weird creatures. Some people reading this may truly not have anyone to support them. It's tough. It's really tough. But don't give up. Look for people who can help you, and people that you can help. Get connected somehow, even if it's not quite in the way you thought it would look.
It's good advice for all of us--don't give up. Epic is a little over ninety minutes long. Imagine if even one of the trio of characters had given up thirty minutes in. Imagine what could happen if you give up now.
Many leaves, one tree. Now climb your tree.
*Ever seen Epic? What did you think? What's your team like? Share your adventures in the comments below!*
I was tagged for the Liebster Award by Jade Sky from Stepping Stones Book Reviews (https://steppingstonesbookreviews.blogspot.com) this past week. The Liebster Award is just a way for bloggers to give nods to other bloggers, and for you readers to learn a little bit more about us and find some more fun blogs!
Here's the official rules (if you believe in official):
1. Thank the person who nominated you, include a link to their blog, and add the Liebster Award badge to your blog and/or post.
2. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers.
5. Notify your nominees that you nominated them for the Liebster Award.
6. Ask your nominees eleven questions.
So, many thanks to Jade Sky for the honor! Without further ado, here are my answers to her questions!
What was your goal/purpose when you first started blogging? Do you feel that goal or purpose has changed in any way?
I started out blogging (or rather as an email newsletter) just wanting to connect with other writers and encourage them. As I worked on these posts, I realized it was kind of hard for me to brainstorm ideas in the strictly encouragement category. It was just not a style of writing that worked for me. But the few posts that I had written that drew lessons from books or movies that my peers had read/seen and applied those lessons to the writing journey resonated with me. So I decided to do those types of posts all the time. And I actually got a website! So I wouldn’t say my goal has changed, but my means definitely have.
What’s your favorite part about blogging?
Because of the types of posts I do, I love getting to analyze books and movies with other people and learn from them.
What’s your go-to comfort snack? Why?
I’m not really a comfort snacker, but I love most anything pretzel. On the sweet side, I love Reese’s peanut butter cups, peanut butter Snickers, and Hershey’s Symphony bars. Popcorn would make the list as well.
If you could go see any movie in a movie theater, what would you want to see and why?
Just one? Alright . . . Call me weird, but the original How to Train Your Dragon (can you imagine the flying and battle scenes on the big screen?!), Big Hero 6 (because all the detail is so neat already, I mean, really, those tiny little microbots), or Beyond the Mask (because it’s one of my very favorites).
Do you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, or a mixture of both?
Die-hard introvert. To the extreme!
Who’s your favorite music artist?
I’ve got a nice handful, including Natalie Grant, Point of Grace, Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, and Matthew West. But I also like listening to epic orchestral covers while I write.
What’s a funny memory from when you were a little kid?
My very first story was one I wrote in the first grade. It was about a bear who left his cave to go to the library. Only I wasn’t the best speller, so he was going to the “libeary.” My momma thought it was hilarious. I couldn’t fathom why.
Are you a morning or night person?
Neither. A permanently exhausted pigeon, perhaps?
If you could immediately learn to speak any new language, which one would you choose? Why?
Gaelic would be really cool, because I’m super intrigued by the Scottish and Irish. But for my current work in progress, Russian would be helpful, too.
If you could donate a million dollars to any charity or nonprofit organization, which one would you pick?
I would look for one that either supports literacy for kids, or one that centers on helping teens going through hard situations.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from 2020?
It has actually been an opportunity to learn so much about my writing—I look back at my writing from last January compared to my writing now and am amazed. But I also feel like I learned a lot about myself, how I operate, and what I need to keep myself going so I can be myself.
And now for the random facts! (Cause we love random here.)
There you have it! And now I will nominate a handful of fantastic bloggers! (Disclaimer: I have no idea how many followers they have by the way. I'm completely guessing.)
1. Allison Grace (https://allisongracewrites.com)
2. Anna Knipe (https://annaknipewriter.wixsite.com/blog)
3. Hailey Huntington (https://haileyhuntington.com)
4. Hannah (https://www.precariousbookstacks.com/)
5. Hope Ann (https://authorhopeann.com)
6. Ryan Elizabeth (https://ryanelizabethwrites.com/)
Should they choose to accept, they will then answer these questions:
That's all from me! Go ahead and enjoy some of those fantastic blogs listed!
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!