Monday, 27 February 2012

Writing Like Wasps

There’s a wasp building a nest outside my window. He’s been hard at work since late yesterday afternoon, gathering dirt one grain at a time, and slowly moulding it all into a home for himself. He started work yesterday evening and by this morning looked to be nearly finished.

Then my mum knocked it down.

This wasp could have said to himself, “oh dear, someone’s knocked down all my hard work. I might as well give up – if I try to start over someone will just knock it down again”.* But no. The wasp is there again, slowly starting to rebuild his nest.

Resilient little brute.

Now, I hate wasps. Not as much as spiders, but wasps are up there with the rest of the insect world. They’re creepy, with stingers, evil eyes, and pincers. I mean, can you imagine if they were a hundred times bigger and could easily take on Fido? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t pee yourself if the Mega Wasp suddenly started eying you off while it was paralysing Rex to feed its unborn larvae.

This isn't the wasp outside my window, but you get the point.


Anyway, I hate wasps, but when it comes to resilience, we writers can learn a lot from them. When we get a rejection letter, or a bad critique, or just encounter someone who wants to be rude, we shouldn’t say, “oh dear, someone’s knocked all my hard work. I might as well give up – if I try to start over someone will just knock it again”.

Rather, we should be like wasps and keep going. Each rejection, each bad critique will sting, but a good writer will get back up and keep on going. Because if we keep going, eventually people are going to stop knocking down our houses

So that’s today’s thoughts. Your turn now: for the comments, let me know what you think about wasps and writers. Do you think there are any other animals writers could learn from?

* Actually, he probably would have said “Bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzz. Bzzz bzzz bzzz – bzzz bzzz bzzz” but it’s simpler to have the English translation.


    Just goes to show you, you can learn from anything and anyone, even your mortal enemies. (Cause wasps and other stinging bugs are most definitely my mortal enemies. O_O)

    Another good animal to learn from would be a dog. Dogs are loyal, no matter what. They won't give up on their human because their human is mean to them. We shouldn't give up on our stories because our characters or our plots are mean to us, either! We keep on at it, with total loyalty, and a determined, cheerful(another aspect I love about dogs, they're always so happy. ^^) attitude, and eventually we'll get it done.
    I don't think cats would be a good animal to learn from, though. Being all "Worship me, I am above you" on your story? Not gonna work so well for you. xD

    Good post. ^^ Maybe could have gone without the big scary picture... O_O

  2. I think wasps need to stay away from writers. =P I hate spiders much more than wasps, but I still have a healthy dislike for the flying creepy-crawlies.

    But persistence is a virtue. And I think we can learn it from less creepy animals, like my cat. I feed him breakfast, and he keeps begging and begging for lunch right afterward, even though I tell him no. XD Not a very good example, because I never give in, but…he's cuter than a wasp. O_o

    @Constance—My cat knows his place, lol. He is a subservient and grovelling little creature. XP

  3. NO! Where's the subscribe by email option? How will I know if more people comment?! Blogger… >=|

    *cough* Sorry. I'm just forgetful, and the commenter's subscribe by email was my blogging lifesaver for checking back…I don't…I don't know what to do. *cries*

  4. ACCK. I HATE wasps. I was stung by one when I was fairly little, and since then I dislike them above almost all other insects-- wolf spiders included. *shudder*

    But this is actually a good point! If they don't give up, we shouldn't either. No matter how discouraging.

    As for other animals, I'm not sure! I would say just anything that hunts day to day for its food. Some days the catch will be lame, but that doesn't mean it gives up hunting. I mean, it's got to eat, right? Or is it too dramatic to compare survival to writing? XD

    This made me chuckle. Nice post!