Microcosmographia by William Van Hecke

Be a Badass

A while back I went to a SFWA event featuring Nicola Griffith, author of the stupendous historical fiction opus Hild. She read some moving, haunting passages from her work. Afterwards there were questions.

One aspiring writer asked, “Who are the authors you’ve read who were so good they made you want to give up?”

Ms. Griffith was quick to answer. “Whenever I read an author who’s better than me— No. Whenever I used to read an author who I thought was better than me, I’d say, ‘I am going to teach myself how to do that.' And then I would.” She explained that those authors had to learn it, and that you can learn it too.

I was so impressed and inspired that when I went to get my book signed afterwards, all I could think to say was, “You’re a total badass!"

We talked a bit more about her unwillingness to let modesty and worry get in the way of her work. When she signed my book, she left me an encouragement that I’ve revisited time and time again in moments of doubt.

Be a badass!