In the past few weeks I have seen several programs and heard several speakers addressing issues of empowerment. Here is my take on it:
We were sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying a leisurely breakfast. "I think I'll write a romance," I said. “Do you think I can?”
"Of course," he said from behind the newspaper.
I put some butter on my bran muffin. "I just need a rich, successful hero. One who is handsome, strong and virile. I’ll model him after you -- without the faults -- not that you have any faults."
He turned the page.
"And a heroine," I continued, "attractive, charming, witty, intelligent, capable, caring and really clever. Sexy and sensuous. What do you think?"
"Mmm," he said.
"I’ll make her successful -- but of course, he will be even more successful. And she’ll be smart -- but not smarter than he is." I took a bite of my muffin and waited. There was no response so I nudged his hand.
He looked up.
"Right?" I asked.
"Right," he said and went back to reading.
Encouraged by the positive feedback, I continued. "Now, for the plot. The plot is the tricky part. I have to make them come together at the beginning and keep them playing emotional ping-pong until the end." I gently eased the top of the newspaper to make eye contact. "Well?" I asked.
"Of course," he said. “Pour me another cup of coffee."
I refilled his cup. "You're right," I said. "I'm a reasonably good writer, and as everyone knows, writing romances is really simple."
I went to the computer:
My heroine is sweet, virginal and the head of an international corporation. My hero is a nuclear physicist who is a fearless bullfighter on weekends. Shall I make the corporation a meat packing plant? Maybe turn the bullfight into a sexual struggle.
My heroine is a middle aged, widowed librarian, hungry for a relationship. My hero is a near sighted window cleaner in a high rise apartment building. Shall I make him clean her bedroom windows at sunset, or shall I have her lend him a book on the psychological reasons men choose dangerous jobs.
My heroine is a housewife who writes computer programs and my hero is the furnace cleaner.
My heroine is a ...
* * *
I was sitting at the breakfast table dipping my toast into my soft boiled egg and reading the headlines on the back of his newspaper. "I think I'll write a science fiction novel,” I said. “Do you think I can?”
“Of course,” he said and turned the page.
“Right,” I said. “All I need is ..."
As writers, we can be very fragile and insecure. Our creativity can easily and often unintentionally be sabotaged. That's why we need to feel good about who we are, what we know and what we want to say. When we have feelings of self worth and are not afraid to reach, to strive, to risk -- then, we are well on the way to being empowered. That's how I see it.
www.nadia.bc.ca -- www.nadiashworan.com