Sharp introspection by steel or ink?

So what are the similarities of wielding a sword and wielding a pen? 

Both hold a sharpness: the sharpness of prose versus the sharpness of steel. 

One bleeds ink while the other draws blood.

Both can cause an injury or a death…fictitiously or by fact

This last item is what inspired me to take up fencing.  I wanted to write better battle scenes.  I knew strategy, teamwork, talent and proficiency make up a good battle, a good melee.  I knew each contributing member will boost or take away from the group but I only partially understood it.  What I wanted was to soak this in.  To become…so when I looked out through each character’s eyes, I could do just that…become each character, experience each aspect, without this veil of mystery shrouding an important facet.  I thought how much personality and integrity that I could boost by describing my characters in flight or fight situations. 

So I took up fencing to be able to describe the mechanics, describe the strategies…  What I didn’t think of was coming away with describing the heart.  

I’m sure we all can recount experiences we’ve had which show our ‘metal’ in stressful and/or dangerous situations.  For example, I can show you the scar I bear from saving my three year old’s sister’s life when I was ten.  But experiencing the adreline spike with comrades at arms surrounding you, parrying and slashing as a team makes me realize how much of life I’ve been handling on my own. 

Whoever thought that fencing would lead to introspection?  I already knew writing would and has.  So, I’m adding another similarity between fencing and writing…both when used correctly will allow you to know yourself better. 

I’ve heard the maxim, “write what you know.”  I say “Write what you desire to learn.”  That tact will take you unexpected places, if you let it.  What do you think?

Oh, and feel free to pop in to see the Write Stuff Conference Blog

Happy Fencing, Happy Writing!

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