I Need a Hero
By Bryan Cohen
Today when I woke up, I had that “Holding Out for a Hero” song stuck in my head. It’s extremely catchy and after shaking my hips to it for a few minutes, I realized that the song is a bit disempowering.
Here are some of the lyrics:
Where have all good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
Written Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford, originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler.
Extremely catchy right? Unfortunately though, the lyrics line up with how a lot of people think life works.
When writers were primarily into getting their work published as opposed to self-publishing, they needed a hero. That hero might be an agent, a publisher who liked their work, or a friend of a friend with a connection. The same is true for someone in a regular job hoping for a raise, a winning lottery ticket, or some other burst of excitement in their lives.
Whether you’re a writer or an average Jane, getting a “hero” is not the way to go about living. You need to become your own hero.
One of my life goals is to inspire people by my words, actions, and general everyday living. In short, I want to be that hero for myself and other people. If something is wrong in my life like low earnings or procrastination, I want to thwart it like it was some kind of villain. It took me a while to realize that no matter how much I blamed other people or thought that things were out of my control, it was up to me to fix things.
The advent of self-publishing is a fantastic opportunity for people to become their own heroes. Literally the only thing now that stands in your way from getting published is you. I received such an outpouring of support from others when I decided to publish my first book on my own, but I was the one who had to do the work. I put in the time and effort and now I am reaping the rewards but internally and externally.
If you want to be a writer, but you haven’t written, then start writing. If you’ve written but nobody is reading it, promote the hell out of it. If you want to sell as many books as J.K. Rowling, then make it happen. Whatever your goal, the only hero who will get you there is you.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he has written four books (1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Sharpening the Pencil: Essays on Writing, Motivation, and Enjoying your Life, and Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job), several plays (Something from Nothing and Chekhov Kegstand: A Dorm Room Dramedy in Two Acts) and he was the head writer for an un-produced Web series (Covenant Coffee). His writing and motivation website Build Creative Writing Ideas has had over 100,000 visitors since it was founded in December 2008. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @buildcwideas.
Bryan Cohen is giving away 100 personalized writing prompts to one giveaway entrant chosen at random during the blog tour. Personalized prompts are story starters that cater specifically to a writer’s subject matter, strengths/weaknesses, etc. Cohen will create the prompts to cater exclusively to the winner. He is giving away free digital copies of his book The Writing Sampler to everybody who enters, which includes excerpts from each of his four books on writing. The book contains essays, writing prompts and tips and tricks to enhance your writing skills. In addition, for each of Cohen’s books that reach the Top 500 on Amazon during his blog tour, he will add a $50 Amazon gift card to the drawing (up to six $50 cards in total)!
To enter, simply post a comment to this blog post with your e-mail address. Entries will be counted through June 2nd, 2011.