Saturday, April 21, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Sassy Strength

Image of a Sassafras tree from Aiden Brooks Spices

Why do we need Sassy Strength in our Creativity Toolbox?

Let's look at some information first.

"Sassafras is the only uniquely North American spice, with its kitchen usage restricted to a small area of the US. Filè powder (ground sassafras leaves) is an important ingredient in the two cuisines of Louisiana, Creole and Cajun."
"The essential oil of sassafras which is obtained from the root, is (after removal of safrole) used for flavouring root beer, an American beverage dating from the 19th century."
Quotes from Aiden Brooks Spices blog

SASSY . . .
1,impudent: impudent or disrespectful
2.high-spirited: lively and high-spirited

1. quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2. mental power, force, or vigor.
3. moral power, firmness, or courage.

Sassy Strength is essential in those moments when our projects seem in disarray and someone says to us:

"Are you the lady who is writing a novel? I heard about you from ________. What qualifies you to write a novel? What background do you have that makes you think you can be a writer?"

These are real questions I was asked just a few days ago . . .

And it was the last question that struck a nerve . . .especially since I felt like all my writing that day sucked.

However, I felt I needed to answer that one for writers everywhere so I answered with a touch of sassy strength:

"Yes, I'm a writer, and I write every day. I've been writing all my life. I've taken classes. and I've written three rough drafts of novels."

When further questioned I added that I've had poems and short stories published, and I have experience writing, and teaching writing classes to homeschool kids.

The conversation ended up going to friendlier ground, but there was a moment when I had to be sassy and strong to get past my own insecurities.

So, be sassy, be strong. Write. Create.

Trust that God created you for good purposes, and one of those purposes is to be creative.

Creativity Toolbox Exercise: Tell someone today that you are a writer, or a musician, or an artist. Say it to the mirror. Honor the creative spark within you, and don't let anyone put you down.


  1. I have been remiss on following your blog. I love this saaay stuff and aplod it. I wish in life I had been more sassy. good for you.

  2. Ah, this is why I've been so private about my life as a writer (in real life, I mean.) I hate it when I feel cornered to prove to someone that I'm capable of writing a novel. The only people who really know are my family and close friends. But in the cyber world, it's different. Being involved in a writing community is empowering. These people, these other writers, know and understand exactly what I go through and the challenges I face. So cool and awesome! :)

  3. Sassy and strong. Definitely a good thing for a writer to be, especially on those more difficult writing days. :)

  4. Excellent S post. I once introduced the character of the song I was singing as "sassy." It helped me get in touch with some great energy, and got a great response.

  5. Sad that there are people who would ask such questions. Some people just don't know how negative they sound.

  6. What qualifies them to judge you like that?! Wow.

  7. I have a bit of sassy in reserve if you ever need it, want it or just decide you feel like being extra sassy for the heck of it.

    I must admit, a sassy answer was in order for that line of questioning. Not sure what the interrogation was about, but whenever I mention I write I let them know it is a passion, something I love to do. If asked about my qualifications - which hasn't happened yet, knock on wood - I'd probably giggle at them and explain that an MFA, BA in Fine Arts nor an associates in Liberal Arts are basic requirements to qualify a person to write a novel. For me, what qualifies a writer is having the idea, the desire to research and give it your all and then writing the darn draft.

  8. I think it's sad so many people judge based on what they think they know about so many occupations--writing included. Good for you on being sassy and strong!

    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

  9. You are indeed a writer! I think perhaps this person should be asked, "What qualifies you to determine who can be a writer?"

    Keep writing, Tyrean, keep writing! :)

  10. I love that...sassy and strong. I want to be known as sassy! and not in the talk-back way but going after what I want...great s...

  11. kathleen - Thanks!

    Cherie - I agree, the people I've met in the cyber world are awesome, supportive and encouraging!

    Joy - Sounds like a fun character to sing!

    Alex - I agree. I realized after feeling defensive that the other person really didn't realize how she sounded . . .she was actually genuinely interested in "what" makes a writer and "why" someone feels a need to write or feels qualified to write . . . she just didn't get it.

    Tonja - no idea, but she had some interesting notions that writers were "qualified" only through graduate course training and a study of literature.

    Angela - I agree. All it takes to write a novel is passion, research, and hard work at actualy writing. And Thanks for the offer of some sass! :-)

    Golden Eagle - Thanks!

    Karen - Thank you! And I'll remember that question . . .

    Tracy - Go for it! Be sassy and strong!

  12. Ha! Good for you sassy girl.

    I think most people like reading about sassy strong characters because it's often so hard to do in real life. We always try to be so polite and get along. It's fun to watch a character who says what's on her mind.

  13. Ha! My husband was just reading on a root beer bottle about sassafras, a bottle of it he had for dinner. Yeah, my confidence rollercoasters a little as far as my writing. Normal ups and downs. :) I'm glad God made me creative! and you too!

  14. I do love the word SASSY! Have you ever seen the Saturday Night Live skit with that word? I searched for it on youtube but couldn't find it.

    *looks in the mirror* I'm a writer!

  15. Great point! Sassy is a quality I lost when I quit being a teenager. Looks like it's time to get it back :)

  16. I see in the comments that the questioner's tone was not as judgmental as it might come across. If it were, I have to admit my temptation would have been to give a sarcastic answer like "the voices in my head make me do it." After all, everyone assumes creative people are rather off kilter. But your rational argument is probably a more legit response. :-)

    BTW, I've tagged you for the "Lucky Seven" meme in which we share a snippet from our work. Hope you'll participate.

  17. Interesting background on sassy - and I loved your comeback when someone challenged you about being a writer. I visited here before... not for a long time though, but nice to visit again during the A-Z challenge


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