Crawdad Tenacity

OK, you’re probably looking at the title and wondering: what the heck do some stupid little crustaceans have to do with writing? Well, if they are living in your office, lots. Called by many names: crayfish, crawdads, and mud bugs; they are still a multi-legged creature that looks like a lobster that got tossed in a dryer and shrunk. Not much more than 3” long, they are tiny armed soldiers clambering around their rocky battle ground. And you’re still wondering what they have to do with writing? I’ll tell you.

The “mud bug” tank in my office.

Writers are like crawdads, we need to have a tough shell to handle the pressure, criticism, and general stigma of being an Indie author. No, most of us aren’t famous; but day after day we drone away on our keyboards creating masterpieces. It takes a tough shell to do what we do and keep our heads held high. From time to time crawdads molt their shells to grow; as writers this should signify growth in our profession. Taking the time to research and produce the best quality books we can. Growing by learning new skills such as marketing and branding (oh, that still sounds painful!) to help with our sales. Growth can be venturing into new genres or experimenting with non-fiction.

A crawdad molting its shell.

Writers need persistence. I’ve watched a crawdad in my tank work several minutes on how to get on top of a stone shelter. It tried several times, each falling off. Finally it managed to get to just the right spot and scrambled on top. The reward: some food tidbits that were left over from the morning’s feeding. Writers must persist in the face of adversity. Don’t worry about bad reviews—especially if that book is selling well. Haters are everywhere.

Writers need tenacity. I’ve observed the tiniest crawdad in the tank chase the biggest one out of the way. They act like little bulldozers, claws raised, tentacles whipping around to make themselves look bigger. But in reality, it’s the one who wants it the most will win the battle for right of way. It’s the same for authors. If you don’t have drive, you won’t succeed. Get up every morning, drink that cup of motivation, and say to yourself: I am going to kick some butt today!

Writers need claws! No, really, we do. Admittedly, it would be hard to type with them, but they are handy for self-defense. Have you ever been pinched by a crab, lobster, or crawdad? It hurts! Even the smallest ones can deliver a painful pinch. Why do we need claws? To give ourselves some defense in this cut-throat world of writing. They go hand in hand with the hard shells—to give us protection.

You want somma dis, huh? Huh?

So, now you realize that Indie writers are like crawdads. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, but they all function the same. Our goal is to get our story out there and to stand by it. As Indies, we represent a threat to Big 6 publishing with our lower cost books and large selection. They can’t win the war if there’s too many of us. Remember: in a tank full of crawdads, it’s not the biggest ones that win.

All right, crawdads, get to work!

Author: Kathy Rowe (K. Rowe)

K. Rowe is an experienced and prolific multi-genre author. She draws from over twenty years of active Air Force service. Kathy lives in eastern Kentucky with her husband and a zoo of farm animals. Among her many duties she finds time to offer services as a publishing consultant for new authors. Learn more about Kathy from Facebook, and her Amazon author page.

14 thoughts on “Crawdad Tenacity”

  1. Awesome post and oh, so true! You know I gotta ask. Why do you have crawfish and lobster in your tank? It’s rare that they are pets!

    1. LOL, it actually started out as a fish tank, but the fish all got sick and died. So I caught a bunch of crawdads from the creek and populated it. They are fascinating to watch.

  2. Excellent, Kathy, I love it! A wonderfully written article. And as far as Indies and the big six are concerned: (to quote Victor Hugo) ‘Armies cannot stop an idea whose time has come!’

    1. I think the boiling part could be thought of as bad reviews and how do we take them? Do we hop in the pot with a boiling temper? Or do we let it cool and then take a warm bath?

  3. Great piece, Kathy, as written from the heart. What’s easy to read has been difficult to write. What flows well, connecting sentence with sentence, required sweat and blood. Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing in spite of all rejections.

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