The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

“It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.’

-Rocky Balboa.

It seems as though every single writer at some point in their life attempts to describe their process through the analogy of boxing. I’m a fighter they say. I’ve been knocked to the ground and picked myself back up again just to get where I am! Oftentimes their stories are inspiring and can in some way be loosely tied into the boxing metaphor, but after a while they can all start to gel together and fall into a state of forget-ability. It’s a great analogy; don’t get me wrong. But ultimately it’s a terrible cliché that we creative folk have forever tarnished. Even as I wrote out the epigraph at the top of this post I could hear the collective groan of ‘oh God, he’s quoting Rocky now?

You better believe that I am.

Tomorrow is an important day for me. It marks the one-year anniversary of my trip to New York; the moment where I started to get my shit together and actually make some headway towards becoming an author. On July 3rd 2014 when I sat alone in an airport terminal awaiting my flight’s 6am departure I wasn’t exactly in the best of mental states. I’d just spent a month living with my brother and his now wife after a failed relationship had forced me to move out of my home. I was working a job that made me miserable, and had shrunk into myself to such a degree that I wasn’t even maintaining contact with my closest friends. Even my writing was terrible; flick back and read a few blog entries and you’ll see that I was a troubled soul desperate to make sense of his life.

In boxing terms I’d been knocked the fuck out. I was sprawled out on the mat staring at the ceiling as I sucked in painful gasps of breath, wondering how the hell I’d been sucker punched so easily. But as painful as it was at the time, I picked myself up and stepped onto a plane and gave myself the opportunity to fight again. I figured that if I wanted to be the wolf I claimed to be I had to learn how to get hit and get back up and just keep going.

Bellicose is an adjective that literally means showing aggression and willingness to fight. On July 3rd 2014 I didn’t realize that my willingness to chase a dream even when times were tough would allow me to become the man I am right now. I didn’t realize that just by dragging myself into pitching sessions I would reignite a confidence and passion that had been lost. And I could never have fathomed that the confidence my New York adventure inspired would ultimately allow me to have my work put into print.

Now twelve months on I have published my first novel, I run a healthy blog with a steadily growing audience, I’ve got a new career, a clearer mind and a beautiful girl who puts up with a lot of my creative antics. When I look at the monumental shift between where I was and where I am now, I can’t help but feel proud of what I’ve become. Life gets shit sometimes. There’s no denying that. Every single one of us has our hardship. But if you learn to build resilience and continuously give yourself the opportunity to fight: if you doggedly rise whenever you’re knocked down, eventually things get better. And if you keep battling on, and not just saying so through clichéd writings then eventually you’ll find happiness.

Writers and artists are often tormented souls. We live in the grey; an infinite space between society’s black and white where we fail to fully understand or accept life and conventional wisdom. At times life in the grey can leave you feeling isolated and alone; the art you strive so hard to create can literally leave you feeling dejected and disconnected from the people closest to you. But it’s important to remember in those moments of isolation that you’re not alone. You’re with me. And you’re with every single writer, musician, and artist that has come before you, or is still yet to come.

When you learn to pick yourself back up each time you get hit you start to realize just how strong you truly are. When you realize the depths of your own strength you can use it to produce artwork that becomes a shining light for others who are searching for an end to their own downward spirals.

Twelve months ago I never would have imagined that people would be buying my novels. I’d dreamed about it; but when I got rejected or punched out I’d give up. Now I’m sitting here at my desk smiling at just how far I’ve come in such a short space of time. The best part? I haven’t achieved all of my goals just yet; as far as I’m concerned I’ve only just begun.

68 thoughts on “Bellicose

  1. Purpleanais says:

    This tormented soul applauds yours – brilliant post ❤

  2. Rose Red says:

    I am also tormented, and this is a very encouraging pep talk. Congratulations on a good year.

  3. It seems we have both been beaten down recently. This Philadelphia artist, now business researcher in of all things, Resilience, salutes your success.

  4. Anoop says:

    I liked this article very much! Loved your openness and resilience. Bellicose – it makes me stronger now. I could related myself to your article. Thank you for writing such an inspiring and lively post about writers and artists. “Writers and artists are often tormented souls. ” – What a wonderful line. ❤ ❤

    Congrats on your success mate!

  5. Anoop says:

    Reblogged this on People and Hearts and commented:
    Every writer and artist must read this! ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. Chrissy says:

    awesome & true – love how you communicated that

  7. abhishek0107 says:

    Its great to hear that your doing really well now.. Do keep up the wonderful work 😀

  8. A // W // F says:

    Thanks, friend. Your words came at the perfect time. And in all seriousness: go you. I hope you celebrate your own awesome today. Thanks for sharing your journey!! 🙂

  9. ezirkara says:

    Reminds me of one of my favorite songs.

    “It is the discomfort that sets us apart
    That wakes us up, that puts us to sleep
    It is our pathetic moments
    Which make us desire to be great

    It is the starving itself
    That makes us hungry to want more
    Over time as you learn to fall
    You’ll rise to your feet faster than the time before.” -David Gold

  10. adamlay123sd says:

    I love this post as although it is about your journey and your dream to become a writer I feel it could be read and taken on board by anyone who comes up against a challenge of any context in life! Never give up, that way you’ve never actually lost, your just working on it!

  11. Indigo Soul says:

    Really appreciate your candid tale, and how you acknowledge us -the collective us- out there fighting the good fight everyday. Though your drive is clearly fierce(mine was, I suspect I may “older” lol; your rational is on point-and again, your compassion for others which ispired you to post it-awesome.
    Thanks Chris and congrats! where can we find your novel?

    1. Thank you. It’s always encouraging to receive support and feedback from fellow creatives. There’s a link in my bio that will take you through to the Amazon landing page for Midas.

  12. Good luck with your book

  13. Kayla Johnson says:

    Congrats. And you know what? I’ve shared this before too, and who cares? Great lines deserve to be repeated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKz1GD4S3GM

  14. Kayla Johnson says:

    Congrats.

    1. Kayla Johnson says:

      Sheesh. I need to get my computer fixed, right? Where’s the delete button?!

  15. abhishek0107 says:

    Reblogged this on Bahusruta and commented:
    Quite inspirational.. Something you could say to yourself in searching times

  16. “We live in the grey” is perfect. Great post.

  17. eddiehamel says:

    Life hits hard, fast and whenever you’re looking the other way. Prove to yourself, above anyone else, that you can pull yourself back up, and stumble forward into the grey with a new sense of purpose.

  18. Chris, you have worded my feelings concerning the art of writing, especially in my own life, exactly as I would have. We are rarely understood by family and friends. I see that as musician, too. I feel it. Some don’t. Sometimes during a certain song, my emotions hang in my throat, and I love that it can do that to me. It’s the same with writing–exactly the same.
    Many friends just do not understand; they make those that do even that much more precious.
    Having recently finished a novel, a first revision, and homing in on the end of a second revision, I plan to seek an agent soon. I laugh when I write that because my passion and the results of it will truly “hit the fan”. Yes, I may be knocked down, but I’m ready to get back up swinging. If there’s one thing I have learned from delving into my passions, it’s that I have to believe in myself.
    Great read, Chris. And thanks.

  19. Reblogged this on j willis sanders and commented:
    Chris, you have worded my feelings concerning the art of writing, especially in my own life, exactly as I would have. We are rarely understood by family and friends. I see that as musician, too. I feel it. Some don’t. Sometimes during a certain song, my emotions hang in my throat, and I love that it can do that to me. It’s the same with writing–exactly the same.
    Many friends just do not understand; they make those that do even that much more precious.
    Having recently finished a novel, a first revision, and homing in on the end of a second revision, I plan to seek an agent soon. I laugh when I write that because my passion and the results of it will truly “hit the fan”. Yes, I may be knocked down, but I’m ready to get back up swinging. If there’s one thing I have learned from delving into my passions, it’s that I have to believe in myself.
    Great read, Chris. And thanks.

    1. Oh yes, re-blogged with my comment.

  20. Ned's Blog says:

    I’m glad you were down but not out, Chris. It’s while we’re down that we see the clearest path upward. I think the year you’ve had, and all the positive momentumis proof of that.

    Congrats for being a survivor.

  21. The College Blogger says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. You have a clear writing style, and your journey is so relatable. At the moment, I’m in college studying to become a writer *fingers crossed*, But again, Well done!

  22. nikibayard says:

    hi 🙂 awesome post 🙂
    and I am nearly there… nearly a year ago, my cousin said to me…
    “i’ll remind you in a year!!!!”, well it’s nearly a year 😉
    Niki.

  23. nikibayard says:

    Reblogged this on Niki Bayard and commented:
    yep… 🙂 nearly a year!

  24. Glynis Jolly says:

    I love success stories that aren’t drippy sweet. Yours isn’t. I wish you even more success for this next 12 months.

  25. Thank you for liking “Flowers at the Farmers Market, 2010.” I am glad to hear that you have been able to turn your life around over the past year. Congratulations! 🙂 I like your description of how writers and artists live in the grey. I think it is an accurate one. It reminded me of something I learned in school called the tower-turf dialectic. It is the artist’s fate to vacillate between the “tower” of their own artistic creation, which is isolated from life and everyone else, and the “turf” of worldly experience that provides the materials artists use to create their art. It is often not a balanced way of life, but some artists manage to learn how to navigate successfully between extremes. 🙂

  26. Wow! Congrats! Love your post Keep it up!

  27. So far I’ve only read Bellicose and Suicide Season but really love your writing. I created my new blog because I really don’t know which way my life is going right now and at close to the ‘F’ word have no clue where to go. All I know is that it’s 5:45 am and I’m on my 9th can of lager after promising myself that I wouldn’t drink so much tonight. I hope to follow your work and please also take care.

  28. oosorio456 says:

    NEVERTHELESS, looks like a great novel,although probably this one could be the start of a successful writer’s career

  29. Judith Post says:

    I’m so happy for you! Keep going, and I wish you all the luck in the world.

  30. Keep up the wonderful work! 😀

  31. Swatii says:

    One beautiful piece i have come across.
    Marvellous 🙂

  32. The Black Hat Writer says:

    Congratulations. Trying to become a writer is a tough lot. A lot of people think it’s the writing, but it’s not. It’s finding someone to give you that chance that is so hard. I know the feeling of the struggle. I have many ideas and love for the craft, but it’s difficult to get noticed. I feel like the Rocky that can’t get up anymore. LOL

    Good luck with all your endeavors.

  33. caldosorriso says:

    Reblogged this on ifwisheswerefishes333 and commented:
    Amen! 🙂

  34. Filmbell says:

    Chris Nicholas, thank you for your recent appreciation of Marc Davis, a nice gentleman and an influential popular artist, as presented on our site.

    Filmbell thanks you, and sincerely, for helping us note our own year’s progress toward fulfillment, since last July. It has been a great annum, so enlightening and spiritual for us.

    To wit, an old-time editor named George Lorimer once noted, “Writing is like religion, every man who feels the call must work out his own salvation.” We send hopes for another year of health, vigor, writing and publishing.

  35. shambhavi31 says:

    Hey there! Congratulations on your novel. 😀 Our dreams face a lot of boulders on their path to accomplishment. This post really dips into those grey areas we all face in our lives, however easy it may seem to the outside world, at the end of the day, it’s our dream and no one else’s and it’s utter waste of time to expect any form of support from others. Writing is the most beautiful way to express, I am happy for your achievement. Very glad to have come across your blog!
    Best wishes,
    Shambhavi

  36. komaldave7 says:

    Brilliant post… isn’t it wonderful that such posts come to you right at the time when you are contemplating a lot of stuff in your life! Great blog! 🙂

  37. æon austin says:

    I needed this. It’s interesting to me to see ALL of the responses and to realize that feeling of isolation is a common thread amongst creative individuals, and I debated for a long time to even add to the list of responses. But the bottom line is that I really needed this. I’m excited for you because I see a bit of myself in your story: that moment(s) of awakening, the loneliness and feelings of being misunderstood and at times overwhelmed with the world around you, and the work you’re subjecting yourself to. Keep going, and thank you!

  38. yeyepikin says:

    Congrats Chris, i think you have just given me another reason to keep pushing harder.

  39. Kait King says:

    Hi Chris – I thought for a bit of fun I would nominate you for The Quote of the Day Challenge – being such an inspirational writer I’m sure you will find this a breeze! 🙂 If you would like to partake – here is the link: https://kaitkingthewriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/3-quotes-a-day-challenge-day-1/ Cheers

  40. CJ says:

    Nice. Thanks for reading my stuff. I’m on the downward fall of a king hit. It’s hard to believe it will get better, life and luck are fickle. But hey glad some are succeeding, especially fellow Aussies.

  41. writezero says:

    This is a great post, I’m glad to have caught it. It explains what many authors tend to go through to become the best they can be, only when their mettle has been tested. Even if it is clichéd, if it important to you, then it is so important that you say it, and that makes it important to me and to every creative person ever to claim a title. Thanks for this, very motivating.

  42. writezero says:

    Reblogged this on writezero and commented:
    This is a very inspiring and motivating tale, with quick wit to boot, tied up in a little bow called a blog. Highly recommend you read.

  43. Great post! Congratulations on your success, and I hope your future as an author is everything you dream it will be!

  44. Congratulations on completing one year! Keep going…it will be worth it*
    -S

  45. ameygadre says:

    Reblogged this on ameygadre and commented:
    When you fall down, you just need to awake the monster and that will get all the things upright.

  46. ameygadre says:

    When you fall down, you just need to awake the monster and that will get all the things upright.

  47. finnwest2015 says:

    Awesome post Chris!
    Finn

  48. timjgeiger says:

    I love the Rocky movies! Your right we are a tormented lot…

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