• never been much of a fighter (possibly my sisters would disagree).
  • avoid confrontation at all costs.
  • have walked away from a job – and let’s be honest, a marriage – rather than explain or deal with difficult or even merely awkward situations.
  • perhaps, given my enduring avoidance of all things awkward, it goes without saying that I suck at parties.

And it’s worth saying (twice) that I’m not a fighter.

It’s also **wisdom alert** worth knowing your hamartia. It saves you a lot of time and trouble. Imagine if Hamlet knew the consequences of his chronic indecision.

I could make you a list of my tragic flaws otherwise known as pesky, persistent and sometimes perky inner demons. In fact, I am making a list but it’s going in the book I’m writing, which thanks to a genius guide to story engineering (by Storyfix’s Larry Brooks) I’ve finally figured out how to structure. In a three and half line sentence (I’m getting in touch with my inner Victorian author), list inner demons, list inner demons conquered, figure out the intersection between those pesky personal goblins and grand (or modest) cultural themes – this is all the pre-work, here comes the actual work – write a four-part book (rife with humour, pathos and poetic turns of phrase) about the events that led to such personal growth and which illustrate said themes and concept. Then sell the movie rights to Julia Roberts (Elizabeth Gilbert) or Reese Witherspoon (Ree Drummond).

Not much of a plot, it’s true but alas that’s the hamartia of memoir. (Also: it worked rather handsomely for Elizabeth Gilbert.)

(I’d like Melissa McCarthy to play me in the movie version.)

(In which there would be no fighting. Because I’m not a fighter.)

That digression wasn’t even a digression because it echoed and underlined my point: I’m not a fighter.

Oh shit. Freudian slip? A glimpse of the future? I just typed “I’m not a writer” instead of “I’m not a fighter.” Shitshitshit.

Or…I thought I wasn’t a fighter, because I’m not into shouting, yelling, screaming, any kind of combat, conflict, confrontation, social awkwardness or vampires. In fact, I can’t even watch vampire movies. I haven’t seen Twilight but I disapprove in theory if not informed practic. Because there are vampires in it. And probably conflict.

The wide berth I give conflict is probably why my book has no plot.

BUT. I fought for this gorgeous, transformative love I’m in. I decided to go the mat, nomaddawhat, and I stayed there (prone, I’m not ashamed to say) for eleven months.

And in making my list of possible plot points/inner demons/triumphs I realized that’s what fighting looks like.

It’s hanging in there. It’s endurance. It’s persistence. It’s patience. It’s mostly very quiet and lengthy.

Fighting for what you want isn’t showy or loud or dramatic and nary a fist – or sharp word – may ever fly.

When you’ve decided what you want, you don’t have to do any of those things. You just decide, commit and endure. For as long as it takes. Nomaddawhat.

Especially if one of your historical hobgoblins is fleeing the scene. You know, “quitting jobs and relationships at the first foreshadowing of conflict”.

Eventually it will be over – thanks to your magnificent, newly-found and story/life-changing ability to fight (quietly) – and Melissa McCarthy will star as the film version of you.


From this screen to God’s ears (and eventually the wide screen).

About the author

Kelly Diels I'm Kelly Diels. I'm a writer. I've written for Salon, Jezebel, XO Jane, Problogger, Write to Done and more. I'm currently working on a book about The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand. Interested? Please subscribe to my newsletter and I'll share more thoughts and chapters with you as I write them. You can also find me on Facebook and yes please, please do.