Sunday, 22 July 2012

If at first you don't succeed!

Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), popularly known as Robert the Bruce was the King of Scots from March 1306 until his death in 1329.
The legend of Bruce and spider is world famous.
It is said that in the early days of Bruce’s reign he was defeated by the English and driven into exile. He was on the run - a hunted man. He sought refuge in a small dark cave and sat and watched a little spider trying to make a web.
Time and time again the spider would fall and then climb slowly back up to try again.
If at first you don't succeed - try, try again.
Finally, as the Bruce looked on, the spider managed to stick a strand of silk to the cave wall and began to weave a web. Robert the Bruce was inspired by the spider and went on to defeat the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.
The legend as it is now told was first published by Sir Walter Scott in ‘Tales of a Grandfather’ in 1828, more than 500 years after the Battle of Bannockburn. It is thought that Scott may have adapted a story told about Sir James Douglas.
Caves across Scotland and Ireland are said to be legendary cave of Bruce and the spider: the King's Cave at Drumadoon on Arran; King Robert the Bruce's Cave in Kirkpatrick Fleming near Lockerbie; Bruce’s Cave - Uamh-an-Righ, Balquhidder Glen; Bruce's Cave on Rathlin Island.

I am inspired to think of this phrase while watching the English cricket team trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of a draw. Of course there will be lots of other examples of opportunities over the next couple weeks of Olympics to either strive for success or give up without a fight. When we write and constantly try and find a market for our wares we don't give up at the first hurdle an attitude that seems to be common amongst authors. 
I watch a great deal of all types of sport and it seems to me that the more sportsmen receive in remuneration the more spineless they become. Perhaps I am looking for and finding convenient examples. It reminds me very much of the first boss I ever worked for. This gentleman was a middle aged, lay Methodist minister and the head teacher of a secondary school - quite a character. He used to used to use a term to describe gutless folk - LMF - 'Low Moral Fibre'. The older I get and the more decadent society seems to become the fewer examples of moral courage seem to be around. I do not include the amazingly courageous actions troops are involved with in the middle east and beyond but I do include the overpaid, over-lauded celebrities our youngsters are encouraged to glorify by the decadent press.
There must be something about writing that engenders a spirit of tenacity both in the process of producing the finished work, and then in selling the books.

God Bless