The Courage to Be Myself: Real-Life Lessons from Fiction by Olga Godim

This month’s Fictional Lesson for an All-Too-Real Life is from Olga Godim, a freelance journalist from Vancouver, Canada. Her passion is fantasy fiction. Olga’s short fantasy stories have appeared in multiple internet and print magazines, and her high fantasy novels Almost Adept and Eagle en Garde were published recently by Champagne/Burst Books. As an indie writer, she self-published the urban fantasy short story collection “Squirrel of Magic” in 2014. In her free time, she collects toy monkeys and knits woolen socks for her family and friends.

But that doesn’t explain the talking squirrels, so read on.

The Courage To Be Myself

What I learned from my fiction? I would say the courage to be myself.

I became a writer pretty late in life. By education, I’m a computer programmer. I worked with computers for over two decades. I’m also a daydreamer, always have been. Since I remember myself, I’ve made up stories and played them in my head but I never told anyone about my daydreams. They were my secret. Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed by them. I was a professional woman, a single mom with two kids. I couldn’t admit that I dreamt about magic, swords, and talking squirrels.

It felt like living in a stifling box, with a lid closed, crouching there in the darkness, hiding from everyone, including myself. Then I began writing my stories down, and the lid of my box broke open. I emerged as a fledgling writer, still wobbly and unsure but getting better everyday, learning to fly on the wings of my words.

In the beginning, I played down my writing, still ashamed, still afraid, still half-hiding. But then my heroes made me reassess my life. They were not afraid or ashamed. They knew who they were. Why couldn’t I be like them?

Eriale, the protagonist of my fantasy novel Almost Adept, is a magician. Magic defines her, informs her every choice. Even when it’s inconvenient or dangerous, she would never deny her true nature.

From Eriale I learned to value something that defines me – my vivid, fantasy-prone imagination. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. After all, it’s my imagination that provides nutrition for my stories. I should treasure it, admit to it openly, for all the world to hear. Like Eriale, I wield magic, the magic of words, and like her, I could affect people through my writing. Even when it’s inconvenient, I should never deny my true nature. I’m a writer.

Darin, the protagonist of my novel Eagle en Garde, is a swordsman extraordinaire. He trains for  hours to achieve perfection, through pain and despair, disregarding his injuries. In the end, his skills help him triumph against his enemies.

Like Darin, I work tirelessly on my writing skills. I take classes and enroll in workshops. I write for hours, disregarding my dusty house and empty fridge.

Writing liberates me. Now that I’m out of the box, writing allows me to escape the mundane. When I dive into my imaginary world, with its magic and its brave heroes, I’m one of them, free to explore and fantasize and create.


Connect with Olga via her Social Media links and find her books:

Website and blog:





Cover and link to Almost Adept by Olga Godim

Almost Adept

Burst Books



Eagle en GardCover and link to Eagle En Garde by Olga Godime

Burst Books





Squirrel of Magic





3 thoughts on “The Courage to Be Myself: Real-Life Lessons from Fiction by Olga Godim

  1. Pingback: What I learned from my fiction | Olga Godim writing

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