Tuesday, May 19, 2015

3 Ways Writing Takes Courage

April's "lost month" syndrome seems to have carried through into May. Case in point, this post which was due to be posted yesterday. Ah well. My monthly focus for May is courage, and in particular how it relates to writing. I've never given thought to more than the old "I am, therefore I write", but in talking with several new-to-publishing authors I've had to take another look at what it takes to do what we do.

3 Ways Writing Takes Courage:



Corona Typewriter
image courtesty of Kristin Nador Flicker Wana Commons/CC BY 2.0



1. When we first take pen to paper we shine a light on our dreamsBy doing so we risk failure, or worse. Those things we hold most precious are the ones we clutch the tightest. Sometimes it's easier to give in to our desire to keep our dreams safe and bury them so deep even we forget what they are.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” 
― William G.T. Shedd

2. Somewhere down the road we have to share our work. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a favorite teacher, an online forum, a beta reader, or (hopefully) a publisher. Sharing our work is hard, lonely, and one of the scariest thing a writer can do. Ask any author you know. Trust me, we’ll go on for hours. 

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
— Muhammad Ali

3. We have to be  honest with ourselves. Readers can tell when we are authentic in our work. We have to be willing to face the hard questions. Whether they deal with emotions and reactions for our characters, or why we are procrastinating when it comes to putting  words on the page.

Just be honest with yourself. That opens the door. 
— Vernon Howard

But to me, the part of writing that takes the most courage is just when we think we’ve won the battle - we have to be willing to do it all over again.

I'm fascinated by this idea both as an author, and a reader. How about you? If you're a writer, what part of the process did you find the most difficult? Readers, do you ever think of what it takes for your favorite author to share their dreams?

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