Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Writing as an Act of Courage

There are many parts of this crazy writing quest that require courage. It takes courage to get the ideas from your head down on paper. It takes courage to let someone else read what you've written. It takes courage to ask for a critique. It takes courage to submit, and it takes even more courage to submit again after being rejected. But I want to talk about courage in the actual writing itself. I once received a critique that said something along the lines of, "It seems like you're afraid of your own writing. You need to go all out on the descriptions here." Wow. That gave me pause. Afraid of my own writing? He was absolutely right. I was writing timidly, as if thinking, "This isn't really that great. Maybe it's just a stupid idea." That's no way to write! Really. Boldness is required! I rewrote the scene in question and I sold the story a short time later.

I still find myself falling into a trap of timidity when writing. I have to remind myself often to be bold! Be courageous! Let my imagination fly wherever it wants to go, and just write it. If I start worrying about what others will think, I just become paralyzed. I've found boldness to be liberating. I find that when I am bold, the story turns out much better than when I write worried about if it sucks or not. Usually, if I use boldness, the story doesn't suck. So, my challenge for you today is to sit down and write with courage, however you define it. Boldly go where no writer has gone before! I think you're writing will be better for it. 

19 comments:

Linz said...

You are right! This post is really inspiring! Thanks!

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Angie, for this post. I find it very easy to begin to question your writing, especially once I get toward the last fourth of my stories. But you are right. It's better to be bold. :)

Joanne said...

Thanks for this inspiration. I think that boldness gives a certain credibility to our craft, which shines through in those words for the reader to feel.

Lindsey Duncan said...

We've all had those moments, I think. Thanks for this post! It's a great reminder.

Medeia Sharif said...

I find myself hesitating, but I urge myself to go forward. My favorite books are the bold ones.

L.T. Elliot said...

I do this sometimes, too. I think I get too caught up in the worry and just let the fear take over. I need to be bolder. Thanks, Angie!

myletterstoemily said...

what a great post!

i will try to be more courageous.
it has really taken a lot of courage
just to write a blog.

baby steps

blessings,
lea

Aubrie said...

I love the idea of being bold! I need to be more bold, myself. And to quote Star Trek is awesome!

Mary Campbell said...

Write with boldness - I like it.

Carolyn V. said...

Ohhh, I like this Angie! I need to be more bold. =)

Josi said...

This is such great advice. It's so easy to let the insecurity build up until you can't get past it. Bold is a perfect word.

Yamile said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I too need to be bolder!

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent advice, Angie, and just what I needed to hear. I'm going to be more courageous today.

Lisa Rusczyk said...

Love the Star Trek! Live long...

Amanda Borenstadt said...

You are **so** right. Through most of reading that, I was thinking, "That's not me." By the end, I realized it was. I have unfinished stories because I'm afraid what I really want to write is going to sound stupid.

Well, if they do suck, nobody will print it and only me and the 100 publishers I submit to will see them. If they're good, the universe will see them. Well, maybe not the universe. :)

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Angie, I found your blog when I noticed that you became a follower of mine and I was glad to see such an awesome post right away.

Writing truly is an act of courage and the hardest part is that you have to be a bit braver with each progressive step towards getting published.

Personally I try to incorporate a little Zen.

I love to write. I know I'm good at it. I know others will agree. I know someone will want to buy my book.

That's a mantra by the way, not me trying to sound like an egotistical ass.

Tess said...

Yes, yes! thanks for reminding us.

Mary Campbell said...

Hi Angie - I gave you an award at my blog.

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree that writing takes a lot of courage, which is why so many people I meet say they've always wanted to write, but don't actually do it.

While I write, I try not to psyche myself out by telling myself it's no good. It makes sense that we can be afraid of our own writing.