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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Qualities of a Writer Part III: Courage

cour·age [kur-ij, kuhr-] –noun 1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Writing takes a great deal of courage at every stage. I have blogged about courage before, but I think it's an important quality for a writer to cultivate. It's worth talking about again. How about this quote:  

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne

That pretty much sums up my writing journey. I was afraid to start writing, afraid my ideas were no good, that I didn't know what I was doing, that I was doomed to failure. I was afraid to let anyone read what I had written. I was afraid to submit it. I was afraid to keep going after I'd been rejected.

But you know what? I did all those things anyway. Writing meant too much for me to give up just because it was scary.

How about you? Do you have any fears about writing? How do you find your courage?

18 comments:

Melanie Goldmund said...

I was afraid to write about rape, but I gave myself permission to try it out in secret and not show it to anybody if it didn't work. That gave me the courage to go on. I might not have written a perfectly realistic story, but at least I tried!

But my really big fear is that I'm afraid I'm not really a writer, that I won't be able to produce anything that's not fanfic. I'm afraid I'll always need that crutch, that extra boost, the helpful foundations of situations and characters that someone else has created. I'm between stories right now, I've finished a fanfic and want to start an original story, but I'm scared I won't be able to come up with an original idea that I can properly develop. I've tried twice in the last year, and both ideas failed miserably. And for this fear, that I'll never be able to move on, I haven't found my courage yet.

tiffany said...

ok i dont write so i have no fear there but i do have and have had fear in other parts of my life i had to decide what was most important to me and where i want to be in life and countinually remind myself that no matter how scared i get or am

Tyrean Martinson said...

Fear is the biggest roadblock to my writing. A landslide of giant, bouder-sized blocks that make the road seem impassible. I get afraid of failure, and cliches, and just not writing "good enough." But I keep writing anyway, picking my way around the boulders and leaving my big idea/dream "car" behind the roadblock.

Stephanie McGee said...

I love that quote. Either my mom or my sister-in-law has it on a plaque in their house. (I'm gonna guess my sister-in-law, but really I can't say for certain.)

Christine Rains said...

Courage is vital. I've known a lot of talented people that don't have the courage to put themselves out there. I fear that I will never be good enough. Yet I keep pushing myself to learn more, to improve my craft, and put myself out there even after getting rejections.

Angie said...

Hi all. I think you've all hit on the very heart of courage. Going on in the face of fear! Keep going, all of you. You will achieve your dreams if only you don't give up! Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate all of you so much.

dellgirl said...

Great post, Angie. Thanks for sharing and putting this in perspective. There is nothing I can add, it has all been said.

I dropped by to say hello and see how you’re doing.

Nisa said...

I have a fear of courage. Help! Hehe! I have a fear of failure. Definitely my biggest fear and it bleeds over into writing for sure. I always wonder if my writing is really any good.

Angie said...

Thanks, Dellgirl. It always makes me happy when you stop by!

LTM said...

ah, yes. The fear of never getting published, the fear of no matter how hard I try, how many revisions, still just missing... :D Those are all the silly mind games we play.

But I LOVE that John Wayne quote. Good stuff. Thanks~ :o) <3

Larry and Cindy said...

Great post Angie! I could use some of that courage, I just can't seem to find it. I used to have tons of it...what happened to me?

Angie said...

Don't worry, Mom. You can get it back again! Love you.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Fear of failure. fear of nobody liking what I write. Fear of not achieving what I want. Those are my fears.

Carolyn V said...

That is so true! I'd hate to write about all of my writing fears (because my comment would take up the whole page. lol.) But I have to keep on going! =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I only fear what people will think. I guess that's a lot, huh? But when someone gives the book less than four stars, I have to wonder - what did I do wrong?
Probably why I'm not making a career out of this!

Maeve Frazier said...

Angie - great post! Love the quote. Fear that others won't like what I write. Fear of not getting published. Fear that I am not trying hard enough.

Angie said...

Thank you, Maeve. I have (and still do) experienced similar fears. It's good to have the courage to keep trying!

Kelley said...

I'm always afraid to start writing. I panic. I get all kinds of weirded out with self-doubt, but when I start, I <3 it.

Good post!

From a newb follower :)