Author Wanted: Courage Required

One must be courageous to write, to remove oneself from family and friends to tap thoughts on a keyboard. To be a writer one must fight the onslaught of time constraints, the torrent of second-guessing, and storms of doubt that ravage an otherwise positive outlook.

Fiction writers face the daunting task of shaping imaginings into a sensible and logical story, all the while hoping to entertain a stranger thousands of miles from where creation sprang. Writers live (some may say are haunted) with their thoughts, their characters, their dreams, wondering if they have the necessary skills and talent, and in essence, a vision to impart and be understood. But that comes later.

The first and foremost task the writer must master is the writing itself, and this is a special kind of bravery. Daily writing is ideal, and some claim (as I do) that nothing is as valuable as the habit of daily writing. Whether 200 words or 2,000, keeping the mind limber and active each day ensures improvement the following day, and so on. At times it is difficult, seemingly impossible, to forge those pictures from your head to words on a page, but it must be done—no different than those days you abhor going to the day job, but report nonetheless.

Writing takes time, effort, but most of all passion—writing is hard, and without passion, one cannot garner and sustain the courage to face the continual battles creation entails. You have that kind of courage, that will to succeed and improve, or you would not be reading and/or following the Knights of Writ.

The next step is harder still: others must read your work. Only then does one gravitate from writer to author.

First, friends will read your story, maybe a family member or two, perhaps an acquaintance who demonstrates the same love for writing. A critique group might follow, and it will hurt: not everybody will share your vision. Learn from them, acknowledge their right to not like phrases or word choices, or maybe they didn’t understand at all. It’s okay to be hurt by criticism, but the hurt must be turned into a determination to improve. Write more, improve—gaining skill is automatic.

Writing is a continual learning process, and even criticism can benefit your growth as a writer.

The following step is sending your “child” into the publishing wilderness where you are convinced pariahs lurk around every tree, intent on devouring what strength and confidence you built, bit by painful bit, during creation and revision.

Take Heart. Arch those fingers toward the keyboard and turn those imaginings and dreams into a reality. Let the critics scoff, if they must. It is not your job to worry about the reaction . . . your job is to write, to produce, to improve.

Remember this: opinions are like body orifices—everybody has several. Do Not allow the critics to take you down because you are striving for a better good, that is, to satisfy the yearning to write, the very need to write that which grows from your heart to your head and finally to your fingertips.

Be courageous and write that story because nobody else can do it like you.

See you on the next page,

Rick

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