Thursday, January 22, 2015

Courage to write...where do you find yours?

Where do you get your courage?       



I’ll admit it, I’m a coward. I carry around a fear that sometimes paralyzes me and sends me running away from my WIP rather than putting butt in chair and face it. Instead, I find myself doing the most awful, mundane chores imaginable. Remember last summer when I cleaned behind all of the electrical faceplates in the house? Seriously! Armed with my spray bottle of 409 and a screwdriver I managed to waste an entire day on the pretense of keeping my family healthy wiping away the germs and avoiding embarrassment from friends who might notice the smudgy fingerprints on my wall outlets.

And God forbid we should suffer from the hidden bacteria contaminating the can-opener!

See the pattern? I will do anything NOT to write.


But…it seems I am not alone.


In my quest to avoid yet another day of staring at a blank screen, or worse, examine my characters GMC (Goal-Motivation-Conflict), I picked up this book I honestly can’t remember when I bought it, and started to read. “The Courage to Write” by Ralph Keyes.


And there, staring me right in the face was the answer. It was like attending an AA meeting with fellows writers confessing their fears of writing.


E.B.White- gave us not only ‘Charlottes Web’ and ‘Stuart Little’ but he also revised a handy booklet present on most everyone’s desk titled, ‘The Elements of Style’ by the late William Strunk Jr. Named Elwyn Brooks White, he claimed because his mother ran out of names, was a procrastinator who managed most days to avoid the trauma of writing altogether by squandering valuable writing time puttering around on his farm in Maine. He told a friend once that he considered himself “the second most inactive writer living, and the 3rd most discouraged.”


Seems I’m in good company, huh?


Okay, so I could go on with many wonderful and encouraging phrases in this book but instead, I’ll gather my courage, my tools, and go to work on the novel I’m writing. After all, I’ve got characters waiting for me to suck it up and continue on. 


How about you? What are your reasons for not writing?





  1. When I have a particularly tense scene to write - with the heroine arguing with someone, dealing with some really rough stuff or anything that is going to make me, as the author, cry - that's when I start working on the laundry, organizing the cupboards or going through the kids' clothes to see what I can donate to Goodwill. Anything but face the conflict that I know will make it a better book. But *that's* how non-confrontational I am! ;) It's so ridiculous, it's funny.

  2. Oh no, non-confrontational- funny, and as good an excuse as any to avoid the conflict we create. We put them in a pickle and then get queasy about it. LOL. But it's also very rewarding when you pull out the tissue because you've made excellent emotion on the page. Keep up the good work, Jennifer!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. You're awesome!