Monday, March 1, 2010

On Courage

I've never been a very courageous person. As Laertes says to dear sister Ophelia (Hamlet, Act 1, scene 3, line 43): best safety lies in fear. Of course, with fear, nothing much gets done. There's another saying, quite trite but true: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Writing takes courage. Courage to put your work out there for rejection. Courage after publication to face the potential of scathing reviews. Courage to act even though you may feel your whole writing career hinges on one decision...which it (usually) doesn't.

I'm glad, because I'd be done if it did. I've made mistakes. I'm going to make some more. But the biggest failure, really, is letting fear win. Take courage in that.

So I'm basically giving myself a pep-talk to reveal a decision I've made (or at least think I've made). Stay tuned, dear friends. Nothing, even waiting, lasts forever.


Elana Johnson said...

I think this is one of the hardest things in writing. We put so much into it, that it's hard to hear that other people don't agree, or that they don't think it's good enough.

But I agree with you. It's okay to make mistakes. It's how we grow and improve. Thanks!

Katey said...

I hated being scared when I was a kid, so I'd make myself sit in a dark room and stare at the thing that scared me until I calmed the hell down. I catch myself doing that a lot with this writing thing too. Gotta say, fear might be there to keep us alive, but as the Bene Gesserit tell us, it's the mind-killer ;)

Looking forward to the announcement! I love suspense!

Cate Gardner said...

Every time you put yourself out there you prove you don't lack courage.

Fox Lee said...

Ah, the Wizard of Oz. That movie creeps my mother right the f*ck out.

Doug Murano said...

I liked this post, Aaron. And it covered a lot of ground I've been treading in my own mind lately.

The fear never goes away. That goes for every article, ad, brochure, website, newsletter and piece of fiction I've ever written--and that's quite a number.

You're right: the best thing to do is keep at it. This job isn't easy and it's not pretty. The fear never leaves. But I think that might be OK, in the end.

The people who aren't afraid tend to write lame, uninspired dreck.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Can't wait to see which fear you have talked yourself out of. Me, I am still scared of spiders and probably will always be.

Andrea Allison said...

Courage? Is that what they call it. Certainly not feeling it.

Look forward to the big announcement.

Aaron Polson said...

Elana - Mistakes are my bread and butter.

Katey - Don't hold your breath or anything.

Cate - I might lack a brain in my head, though. ;)

Natalie - As well it should.

Doug - Fear is our friend, some of the time. I don't want to write dreck.

Jamie - *screams when he reads the word: spiders*

Andrea - More of a medium-small announcement.