This week I take a break from Fiction Tuesday as I wait for the first few stories to come in for our new contest, and instead talk about the courage it takes me, and I suspect many others, to write.

Finding the Courage to do What is Write.
By: Jeff Hite

When you think of courage you probably think about a hero, someone with special powers or some one who does wondrous deeds to save the world. Or maybe you think more of real life heroes like person who runs into a burning building to save the lives, or the soldier who gives his life so his buddies can go home. You could even be thinking out the cowardly lion who went to OZ to get courage and some how found it a long the way.

Whatever you think about when you think of courage, you have to ask yourself where it comes from. How does your hero get the courage he or she needs to win the day, or even to go down in flames to save others? What prevents your hero from curling up in a ball in a corner sucking his thumb and humming to himself?

What about the courage it takes for you, the author, to sit down write that hero? Or even harder, once you that done that, finding the courage to put it out there for other people to read it. I mean I know some people, can believe that once that have completed the story or really any work of art, that everyone will love it, but that is not me. It takes a lot for me to put my work out there for other people to read, heck it takes a lot for me just to sit down in front of the keyboard and write it in the first place.

recently I have been witness to an example of courage that inspired me to not only get back in writing but to face the world in general with a little less fear. Don’t get me wrong, I am still fearful, but maybe just a little less so.

My third son is nine years old. He is a wonderful kid. (what am I supposed to say I am his dad after all.). He loves to sing in church. The unfortunate thing for him is that like me he tends to be a bit tone deaf. He does sing better than me by the way. This has never stopped him. He has always sung loud and proud. Two weeks ago I realized that I could nor hear him. It turns out that one of his siblings had criticized his singing and so he was not singing as loudly. It made me realize how much courage it had taken this normally rather introverted boy to sing out in the first place. He is back to his singing again. The priest even mentioned to him how much he had missed the week he didn’t sing.

I figure if a normally shy nine year old boy can be brave enough to sing out in church despite his siblings teasing him, I can be brave enough to put words down on a page. If he had find his voice even when it is less than perfect then I can send that latest work in progress out into the wild for others to read.

I would love to hear about what gives you the courage to write?

Jeff Hite is the managing editor of Flying Island Press’ Pirate’s Cove, your home for all things high adventure and full cast audio productions of several public domain works.


  • Scott Roche says:

    For me it’s less about the courage to write and more about the courage to put stuff out. It’s almost like “well there’s a lot of stuff that sucks out there and my stuff sucks less.”

  • Oh boy. Courage. What puts the “ape” in ape-ricot? Whatta they got that I ain’t got?


    Honestly I think it’s less about courage for me, and more about uncertainty which leads to anxiety and then to well, not putting my stuff out there. I like that Scott takes the approach that his stuff sucks less. I wish I had that kind of faith in my writing.
    Sometimes i think that what I’m writing is good, and I just sling the words on to the page and then usher it out the door. Sometimes though, those little filigrees of self doubt begin to impact my self confidence and then I’m a roiling bubble of goop who feels like he needs to go eat worms (cause nobody likes me…)

    I’ve had limit success with my self publishing efforts, but i haven’t put anything BIG out there and I haven’t done my own podcast in a long while. I have many projects, but nothing that is purely mine alone to bring attention to my work, which is something I need to get back on the production table. i also switched careers so to speak, moving away from scripting and acting in audio dramas for 4 years to writing and there just isn’t the carry over in audience that I thought might be there.

    I guess in the end the courage I find is from those around me, their successes and accomplishments and more importantly, their companionship. They buoy me up when the current gets too strong and i try to do the same when I see someone who needs a hand.

    Like Dori in Finding Nemo, I just keep swimming and the fun will be in the journey.