The vulnerable and the brave

Many times, and especially true for authors just starting out, there are moments when we ask ourselves, should I? Do I put it all on the line and hit the “publish” button as our hearts race, our fears well up inside us, and our anxiety over the future weighs us done. It’s exciting, it’s scary as hell.

Throughout my journey writing a novel, I had moments when I just did not know how to react. I went through the emotional gamut, like riding shotgun on a wooden roller coaster and made choices for myself, decisions that needed to be executed in order to reach the finish line. None of those small hurdles was half as hard as clicking “publish” and letting it all ride. Seconds later, the worry set in, the doubts, the vulnerability reared its ugly head.

The thoughts bogged down my enjoyment, my satisfaction of having completed a life goal. Suddenly, I had gone from intellectual hermit to wearing a giant Las Vegas showgirl headpiece in the middle of a crowded mall. It was out there, my novel was now among the ranks of popular, not so much, and dead in the water. It was terrifying, but I knew it was what I wanted and how I wanted it. I needed to be brave.

I don’t think any author out there will tell you they do it for the fame, they do it for the riches, though some have through the years seen both. They will probably tell you they love to write, they love creating a new world on paper streaming through their own imagination, and they would not be lying one single bit. They found courage, fought through the vulnerable side of their emotions to bravely posted their work for all to see, for all to comment on. To do it, everyone must pass that single test.

You have to be brave, probably more so than others in the world of art and creativity for the internet has the tendency to hurt, but it also has the capacity to help, to heal, and to forge new friendships of like minded people who will guide you through the thick forest of your own indecisiveness into a land of opportunity. I would say one has to build a tough exterior, one has to pull up their saggy drawers and take it on the chin, but everyone is different.

The only advice I can give is to just do it. Write because you love to, write because your head is filled with such wonder and delight that the characters stuck in there are starting to become more real than those in your daily life. Write because you love to read, and in by doing so put your heart out there. Let others see it, let others judge you, let others take a stroll through the words from your mind. Do it for you, be vulnerable, be brave.

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