On courage and writing

I really don’t want to be one of those writers who writes about writing incessantly, but it’s been on my mind lately.  I’ve been trying to be more fearless when it comes to my writing. Which means a few things: I need to write more honestly, I need to write more regularly, and I need to share with the world. And I keep telling myself, “I’ll try, I’ll try”. But that’s no good. It’s like Master Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” (That’s right; I can quote anything from Shakespeare to Star Wars. I’m a woman of many interests.)

Someone at work asked me the other day, “What does courage mean to you?” I thought that was a pretty random thing to ask, especially in the context of my day job, which deals with loans, numbers, finance and whatnot. But then I started to reflect on the concept of courage a little more in depth. Am I a courageous person? I think so, but only in some things. I pick and choose depending on the circumstance. Like when I tell my friends that I would rather stay home, alone, except for my books; their looks of derision silently calling me loner/loser/recluse.  Or when I travel to new places, and try new cuisine and cultures. It also takes a certain amount of courage to eat by oneself in a restaurant or go to a movie alone in our culture of gregarious social dependence, but I’ve never had an issue or a second thought about doing things like.  But those are all very public acts of courage in my mind.

It seems that I have a problem with sharing parts of myself that I’ve deemed to be private. Writing has always been a very private, very cathartic exercise that has helped me process tough times with perspective or enjoy good times more intensely. Writing has kept me (relatively) sane.  I write things that I would never dare to say out loud. But, it’s not a fear of others’ reactions to my words that holds me back. It’s fear of my own reaction to the world once I open that entry into my mind; how I will process my daily life once there is an open portal. I think it would be like have too great a stimulus, too quickly, and it would overwhelm me.

But, I think I’m ready to try. Or in this case, do, since there is no try.

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