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Writing Is Courageous

When is the last time you did something brave?

Did you write in your journal last night? Did you write that blog post yesterday? How about that story that you’ve been wanting to tell? You know, the one with the magic and the paranormal creatures? Or maybe the one that’s based very solidly in the real world. The one that explores a topic you feel deeply about. Did you get started on that last week? Did you start planning your non-fiction book? Write an article? Or maybe do some free writing or creative writing exercises?

If so, congratulations. You did something brave.

You took something that was inside your head and put it to physical form. You gave it life. That’s hard to do.

I’m not even talking about the part of the writing process where you start showing people what you’ve written. Maybe even put it up for sale or download somewhere, and then started to receive feedback on it. That part is hard too, and requires courage, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about the head to screen/paper process. The taking of your words and putting them somewhere outside your own mind.

When you write something down, you give that thing respect. You’ve taken it out of its formless state, and given it a form. It’s permanent (well, barring any fires or computer crashes).  You can touch it (maybe), see it, you can share it. It has a life outside of you now.

It might not go much of anywhere, particularly if it’s a journal entry or a writing exercise, and, in some sense, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your words now exist somewhere outside of you.

To write something down, you have to feel like it has some kind of importance, and it can be difficult for us to think that things swimming inside our own heads have a lot of importance. So you take a risk. You take the risk to actually write down what you’re thinking and feeling – a story, an article, a journal entry, and hope that you haven’t done something frivolous or self-indulgent.

Because you spent some time and energy on your thoughts/ideas. Maybe you spent a lot of time and energy on your thoughts/ideas. You hope that it was worth it.

But it was worth it. It may not be worth it in the sense of fame and fortune, but it was worth it to take that time to acknowledge and respect your thoughts/ideas/imaginings/feelings/fantasies and simply write them down.

Who knows where they might end up.

Published inWriting

3 Comments

  1. Margarita Margarita

    Hi Amanda,

    I am trying to find the “courage” to write. I guess for a long time I felt writing wasn’t very courageous because a lot of people wouldn’t think it’s a great feat or anything. I used to be a writer, then my life got topsy-tursy, and I was no longer surrounded by people who understood or encouraged my creative side, and I’m pretty sure that they’d think that writing isn’t courageous at all (Sensor types… you know the deal, lol). How does one overcome this kind of mental conditioning? I think as INFPs we are very sensitive people who see a lot of nuances in life, so therefore, we consider even the little things victories. I never quite understood why that is, and thought maybe I’m wrong for thinking so big of “little” things… little things like writing that blog post, finally. It’s hard to get anyone who isn’t INFP to see how such a small thing could require so much heart (and courage is, after all, a heart word).

    I feel defeated. But lately the yearning to write again has resurged with such a power that whenever I come across another writer I see them as powerful, and I envy their capability. And still… I can’t seem to write beyond a few lackluster journal entries where I mostly just heavily complain lol.

    How can I begin to see this process as courageous again, rather than a waste of time or pipe dream?

    Signed,

    A Lost INFP

  2. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Margarita – Check out my post The INFP Writer where I talk about a book I really like called The INFJ Writer. The book talks about a lot of these issues, which apparently are typical of a lot of “NF” writers. You can also check out the author’s website, which I think I also link to in the post. She writes about a lot of these issues very well. As for how I would approach this – I would probably start very small, writing just a little bit at a time to get myself moving. I might also keep it mostly to myself, if I wasn’t sure how supportive the people around me were going to be. Good luck and happy writing. 🙂

  3. Margarita Margarita

    Thank you, Amanda! I will check it out.

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