Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Thing About Bravery

After my recent realization about writers and cops being similar, I’ve been thinking more about bravery. What it is. What it means. What it requires. All that stuff.

The thing is, the definition of bravery is probably different for everyone alive. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and what comes easily for you might be a huge undertaking for me. But we all have moments, defining ones (tee hee), when we are required to be brave—more so than we’ve ever been before.

And we wonder if we’re up to it. If we can handle it. If we can do it.

Am I brave enough to write a book? Am I brave enough to color my hair purple? Am I brave enough to travel to Mexico during a time of civil unrest? Well yeah, obviously I am. But are you?

Am I brave enough to submit that book to 300 agents? (FYI, I’m not even close to that number yet.) OR brave enough to shelf a book that’s not perfect and move onto another one? (Which might be more likely.) Am I brave enough to jump in and pitch my books to an agent face-to-face? Am I brave enough to try scuba diving even though it sounds kind of scary? Am I brave enough to teach my fifteen-year-old how to drive in my Mustang?

Maybe. I’m trying.

Am I brave enough to stand in front of 10,000 people and sing The Star Spangled Banner? Or Happy Birthday? Or…anything? Probably not.

But I am brave. I can do hard things. Things I’ve never done before. Things I’ve never tried before. Things that sound out-of-my-league and impossible and just all-out scary. I am not afraid of living, of doing the things that will make me most happy in life.

I am far more afraid of not doing those things. Of not trying, not putting myself out there, not living.

The thing about bravery is that everyone needs it at some point. We all have it. But only you can decide when it’s time to pull it out and use it.

What brave thing have you done this week?

3 comments:

Carolyn V said...

This week I took time out to do something for myself. Not much, but enough to keep my spirits high. =)

L.T. Elliot said...

I recently decided to shelve a project I truly loved. It hurt a little but I know it was the right thing to do.

I'm trying to be brave enough to explore this new idea coming to me.

You're oodles of brave, Nichole--and always have been!

ali said...

I love, love, love this. I especially loved, "I am far more afraid of not doing those things. Of not trying, not putting myself out there, not living."

That is totally where I am.