What Makes a “Brave Writer”?

What is a brave writer?

A brave writer is a person who has discovered that the risk to write is worth it.

A brave writer is a person who knows that s/he has lots of words inside and that after getting some of them out for this writing task, the supply hasn’t been exhausted and there are plenty more for next time.

A brave writer discovers that writer’s block is a condition that plagues even the most prolific writers, and then writes to unblock (or goes for a walk, or takes a shower, or jumps on a trampoline).

A brave writer already lives inside each of us, but some have been coaxed into hiding until a safe space opens the way to take the writing risk.

A brave writer writes what s/he wants to write and finds ways to “tweak” assignments so that they bend toward the writer’s strengths and interests.

A brave writer tells the true truth—choosing to generate insight rather than parroting someone else’s.

A brave writer explores a variety of writing voices and genres, knowing that content can be shaped for many different audiences.

A brave writer doesn’t start from scratch every time, but freely repurposes previously completed writing as raw material for new writing projects.

A brave writer sometimes writes poorly, hates writing, resists revision, gets hurt feelings, and wishes someone else could do the writing for him or her.

A brave writer knows that weak writing efforts are a part of a life’s work of writing.

A brave writer throws away some of his/her original writing.

A brave writer discovers that a trusted creative partner is a fantastic resource and learns to ask for writing feedback.

A brave writer relishes “having written” when it all comes together.

A brave writer is not always a good speller or typist or punctuator, but is responsible to ensure that final drafts have been edited to ensure those features are in place.

A bunch of brave writers live in your house already. They simply need to be coaxed to express themselves, and supported as they do.

Becoming a brave writer takes about ten years—the span of time it takes to be a fluent wordsmith, idea generator, speller, grammatically sound sentence-builder, fluent typist or handwriter, and insight cultivator. Take it a year at a time, a writing project at a time.

Become the brave writer you wish to see in your children, and live from that risky-self-expressing space. Your kids figure out what it means to be an adult by looking at you. If they see that being an adult means being a brave writer, they will be much more likely to want to be one too.

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Image by Steven Depolo (cc cropped, tinted)

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