Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Author's Character Series - Courage

Net's Notations Tuesdays
The Author's Character Series


Accusing voices mocked me when I saw the notice come up about an upcoming booksigning. I wouldn’t participate. After all, it’s for well-established authors, right? I have a little book from a small press. What can I bring?

Remember how we talked about faithfulness on a recent Net’s Notations Tuesday? Well, there I was disqualifying myself and letting the accusing voices intimidate me.

What’s the antidote to all that self doubt? Courage!

What about when a rejection letter comes in the mail (or email)? Ugh… You’ve waited months and finally a word, but it’s not the one you want—a big NO. Now what?

Here’s what happens to me. I usually handle the rejection fine in the moment. But later, for a few days (at least), it really begins to eat away at my confidence. (Which probably means I didn’t process it fully in that first instance.) What rejection can lead to, though, is my not wanting to submit anything again. Multi-published inspirational romance author Colleen Reece has a solution for this. You get a rejection one day, you get your project back out the next. What great advice. That’d keep you hoping for a positive response. And odds are, someday a "YES" will come!

I’ve learned that doubts don’t disappear once you’re published. Multi-published writers have to beat back the monster, too. For them, it’s critical reviews, negative reader letters, or editors who reject their latest work.

So, what do you do when intimidation or doubt creeps into your writing life?

Embrace courage!

Courage is intentional. You can’t just accidentally happen upon courage. It’s inside you. So, when a tough situation presents, you have a choice—fight or flight, right? So, fighting (or facing the issue at hand and pushing through) is a choice—it’s intentional.

Courage is the sign of a mature writer, a mature person. If you’re a man or woman of courage, congratulations on embracing this virtue. If not, let’s press in and let God refine this part of our author’s character.