Having Courage

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”

Erma Bombeck

I love Erma Bombeck. I have since I was in high school and she wrote a column in Good Housekeeping magazine. When my mom would get the monthly issue, I couldn’t wait to see what wisdom and humor Erma had shared. She never disappointed. There was always some gem of knowledge, some sprinkling of wit that made the wheels in my head spin.

I also love what she says with this quote. It does take a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. Especially lots of someone else – like the public masses.

When I was in high school, I dabbled in writing for a little publication that was trying to get started in our hometown. I wouldn’t call it a newspaper, because I think it was printed on 11×17 paper and folded in half with maybe one insert page. But for a young girl who was so shy she couldn’t even make eye contact with strangers, it was a wonderful outlet for the voice most people never heard. I remember the first time my name appeared in a byline with an article. I was terrified. What would people think? What would they say? Would they wonder why someone like me thought they were good enough to write an article that others might find interesting? Would they find it interesting?

One thing about writers, if you want to be published in any format, you have to learn to put yourself out there. Some will praise your writing efforts and others will criticize, but no matter what is said, you still have to overcome that fear of what if and forge ahead.

I think in writing a book, the author is literally pulling back not only the drapes, but the filmy sheers and the blinds, leaving their dreams exposed and bare, to the broad daylight of public speculation. That takes courage. It takes something else, too.

Faith.

Faith and hope and belief.

Because when it comes right down to it, if you, as the author, don’t believe in yourself and in your dreams, you can’t really expect anyone else to.

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