Saturday, September 12, 2015

Courage to Write

by Jewel Leann Williams

I have a website. Yes, I do. It hasn’t had an update for….well, since December 2014.

I’m paying for the domain and the hosting and everything, and squandering that opportunity.

There’s a reason.

I am terrified of the thing I need to write on my site.

I’ve been feeling for months—years, even—that I need to address a particular topic in my writing. I know that there are people who will be helped by what I have to say. I know that I can research and present facts and points and bring to light things that will honestly help others.

In doing so, however, I will have to admit things I am not ready to admit.

I’ll have to shed a façade that I don’t know if I’m ready to shed.

There are action steps I will have to complete, and the world will be watching.

Okay, that last part—the “world” won’t be watching. I don’t expect that my site will be popular or even particularly well-read. But my world will be watching. They’re gonna be “checking up” on me, or being concerned, or sympathetic, or worried, or… whatever.  That’s not my cuppa.
I'm not at all interested in this scene

So, how do I do it? How do I find the courage to write about this thing that has wound itself around my psyche and grips me so tightly that I can’t think to write much of anything else?   At the same time, I can’t think of the right words to start writing about it. I imagine that’s the fear, and the desire to do it right. To create something that will truly represent what I want to say.

I don’t want to jump the gun and express things in a way that I later regret.

Someone once told me (and my chapter of ANWA) to “write the one truth.” I keep going back to that.

Do we all have “truths” that we struggle with bringing to light?

How do we delve deep within ourselves, and find those uncomfortable places so we can sit there amongst the shards and stones and pick out the gems of truth that we can then polish and make shine for the world to see?

E.B. White said, ““I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”
That's EB White. They guy who said the thing. 

Sigh. Deep breath. We can do this. I can do this.

Here are a few little tips I’ve gleaned from places on the Interwebs. I’ll include links to stuff, too.

*Experience. Our opinions, our stories, etc., come from our experiences. Remember, people want to hear/read STORIES. Experiences resonate. We don’t even necessarily have to analyze and define what those experiences mean—sometimes letting the reader do that for themselves is what will resonate.

*Here’s a good one, from      (just for the record, I’m not talking about family secrets in my quandary. Not those kind of secrets, or that kind of family, anyway. But it’s good advice anyway.)
“Once a writer is born into a family,” Czselaw Milosz said, “that family is doomed.” We might as well accept it. A writer is expert at the art of revealing what people suppress or perhaps don’t even know they carry. We cut through the masks that people wear. We get down below the skin to the truth of who people are when they’re alone in the dark. Along the way, we’re going to hurt some feelings, perhaps even risk relationships that matter greatly to us, all for the sake of the art.
What’s a family secret you wouldn’t want known? Tell the story of it. Be ruthless. Tell it all, no matter how ugly it is. Feel what it’s like to write close to the bone. You never have to share this with anyone. It’s your choice. But for the sake of everything that you’ll eventually write, you need to feel what it’s like to say the hard things, to lay oneself open, to be honest and direct. Don’t wait. Do it now.
*I don’t know why I find more tips of this sort related to family secrets/family drama, but here’s another one, from
Give yourself permission to be an artist. Allow yourself to see the world through your own eyes without flinching or doubting yourself. Later, if you change your mind about things you wrote, that is fine. You can change everything until it’s published!
*A whole website of writing tools, with, for example, this article about writing about “sacred” things:

So. There are some ideas.

Will I ever find the courage to start this writing series I’ve been stewing about for so long? I don’t know. I hope that I can dredge up the courage to do so.

Do you have something you’ve been dying to write, but just can’t seem to? Or something that scared you to death to write, and then you DID? Share your thoughts, tips, or writing ghost stories in the comments.  


  1. I haven't had anything necessarily that I have needed to write, but I have realized recently that the biggest struggles I have all boil down to pride. I don't do certain things I should be doing because I'm afraid of how people might look at me, or afraid I'll mess up and make a fool out of myself. I do certain things I shouldn't be doing because I want to make myself look better, or I think my ideas for my life are better than God's (ha).

    I have found that when I boil my hesitant emotions down to pride it makes it easier for me to let go of them and trust God. :-)

    1. Thanks for the insight, Kasey. I think that is me in a huge regard, and perhaps in this one also--but I'm mostly afraid that I won't do it correctly, and won't have any effect (or worse, a negative effect) on those I wish to help. But, just writing this post has helped me to get one step closer to jumping in and hoping and praying that Heavenly Father will make my weak things to be strong.

  2. I do have topics I'd like to write about, but don't...b/c they are not politically correct, or I might lose readers. I don't know what the solution is. The fear of being rejected, or even misunderstood is very real. Every artists (and writers ARE artists) struggles with not being loved right where we are, saying just want we want to say. I would say to you, pray about your topic, and when you have peace about it sharing it...then that's the time. :-)



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