Sure, the opposite of this blog post’s title may seem true to plenty of my fellow authors. We know this authorship business firsthand and the fears, worries, and insecurities that often come along with it.
But of course, bravery doesn’t have to mean you feel no fear. Bravery is also when you feel fear but choose not to let it stop you.
When writing is your passion, the work is personal. It takes courage to put your personal work out there, subjecting it to other people’s eyes, ears, and opinions. Subjecting it to their praise but also to their criticism. Even subjecting it to their possible indifference.
Authors who decide to make their personal work public (also known as publishing, heh heh) know full well that not everyone is going to love, like, appreciate, or even understand their work. At least, we should know this full well before we go public. And people who don’t love, like, appreciate, or understand our work have as much right to speak up with their opinions as people who love our work have the right to speak up.
That can be scary for authors who care deeply about what they put out there. But we put it out there anyway because we believe in it.
Brave somebodies, I tell you.
And I deliberately added “Somebodies” to this post’s title because the vast majority of authors aren’t famous. The vast majority of authors can’t just slap a book up onto a retailer’s website and expect it to start selling boatloads of copies because their famous name will draw mega attention and interest and excitement.
Besides, writing is a pretty isolated activity. Yes, we confer with other authors about the business, and we meet with readers to talk books. But much of the nitty-gritty grind of studying and researching and thinking up words and more words and getting them down on paper or onscreen to read and revise and edit—many of those hours and hours, authors spend alone.
When you’re a less-than-famous name who’s laboring in isolation, or looking at the underwhelming results of a marketing push that’s left you feeling unseen and unheard, it can be easy to feel like a nobody.
But a nobody can do nothing. No means. No ability. No thoughts.
You’re already a somebody, or you wouldn’t have been able to write anything in the first place.
So come on, fellow author who’s reading this. If you’ve got words worth writing, keep on writing. If you’ve got work worth sharing, keep on sharing. Keep at it, because to be an author is to be an originator. No one else can originate your work for you.
And whenever you submit the work you’ve originated, publish the work you’ve originated, market the work you’ve originated—know that you’re a dadgum brave somebody to do it.