Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Cowardly Lion: What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
Scarecrow,Tinman and Dorothy in unison: COURAGE!

Every time I hear the word courage, I can not help but think of the cowardly lion with his portly round face, long black whiskers, bouncing curly mane, holding the end of his tasseled tail in his hands saying, “I am a coward! I haven't any courage at all. I even scare myself.” Crying to Dorothy over and over, you could almost feel sorry for the poor thing.

But we know that Lions are the king of the jungle, right? And they're fierce hunters, always coming out on top. That’s what writers need to be, courageous to a fault. We can’t just sit back and diminish all of our hard work. We can’t sputter around repeating, I’m no good, I haven’t any courage to be a writer.

When you start off with that mindset, your essence of being begins to believe those very words. They cling to you like gum on a shoe. I’m telling you, the more you doubt yourself, the stronger and stronger the pull will be to keep you from ever becoming all that you were meant to be as a writer.

It is never easy being courageous, the easy way of the timid mouse is much easier, crawling in a hole, sneaking out for a bite of cheese. Is that the kind of writer you intend on being, a cute little country mouse? I don’t think so because those writers might have their one story of fame like Harper Lee, who wrote one book To Kill a Mockingbird, sold millions, and left two unfinished novels in her wake. She never felt good enough I imagine, even after the acclaim.

I don’t know the secret to courage. I do know courage is a scary thing that means facing fear head on with your chin UP. Walking into a burning building to save a child, jumping into icy waters to save a dog from freezing and dying, running into a flaming tower while it’s about to collapse, that all takes courage. Here, all I’m asking is for writers to write and brave the storm of rejection. Think about it, it doesn’t really take courage but it might be considered as such if writing and submitting is your fear.

Writing takes courage because you’re putting your heartstrings on a page for everyone to read. As I’ve said, pieces of your are woven throughout your writing, and your reader is going to see, the uninhibited exposed you.

Door mouse or Lion, your choice. The hunter or the hunted, the small or the big, the one who fears or the fearless? You remember the Wizard of Oz, don’t you? The cowardly lion had the courage the whole time, he just needed someone to say he had it. And think of how good he felt after realizing the fact.

Writers, you’ve got it! Now WRITE!

The Wicked Witch of the West very last words: Oh what a world, what a world. How could a little girl like you destroy all of my beautiful wickedness?

Very easy I say....SHE HAD COURAGE!


Ro said...

Nice!! I think this applies to everyone and everything. When you were talking about the lion beating himself down all the time, it made me think of several friends in real life. I don't know if you meant for it to happen, but there is such an underlying theme in this post. Courage to face writing needs an inner courage to face all things, which takes trust in oneself and one's abilities, and for us lucky ones, trust in a power greater than us. This woman on my email list had the best signature, it said, "Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death - unknown". I just love that. This post also reminds me of the story of the wolves, and which you choose to feed. Very uplifting post; I love it!!!

joni said...

Ahhh grasshopper, you know my underlying theme trick. Very insightful on your part. :-) lol

And yes Ro, I do believe the courage in all of us far exceeds just writers. :-)

Thanks for reading,
jnoi with a smile

Stormcrow said...

Ensign Ro is right, this applies to so much more than writing. Sometimes it can take a great deal of courage just to face each new day. Good post.

joni said...

Don't I know it, Master Stormcrow.