How To Write and Live Brave (When You’re Terrified)

A funny thing happened to me on the way to Five Minute Friday (FMF) — the road wasn’t down to bare pavement, I guess. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow I connected with Lisa Jo from Feb. 8, 2013 and picked up that week’s prompt — BARE — as this week’s prompt.

So you, my followers, were treated to two different takes on the same prompt written a year apart.  I thought it was strange the link to Lisa Jo ( was closed, but really didn’t give it a second thought until my FMF friend Vernette ( pointed out the error of my ways {Thank you!}.

This week’s prompt — or at least the short version — was WRITE. However, I also wrote on that prompt Oct. 4 so a little more digging was necessary. The full prompt from Lisa Jo is HOW TO WRITE AND LIVE BRAVE (WHEN YOU’RE TERRIFIED). Hmm, that’s a little different.

12347127125_f4175e2e8b_zSo, guess what. You get a bonus this week on the correct prompt. But before I start, you need a little background on how this particular prompt came to be. Lisa Jo has her first book, Surprised by Motherhood, scheduled for release in April through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, DaySpring, Books-A-Million, CBD and LifeWay (pre-orders now being taken). As she says, admitting to being “scared pretty much all the time” during these pre-release days, “The thing about writing is that at some point somebody’s going to want to read it. (And you may have to sign 600 book plates). Somebody’s going to want to crack open your heart and take their own opinion to it. They might not be gentle. What you wrote is going to go out into the world and you won’t be able to control what people think of it. Much like parenting. And the rest of life … I think that maybe scared is the new brave. It means we’re stepping out onto terrifyingly deep waters.”

Amen, sister!

So, here we go. This week’s correct take on the prompt HOW TO WRITE AND LIVE BRAVE (WHEN YOU’RE TERRIFIED). {Clock starts now}

Blogging has opened some new areas of writing for me. As a reporter, most of my writing is pretty mundane … reporting the facts while still trying to get the reader involved in the story. Except for editorials and columns — which often expose issues we wouldn’t normally cover in newsprint, writing remains a way of communicating our thought process to others. The problem is, no two people have the same thought process.

Blogging, however, is more personal. It is essentially writing from the heart, processing it through the mind and interpreting those words through keystrokes on a screen. And it can be terrifying.

I remember my first words on this platform. I was scared to death because I had no idea how they would be received, why my life story mattered, what relevance my life experiences would have on others. Throughout my 49 year writing career, I always knew my audience. I knew what they wanted. I knew which issues would get a response. I knew my limits. This time, however, I had no idea who would be reading this or, more important, what they wanted to read. But I was willing to step out in faith.

No one likes to have their words dissected, but that’s exactly what happens when you put pen to paper. Every word, every … STOP

… phrase is there in public view. And often those words are your heart and soul speaking.

It’s terrifying to expose yourself, your inner thoughts and feelings, your failures in public. But bravely we writers plod on doing just that … one word at a time.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Confidence and respect are things you can’t buy. You’ve got to earn them.


About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in encouragement, relationships, stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How To Write and Live Brave (When You’re Terrified)

  1. Schotzy says:

    Big smile, here, as I read your thoughts on writing and having the boldness to open your heart on paper.. even at the elementary level, that was the great barrier to getting even third graders to do.. to open and bare their soul …. once it was open though, that is where the glory all began for them!

  2. vernette says:

    Hey friend, simply ah-mazing that you did two posts. You are right too…when we put pen to paper it really is our soul whispers that are revealed.

  3. It’s great when we can share things from our heart.

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