My sister has taken a risk and written brave words about fostering 6 teenage boys. I’m so proud of her.
Are you writing brave words in April? We have a small community here who would love to read them. I would love to read them. Please let us know on the FB page or link to them here in the comments! If you need an outlet for your brave words and don’t currently have one, please message me. (You can send an email via the “contact” tag on the menu at the top of this page.)
I had a friend ask what I meant by brave, and I think in writing it is somewhat subjective. Maybe for one person it means to tell all. Maybe for another it means to write without apology. Maybe for you it means to say something you’ve always needed to say. For me, when I think of writing bravely, I think of writing past the boundaries I’ve erected for image-keeping. I’m a good evangelical child who knows not to rock the boat, not to talk about things that make others squirm, and I loathe the idea of having anybody disagree with me. There is a lot of shame, a lot of molehills turned into mountains in my mind. See? I’m not explaining this very well. What is it? That risk of exposure?
All I know is that we learn from one another’s stories. We find connection when we see glimpses of each other’s hearts. I have been immensely blessed by the courage of other writers, and I want to give the same in return. It’s baby steps for me over here, rocky and uncertain. Rocky and uncertain, yes, but also kinda fun.
What does it mean to write brave words? I think it means writing from that place in your gut where you feel it, where you feel the courage. You’ll know. You tap into a subject, or a tone, or a voice, or a story and eeeek! You want to put on the brakes. You want to polish it up. You want to change the ending. You want to come out the hero. You want to place it in a box…
But you don’t.
You write it anyway. You get as close to the truth as you can.
You are boldly doing a thing that otherwise might never get done.
You are stepping away from hesitation and fear.
You are picking your battles, choosing where to invest your energy, and investing it very, very well.
Our words might be edited up in the end and come together beautifully, because words are art and we work at them. But we are working toward creating honest art, transparent art, art that is strong, art that is an accurate representation of who we are or of the ideas we are attempting to express.
You’ll feel it when you get close. When your words start to scratch the itch, when they are strong enough to hit home in your own heart as you write, you’re probably getting there. We’re not talking bare-your-soul words, though these might be included. We’re simply talking brave words, brave words whether they be a review of a math book or an honest family tale, or anything above, beyond and in between. No matter the subject, if the way you write requires confidence and a laying aside of unhealthy self-consciousness or fear, it’s probably brave.
There’s something in your gut, I am sure. You’ll know.