Don’t Be Afraid

Greetings from a combat zone. I hope this post finds you well.

Today I am very happy because my mother sent me some Christmas decorations and my sister will be sending out homemade ornaments soon! You can probably tell that Christmas is my favorite holiday.

Now that I’ve almost gotten rid of my cold, and survived a mini meltdown concerning my book (Rosemi, you’re heaven sent), I’m ready to put my best foot forward and continue on with this story.

I’ve heard plenty of advice when it comes to writing, but the best advice I’ve heard comes from Stephen King (of course).

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

We can all agree that Stephen King is successful. That itself speaks volumes. Some people like his work, others, not so much. But one thing we can all agree on is Stephen King is a household name.

Reading his book ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT is something I encourage all writers to read. He is insightful, witty, and, even most times, funny.

If we dig deeper into the quote (which I’m pretty sure everyone understands as it’s straightforward), we can see the Mr. King does not discourage our personal reasoning behind why we write. In my opinion, he just wants us to have a reason. Without one, there is no drive.

Because I’m in the Army, I’ll relate this to basic training, one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. There was a particular situation that sticks out to me most.

During one of our last weeks before graduation, we had a course to complete. The first part of our course was to low crawl in the sand, under barbed wire, in full kit (which I feel like weighs more than I do: helmet, vest, elbow pads, knee pads), with our weapon (M-16, gun to you all), to pass the first part. As I crawled, sand got in my eyes, I almost lost my weapon, and damn near gave up. I was slightly claustrophobic, so this was a tough one for me. I literally had to recite the Soldier’s Creed just to find the power to move on. And that was the day that I realized just how freaking awesome I could be. 

It wasn’t just that I’d survived that one incident where I crawled the length of a football field, it was that I’d lost my fear. Since that day, I’ve faced every situation head-on. The Soldier’s Creed and my need to succeed, that was my drive. Without having done some soul searching and personal courage, I’d probably still be stuck there (not really but, you get my meaning).

Which brings me to writing. I’m a beginner. I know this. Just like I know everyone won’t love my book. But I also know that I will do my best at every turn and I will do it with absolute confidence in myself. We all can’t gain the lesson I learned that day (especially not the way I’d learned it), but we can dig deep and realize the need to conquer our fears and just write, dammit. Write with fear and uncertainty banging at your door until either you tell them to go to hell or until they finally give up and take the hint.

I’m not telling you to be unrealistic. I’m telling you to be FEARLESS.


Currently playing Sia – My Love

All my love,

One thought on “Don’t Be Afraid

  1. Arphaxad says:

    I still have a chip in my elbow from that low crawl course, but it brings a smile to my face to remember how it felt to accomplish it. Thank you for the memory moment.

    On Writing by King is a must read for any author. It was recommend to me by several published authors and I got so much out of it. In fact, I plan to read it again before doing my first rewrite.

    Stay safe, and keep up the good work.

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