Sustaining the Courage to Write


Some conversations you never forget. When I told my mom of my plans to leave the nursing profession and become a writer, she laughed.

Sitting at her living room table, skimming through a nursing magazine (it runs in the family), she didn’t look up at me. She just kept laughing. Maybe she was afraid that if she looked at me, it would give weight and cement to the preposterous words flying out of my mouth.

I don’t believe my caring, supportive mom was laughing at me and my dream. At that moment, I believe she truly thought I was joking. And in many ways, the idea was fantastical, even to me.

That was over five years ago. I still hear that laugh. It’s not as loud anymore. But there are days when it jangles around in my mind getting louder and louder, desperately demanding attention and acknowledgment. Those are the days when insidious questions poke their heads up from buried corners of my mind.

Questions like:

How can I be a writer?

What makes me worthy?

I don’t have a degree in writing or literature or English. There is not one person in my family (immediate or extended) who is a writer. Little black girls from broken homes rarely grow up to be writers. It’s just not the norm.  I battle against all of these thoughts.

What about you? Maybe you come from a literary family or you have a degree or other validation. Does any of that make it easier to show up consistently and write? I’d wager not.

See, writing takes courage. Unbelievable amounts of it.

It takes insane amounts of courage to scale the mountain of fear that casts shadows of self-doubt over every one of your writing ideas and projects.

It takes an abundance of courage to put your words out there, consistently, knowing that you will be criticized, disputed, rejected. (Because all work is eventually criticized and rejected. By someone. Somewhere.)

And it takes courage to dig deep, connect with your true voice, and write from the heart.  To write about what’s really bothering you, what you passionately believe in, what’s keeping you up at night, what you love, what you fear, and how you feel underneath the sugary social-media-branded surface.

And for all these reasons, you often come to the page ready to write but are greeted by a silent emptiness. The hollow sound of a vacuous container, rather than the sound of words arranging themselves in sequence and falling to the page.

Or you don’t come to the page at all. You know you need to write (your book or articles or blog posts), but your mind is raided with reasons to avoid sitting and writing. And they all seem like good reasons: maybe I need to read one more book about creative living or re-work my outline for the 16, 000th time or call one of my writerly friends and chat about how hard the writing life is.

Or you write in sporadic, inconsistent bursts: a blog post here, a chapter there, but nothing steady enough to build a body of work or fulfill your big writing goals. You feel inspired and courageous one week and doubtful the next.

I’ve been there.

And I want you to know a few things.

I want you to know that it’s not too late. Ever. That as long as you’re reading this, it is possible to start tackling your writing projects without all the drama, avoidance, procrastination, and fear.

And that you can show up to write, write deeper, and write consistently, lighting a fire under the discipline and commitment needed to finally take on your big, dreamy writing projects.

So, how do you do that?

You do it by building and sustaining your writing courage. And I’m going to do it with you.

I’ve created the Writing Courage Challenge to share every exercise and mindset tool I know to build your writing courage. 

The challenge lasts 14 days. It’s your jumpstart.  Let’s be clear, it will take much more than just 14 days to build courage, but by day 14, you’ll be on a roll and will have a stronger sense of awareness and tools to write courageously. That’s my wish for you.

What do you get when you sign up for the challenge?

You get 14 days of courage building tools and exercises. Starting tomorrow (no matter when you’re reading this), you’ll receive one email a day for the 14 days.

The format of the emails will vary. Some days it’ll be a quick audio, other days you’ll have an exercise to complete. Each day is building upon the last to strengthen those courage muscles.

The challenge will cover three main themes:

1. Quieting your inner critic

2. Building and sustaining the courage to connect with your true voice and write from that space

3. Sharing your work (without feeling crippling hesitation and worry)

I like to keep it real: Some of the tasks will feel uncomfortable. I will be giving you gentle nudges to do a few things that may be just outside of your comfort zone.  That’s the point. You are incrementally challenging yourself to build those courage muscles and develop a few habits that push through the fear and get you writing consistently and deeply.

Your challenge starts tomorrow.

Let’s do this! When you sign up today, you’ll receive a welcome email with a few tools to get you ready for the challenge. 

Sign up by entering your email address:

Writing for love and money
Both take courage

I write for love (of the craft)

I write for money (my writing work makes up a chunk of my income)

A couple of times a month, I send out an email with a personal story and a lesson on writing for love and writing for money, and the courage it takes to do both.

You should sign up (of course, I'm only slightly biased). 

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I'm a writer and storyteller currently living in London and juggling multiple creative projects. I’d like to say that it's always easy, but the truth is there are times when things get messy. Still, it's the life I've chosen, and I love it. My intention is to keep my projects spinning and stay true to my voice.