An Act of Hope, An Act of Courage

Posted: January 27, 2012 in For writers
Tags: , , , ,

I made the mistake of reading my email before writing this morning.  I have so much interesting email coming in that I can get distracted easily.  Before I know it hours have gone by.  That was the case this morning.  I had a wonderful time downloading book samples and boppnig around all over the net.

I started reading “The Writer’s Idea Book” by Jack Heffron.  I’m not too far into it yet, but I was struck by his opening paragraphs:

Writing is an act of hope. It is a means of carving order from chaos, of challenging one’s own beliefs and assumptions, of facing the world with eyes and heart wide open. Through writing, we declare a personal identity amid faceless anonymity…

Writing, therefore, is also an act of courage. How much easier is it to lead an unexamined life than to confront yourself on the page?…

When we write, we resist the facile seduction of these simpler roads. We insist on finding out and declaring the truths that we find, and we dare to put those truths on the page. To get ideas and to write well, you have to risk opening yourself.

Writing also is an act of joy and celebration. With it we say that life is worth preserving, worth exploring in all its facets, and to do it well we must have fun.

I loved his words because they have proven to be so true for me.

I took on that act of courage and started keeping a journal.  In the beginning the fear of the blank page ranked right up there with getting a tooth pulled.  It was terrifying, stomach churning, and  life threatening, if my panic attacks were any indication.  I’d been reading journals for decades but I waited almost sixty years to start one of my own.  Now I can’t live without my daily journal.  Through those pages I found myself, awakened long hidden yearnings and started to display the demons of self-doubt and inadequacy that had kept me from writing.

Now writing is an act of hope.  Hope that I will continue on this journey of self discovery.  Hope that others will join me and enjoy what I try to share with them.  Hope that somehow the things I write, no matter how serious or profound, will bring one of you the hope, courage or enjoyment you need to continue on with your own journey of self discovery.

And from writing I am learning a whole new way of having fun.  Writing has become an act of joy and celebration.  As a mystery writer, I get to make people up, invent them out of thin air and my memories of people and places I have known.  I get to explore all the reasons people act and react the way they do.  And that study of human beings fascinates me.  I’m having fun.

If you haven’t tried keeping a journal, give it a shot.  You can’t write words, keep a photo journal, write poetry or music.  But whatever you do, do it soulfully and allow your inner creative child to come out and play.  You will be glad you did.


Read the preview of my new book, an Alice Anne  mystery:  “The Banker’s Murder List.”

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    Very well put. An extremely informative, meaningful post. Thanks.

  2. Good for you Chris. That is wonderful. Margie

  3. Bongo says:

    Just the discipline of writing every day works wonders – and what’s so great about a journal is that it doesn’t really matter what we write as long as we write something. We grow and learn about ourselves without that self judgement of – is this writing good enough?

  4. Gilly Gee says:

    I’ve had this book on my shelves for a couple of years – found it in a charity shop so maybe an earlier edition – but haven’t read it yet so thanks for the reminder!

  5. Cathy G says:

    Talk about timing. I just posted a comment about two minutes ago that when I travel I often keep a journal…and there are times when I prefer a fountain pen.
    Great book reference – well done!

  6. Louise says:

    I’m glad you found the courage to write – your writing inspires us to be courageous too.
    I’m also glad you find writing is an act of hope. For those of us who’ve read parts of your novel “The Banker’s Murder List”, WE HOPE you keep writing!!! 🙂

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