Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Courage To Be Brave

Today's Guest Blogger Erica Vetsch
Did you know that signing up for Speedbo, or writing any fiction, means you’re courageous? I know. If I was asked to name a few of my best attributes (not that anyone has ever asked me this) I don’t know that courage would rank very high.
COURAGE: [kur-ij, kuhr-] noun. The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain,  etc.,  without fear;  bravery.
The above definition comes to us courtesy of, and I agree with it for the most part, but there’s one phrase that I don’t think is true. It’s the part that says “Without Fear.” I once read a definition of courage that went something like that. “Courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means you stuff your fear into your hat and then sit on your hat.” That suits me better, because if the qualification for being courageous meant being ‘without fear’ then I would never attain courage.
But, being a novelist requires a certain level of courage, because writing fiction is creativity at its most basic, and creativity is all about courage. Don’t believe me? Read on!
Novel writing requires risk-taking.
1.       Trying something new and unknown is scary. If this is your first attempt at fiction, the doubts can crowd in louder than Jayhawk fans at a home game at Allen Field House. (That’s loud, BTW.) Why did I think I could write? What if nobody ever reads this? What if I don’t have the writing chops to translate my idea into a story? Even if you’ve written a hundred novels, each time you sit down to create a new story, a new character, a new chapter, you’re launching into the unknown. It’s a risk, every time. Pitfalls abound. Will you be able to do it again? Is this the time when your creativity dries up? Can you create something fresh and new?
2.       Fear of failure…however you define failure…is a part of the writing process.  Nobody likes to fail, not even in the privacy of their own head. What if nobody likes what I read? What if I never land an agent? What if I’m only kidding myself about this writing thing? What if this is the time when my agent/publisher/readers realize I’m not really a writer after all? Even the most seasoned writer feels these doubts.
The Legend of Obadiah Wilder free ebook at amazon
Novel writing requires vulnerability.
1.       Writing is deeply personal. When you write, you’re opening up the deepest, most sensitive, most defenseless part of yourself. You’re inviting people into your thoughts. You’re letting people read your mind. If that isn’t scary, then nothing is! You have to muster the courage to be honest about what you think and the way you see the world, and brave enough to let someone else in on it.
2.       Others may or may not like what you’ve created, which can feel like an assault on your character. Not only are you allowing someone else to judge your work, but they are free to spread their opinion far and wide. If there is anything more humbling for an author than the review process, I don’t know what it would be. People you’ve never met can say whatever they want about your work, accurate or not, and in some cases whether they’ve even read it or not. And some of it is great! But some of it is not so very great. At times like these, it takes courage to follow the advice of the inestimable Allie Pleiter, who once said “Don’t engage theloonies.”  (If you haven’t read Allie’s guest post here on Seekerville, hie thee to this page forthwith!) 
Novel writing requires having expectations and also letting those expectations go.
1.       We need to have expectations, otherwise we belong to that set of people who don’t write, they just talk about writing. That group that wants to “Have written.” You don’t have to be brave to belong to that group. It’s safe. But safe won’t accomplish your dreams. So set some goals, invest in those contests and workshops and conferences and writing how-to books.  Query that agent, pitch to that editor, evaluate your career and map out a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. Have the courage to aim high and the grit to work at those goals.
Erica has fantastic fingernails!!
She's also on Coffeecups and Camisoles!
2.       But on the flipside, we need to let go of expectations. This might be the most courage-testing task of all for a writer.  How do we not hold tightly to something we want so very much? How do we not live and die on whether an agent likes our proposal, or whether an editor will ask for a full manuscript? By having the courage to not focus on the outcome and focus on the process instead. By having the courage to let those creativity-paralyzing hopes go and write free for the sheer love of writing, the love of story, the love of creating.
Taking risks, being vulnerable, having expectations…these all require great amounts of courage. The courage to stare down that blinking cursor and put into words the vivid images in your head. The courage to slash and cut and rewrite and edit your story. The…GULP…courage to let someone else read and evaluate your work. The courage to take a critique. The courage to change and grow and get better at your craft, and the courage to stand behind what you’ve written.
So as we are nearing the end of Speedbo 2015, congratulate yourself on your risk taking, on your willingness to be vulnerable, on your guts to set some goals and work toward them. Congratulate yourself on your bravery!
You. Are. Courageous.
Then, of course, stop padiddlin’ around and get back to writing! It’s Speedbo, after all!

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of The Homestead Brides Collection-Autographed by all NINE Authors!  

The Homestead Brides Collection--Nine novellas...Nine Authors...all fun. Including THREE SEEKERS AND ERICA!!!

Mary Connealy, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Becca Whitham

Promises of free land lured thousands to stake their claim to the vast American plains. 

They built make-do homes and put all they had into improving the land. 

Readers will enjoy nine adventures as God helps homesteaders find someone with whom to share the dream—the work—and the love.

Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
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  1. You nailed it.

    Talk about torn.

    We want to write. Badly.
    So we do it.

    Then we have our minds read and our work reviewed. It's scary.

    It can make chocoholics or caffeine addicts of us!

    Coffee's brewing.

  2. Excellent post, Erica.
    Being a writer is definitely not for the faint of heart!

    Thanks for sharing with us (LOVE those fingernails *wink*).
    Please enter me in the book drawing!! :)

    Hugs, Patti Jo

  3. I have that book, thanks to Seekerville. WRITERS ROCK! SEEKERVILLE AUTHORS ROCK!!!!

  4. I think the worst is when your crit partner writes "No human being would ever do that." and that's exactly something you pulled from your own head because that's what you'd do.....yeah....

  5. Erica - I love those nails! Now on to your post, so true. Writing is a tough business. Sometimes putting myself out there and then being rejected is overwhelming. Still, there is something about it I love. Go figure.

    Melissa - ouch, but I totally understand!

  6. *THWACK*

    Thanks, Erica. I needed that.

    #Speedbo2015 #NoLimits

    Please put my name in the drawing. :)

  7. Yeah, Melissa, that bites :-))

    Thank you, Erica, great post! It always helps bolster courage when someone else says aloud the thoughts we have in our own head.

    Just last week in speaking with a friend i've known for ever, I named something I'd do if I had the courage, and she interrupted me to say, "Mare, you're the most courageous person I know." That surprised me. But it made stop and think. :-)

    Sometimes we plough ahead because that's the only option we have . . . that's a form of courage.

  8. Hi Erica!

    There are many levels of courage needed to be a writer, right? Of course, the first courageous step is getting the idea on paper.

    What a great topic.

  9. Oh my, Erica, I do believe you've addressed ever insecurity I've ever met...and continue to keep company with, LOL! That whole "What If" game is meant to be played with your plot. It's a whole different story when it attaches our psyche!!

    You are such a wise, wise woman.

    And you really rock those red nails!!

    Glad you joined us today, Kiddo. Always happy to see you in Seekerville!!

  10. LOL, Melissa! I'm with you completely.

    Where do people think we get some of our ideas if it's not the first thing that pops into our own minds? Sheesh.

    Just call me an improbable human being...

  11. Thank you, Erica. I heard one time that "1,000 editors can say no and it won't draw blood once."
    Putting ourselves out there is hard when we don't know the result. It's kind of like the rest of our Christian lives. But we do it.
    I have fresh chocolate chip cookies to share.

  12. Helen, my copy of "Bandit Bride" came in the mail and I am going to peruse it this weekend.

  13. Don't enter me in the drawing, I already have "Homestead Brides," in fact I won it here.

  14. Helen, I could hug you right now.

    You are spot on.

  15. Jagears, I'm laughing because that's so true!!!!!


    You can't know Erica and not love Erica.

    And what fun to be in on this best-selling collection with her, Mary Connealy, Pam Hillman and so many other amazing and talented authors!

    Love it!

  17. Hi Erica,
    This is such a great post! I'm a reader, but I follow Seekerville because I love the writers and the wisdom that flows here.

    This post is a prime example of that wisdom and it can definitely be applied to other areas of life. Like Audra, you've nailed all the insecurities that can paralyze me and keep me from moving forward.

    Will be mumbling, "reader seeking COURAGE" and "just do it afraid" all day.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. I really like your thought "letting go of expectations" because that does seem very freeing. I'm enjoying my first Speedbo, and the results are exceeding my expectations. :) I start off my early morning writing stint by reading Seekerville, which is so encouraging! Thanks for a good start to the day.

  19. We're so glad to have you with us again, Erica! I LOVE those gorgeous nails! You'd be appalled at mine. I have given up on pretty fingernails and keep them bare and short. I do, however, go for brightly painted toenails! :)

    Great post. You're so right about how we always have those worries, even after many books. It is tough to share our inner thoughts--even if it is fiction. It's still putting ourselves out there.

  20. Good morning, Helen! Yay for the smell of coffee in the morning. (I don't actually drink it, but I love the aroma.)

    Writing is scary, but we are compelled by something to keep doing it, aren't we?

    Maybe we're all adrenaline junkies and don't know it. :D

  21. Hey, Patti Jo, you'd be surprised at what my nails look like right now. They're short and unpainted. GASP!

    After the initial rush of gardening season/planting flowers, I will start growing them back out.

  22. Marianne, I hope you enjoy the stories in the collection.


  23. Melissa, I'm rolling! That is SO true!!!!

  24. Great post, Erica! Courage, thick skin, caffeine, chocolate, and mostly Faith in God that my work will one day bring him glory.

    Thanks for sharing!


  25. Erica, I used to hear people comments about being afraid to fail and I didn't think it applied to me. Me? Huh, I ain't afraid.

    It took me along to realize that I am too afraid. It's like the story I'm working on for Speedbo. Started it years ago. It's done very well in the contest circuit and has had several requests but after the opening, I flat-out can't write. I even had one agent ask if I could keep up the pace that I opened with. (The answer was very much no and she must already know that.) I've gone 3 different ways and have many words written but still no story. Once again I needed something to force me to make a decision and write.

    Blurb2book is finally forcing me to finish that book. I don't have time for indecision. I must chose a path and take it. No time for fear.

    My original goals for Speedbo have been derailed but that's okay.

    Thanks. I need this.

  26. Welcome back Erica. Thanks for the inspiring post! You've said it all, sweet woman. Every word resonated with me. Courage is writing despite fear. To just do it, to dig deep, to be honest on the page.

    The best way to kick fear to the curb is to remember that God gave us the desire and talent to write. So write we must with no guarantees.

    Love the red nails! Nails like that embody the courage it takes to set them on the keys. My pale, bare nails are in need of attitude. Go you!


  27. Terri, who was it that said "Hope is a thing with feathers that crouches in the soul."?

    I think authors' hope has more feathers than most. :D We keep putting ourselves and our work out there, because we can't do otherwise.

  28. KC, always happy to oblige with the two-by-four of motivation. :D :D :D

  29. Mary Hicks, what a lovely bit of affirmation from your friend. You can take that and pull it out every once in awhile when you're feeling UN-courageous! It might just be the little bit you need to keep moving forward. :)

  30. Rhonda! Thank you! I hope the post encouraged and empowered you today!

  31. Rose! You're right. There's nothing so daunting to me as that blank page!

    Before I write the first word on a story, I am always fearful of messing up the whole idea, because while it's still in my head, it's perfect, unblemished, logical, and pristine.

    So not the case when it comes out...

  32. Audra! Thank you for having me back here at Seekerville! It is always my pleasure.

    I'm with you. Sometimes my brain gets on its little hamster-wheel of self-doubt and goes round and round and round.

    I expend a lot of mental energy, but I don't get anywhere!

    Time to get off that wheel, toss on my Captain Courageous t-shirt (I don't really have one...perhaps I should though) and just write!

  33. KB, I've never heard that quote, but it's true.

    And the comparison to our Christian life is accurate, too.

    Paraphrasing the Apostle Paul..."The worst they can do is kill you."

    That kinda puts it into perspective. :)

    Yay for winning Homestead Brides here on Seekerville! I hope you enjoy all the stories.

  34. RUTHY!!!!!! Happy Thursday, lady!

    I can't believe we're all in a collection together. I am honored to have my name in the list with you lovely ladies.

    Wasn't that wild when the book hit the best-seller list? Still happy dancing. :D

  35. Tracey! We LOVE readers! You are the reason we brave it up and put our work out there!

    And you're right, everyday life takes a fair amount of courage.

    But you're braver than you think!

    And you can always come back here for a jolt of coffee, chocolate, and courage. :)

  36. Good morning Erica and welcome to Seekerville. It is always a pleasure to have you here.

    Love your post. I remember the first time I gave someone my first novel. I was sooooo scared and you are right. It is like you are allowing them to read your mind and innermost feelings.j

    Great post. Thanks again. Have fun today.

  37. Dana! Congrats on your successful speedbo! That's BRAVE!

    Letting go of expectations can be so hard, because we pour so much of ourselves into the product and want so much for the results to line up with what we dream.

    We want great things. Or even just modest things.

    But we want something!

    It is freeing when we remember that God has a plan, we don't have to know what it is, and it will be the right thing.

    Let go and SPEEDBO! :)

  38. Missy, one thing I can't do is pedicures! I can't stand anyone, especially a stranger, touching my feet! Isn't that weird???

    You're right about still putting ourselves out there. I wonder if, at least for me, the fear comes because every novel I write, there's a bit of self-discovery that happens, and before I really have a chance to process and evaluate what I've discovered, it's out there for others to see?

  39. Jackie, your work is glorifying God right now! :) Because you are obedient to His call on your life to write.

    You go, girl!

  40. Connie, you have great courage, because it takes great courage to try again...and again...and again!

    Book2Blurb will be a great way to 'stuff your fear in your hat and sit on your hat.' No time to spend fretting. Just WRITE!

    And it's okay if your Speedbo goals are derailed for another project. You're going to come out of this month a success! Because you haven't quit! Keep writing, and I'll see you in the #1k1hr forum!

  41. Wait, that was supposed to say Blurb2Book! LOL

    Book2Blurb is how I used to write...get the book finished, then look back and see what it was about...

  42. Yes, yes, YES! Erica, you are reading my mind! (And I grew up in Allen Fieldhouse......but became a Buffalo! Allergic to feathers or awed by mountains?)

    Thank you for letting me least for a bit.....that I am courageous. Will KEEP this post!!!

    I have the BEAUTIFUL Homestead Brides collection. Just waiting until I finish Speedbo to read these stories.

  43. Janet,
    I am reminded by your comment of Psalm 56:4

    In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

    And maybe we should call that nail polish color "Writer Attitude Red!"

  44. Very inspirational, Erica--thank you! It's scary just putting the words on the page sometimes, let alone sending them out into the world.

    But that's how you know you're a "real" writer, isn't it? Finding the courage to take that leap of faith and trusting God for the results!

  45. Without fear? My thoughts exactly, Erica!

    I'm with Connie. My original plans for Speedbo have been by the wayside, but I'm plunging ahead in Blurb2Book.

    Great post, and thanks for the encouragement!

  46. Sandra, thank you for having me here at Seekerville! I love this community so much!

    I remember the first time I posted a story on an online forum for the members to read. I spent the day clicking refresh and checking for new comments, praying nobody would be mean and wondering why I put myself through this agony! :)

    I tell myself I've grown since then...and yet, I still read my amazon reviews....

  47. Sherida, you ARE brave!!!! Believe it!

    And you're so much more disciplined than I am to wait to read a new book until Speedbo is over! Kudos, lady!

  48. Myra! You're right, putting your work out there for others is like a Badge of Courage. Even if the outcome isn't what we hope, we still had the pluck to write and submit. And the courage to do it over again!

  49. Meghan, not so much derailed as redefined! Blurb2Book is a great way to utilize Speedbo, and a great opportunity!

    Press onward, not without fear, but in spite of the fear! :)

  50. I'm not a risk-taker by nature. I don't like to show vulnerability. I like all my details (just like my numbers) in a neat little row.

    If something doesn't work, fit, or make sense, I'm the first to say, "It doesn't WORK that way!!!"

    And, then I get all twitchy until I can unravel the snarls and get everything all lined up again.

    And I dreamed of being an author.

    Somehow that's just all wrong. God must've used the wrong ingredients when he mixed me up. lol

  51. LOL. Book2Blurb. It might me easier in that order.

    Thanks for your encouraging words.
    Yep, I'm moving on ahead and see where it takes me.

  52. Excellent Post. Please enter me in the drawing for Homestead Brides.

  53. Pam, you're just unique! :)

    All the numbers, all the get them to line up just fine. :D

  54. Wilani, You're in! Happy Thursday!!!

  55. Delightful post Erica! Thanks for the encouragement to keep on keeping on! I'm especially fond of your advice to "Have the courage to aim high and the grit to work at those goals." Words I remember using on my kiddos as they plowed through their school years. Now I need to do the same!

    Would love to be entered in the drawing for Homestead Brides.

  56. ERICA!!! Always SO wonderful to see you here, my friend, and WOW, what a great (and timely!) post!!

    I will admit when I read that definition, my first thought was, "without fear"????


    I immediately thought of Joyce Meyer's incredible teaching, "Do It Afraid," where she talks about confronting fear is the only way to dismantle it and that if we waited for the fear to leave, we would never do anything ...

    And you nailed it on each of your points as far as I'm concerned. Novel writing DEFINITELY requires: Risk, Vulnerability, Setting Expectations and letting them go, accent mark on the vulnerability and letting expectations go, two things I've struggled with as a writer more than anything. Of course, I'm not much of a risk-taker either, so not sure how that fits into the equation ... ;)


  57. Great post, Erica!

    This writing journey is full of conquering fears, being brave, and pressing on to the goal in spite of the clamoring voices in our heads.

    And in spite of the Jayhawks losing last week. To the Shockers. That must have hurt. :( I won't tell you that a certain Washburn graduate in our house was rooting for Wichita. :)

    Please put me in the drawing. I already own the book, but to get a copy signed by all nine authors? Sweet.

  58. Kathryn (I love the spelling of your name, BTW) I'm glad the post was an encouragement to you today.

  59. Julie! :D

    I'm not much of a risk-taker did we wind up as writers? :D

  60. Jan! I'm still hurting over that loss! My poor Jayhawks...however, as a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I'm used to saying "There's Always Next Year." :D

  61. Great post, Erica! I just went to see Cinderella. I keep telling my girls, "Have courage and be kind." The best part is the end where she looks back at the stepmother and says, "I forgive you." Wow! Such bravery. I love it.

    You know, I often marvel at how I ever had the courage to start writing again. And also how I had the courage to keep writing after so many rejections. I just didn't think I was supposed to quit, I guess. Also, I wonder why I'm so courageous in my writing but not very courageous in real life. Haha! I guess that's why I write, because it's easier to be courageous on paper/the screen, when I'm not face-to-face with anyone.

  62. Erica, I never thought about writing as courageous, but everything you said made a lot of sense. Fear holds me back too much. So far, what I have written this month for Speedbo is really awful, but I know I can make something of it if I just work at it.

    I would love to win the autographed copy of The Homestead Brides. Please enter me.

  63. Erica
    Thanks for the laugh inducing visual. My brain "hamster-wheel of self-doubt" goes into over-drive sometimes.

    Double thanks for the post about courage and everything that goes along with it as writers. Good stuff!!! So glad you are here to give us good words to read and hopefully absorb.

    Please put my name in the draw for that autographed copy of Homestead Brides - what a treasure!

    To all Blurb2Book peeps: I'm all in to cheering you ladies on. Will be cheering lots while I attempt to keep pace with you as I edit my Killer Voice ms. It won't stop after Speedbo...

  64. Howdy Erica :) I enjoyed reading your post today. By the way The Legend of Obadiah Wilder was a wonderful read. I'm looking forward to more.

  65. Melanie, I think you nailed it. I am much braver with my fiction than I am in any other aspect of my life...maybe because I usually get a chance to edit before anyone sees it? :)

  66. Sandy, I always say you can't edit a blank page. So be brave, let the first draft be messy, and know that you can always fix it later. :)

  67. Jamie, I'm so glad you liked the Dime Novel. Thank you so much for your nice review, too! :)

  68. My One Word the year I got "The Call" was COURAGE! You've confirmed what I intuitively knew. Writing requires courage.

    In the same way that stepping out in faith does...and they both work together for an author. Each step of faith, each new venture or change of genre or bigger book or increase in productivity takes courage.

    Thanks for today's reminder!

    Congrats to all the RITA and Golden Heart finalists! Love seeing names I know. Hugs to all!

  69. Be strong and take courage...Joshua. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes fear can throw us off but we have to keep plugging on. Please register me for the book...AND CRITIQUE. ..I am not afraid. I am not afraid.

  70. What a great pep talk! I love this...and definitely needed to hear it today.

  71. I needed this today, Erica! Thank you for the nudge I needed...sometimes writing is like boot camp!

    Love your nails!

  72. I loved this post! It is so relevant. I especially liked the part about "Novel writing requires vulnerability" That's what gets me the most! One of my favorite quotes about courage/being brave comes from the movie "Kate & Leopold" when Leopold tells Kate "The brave are simply those with the clearest vision of what is before them - glory and danger alike and notwithstanding, go out to meet it."

    Speedbo: 9 more pages (double sided) of my notebook work to type! I finished cleaning the house for daughter #2's birthday party early, so maybe I'll finish typing early too??

  73. Hi Erica! Sorry to be so pokey stopping in. great post

  74. Not only was this an awesome post BUT I got a free book.

    Hmmm, I had to work for it though.

    So I put the link in your post.

  75. I got to see those nails close up.

    Awesome. Plus Erica is beautiful in person too.

  76. Book2Blurb is how I used to write...get the book finished, then look back and see what it was about...

    I thought this was normal.

  77. Great post, Erica! I love to read these kind of things, even as a reader! Thanks for your insight!

    Put my name in the drawing for the book! I'd love to read it!!


  78. ... having the courage to not focus on the outcome and focus on the process instead

    This whole post is empowering, ERICA, but those words especially so. The writing community is full of advice -- marketing, publishing, social media, how to land an agent, etc. -- and while it's well-intentioned there are times when it ruins the experience of writing. Too easy to let the business side squash the creative side :-)

    Thanks for the free book!

    Nancy C

  79. Tina Radcliffe said...
    Book2Blurb is how I used to write...get the book finished, then look back and see what it was about...
    I thought this was normal.

    Well ... it is.


    Nancy C

  80. Debby, One of the things I love about reading posts at Seekerville is that often I find a poster putting into words things that I've intuited. I'm so glad I was able to do the same for you today! :)

  81. Erica said: "I wonder if, at least for me, the fear comes because every novel I write, there's a bit of self-discovery that happens, and before I really have a chance to process and evaluate what I've discovered, it's out there for others to see?"

    Missy again… I think you could be right. I hadn't thought of it that way. But I do learn something about myself while writing. Or maybe I should say God is usually working on something in me. :)

  82. Bettie, You're entered!

    Whenever someone quotes that verse from Joshua 1, I am taken right back to my high school days. That was one of our memory verses. :)

  83. Julie, I'm glad the post gave you a boost! It sure encouraged me when I was planning it out. :)

  84. Susanne, writing is like boot camp...especially when you get Tina Radcliffe involved. :D She put together a writer's boot camp that kicks patootie!

  85. Becky, that's a great quote!

    Congrats on making such good progress on your Speedbo goals! And Happy birthday to your kiddo!

  86. Mary, I was beginning to think you didn't love me anymore....

  87. Tina, thanks for putting the link in. I hope you like the book. :)

    It's so much easier to write Book2Blurb! If only editors would let us get away with it. :)

  88. Hi, Valri! nice to meet you here, and you're name is in for the book! :)

  89. Nancy, I hear you. It's easy to get buried under the "business" of writing and forget about the joy of writing.

    I hope you enjoy the dime novel!

  90. Missy, I've found that the spiritual issues in my novels are always things that God is teaching me...probably not a coincidence. :D He's kinda cool like that.

  91. oh Erica,
    What a wonderfully encouraging post! Thanks for writing this. Perfect timing!
    It is a funny contradiction. We forge ahead with this dream of having our books shared with the masses and then once the masses have them..... it's terrifying! (or at least that's how it is for me right now) :-)
    Courage? Doesn't feel much like it - but feelings aren't always so trustworthy, are they?

  92. WOW - did I need to hear this today!
    Thanks!! (Please enter me in the drawing)

  93. Pretty nails :) thanks for the encouraging post..
    toss me into the drawings please..
    here's to a successful day to all you Speedbo writers !

  94. Thanks, Erica, for such a timely post. I needed it! You said, "Writing is scary, but we are compelled by something to keep doing it." I'm a third-generation journalist - maternal grandfather, mother, then me. Mother used to sat, You have an in curable disease, printer's ink in your veins instead of blood." That and a calling and equipping from God are what compel me.

    Connie said, "My original goals for Speedbo have been derailed but that's okay." Since I signed up, I got derailed by a mastectomy, low hemoglobin, and a list of other challenges. When I finally wrote my first thousand words for Speedbo, just a couple days ago, I failed to save them. But that's okay. Pat

  95. Pepper, you're right, our feelings aren't so trustworthy. I guess that's why we have to preach the truth to ourselves day after day. We are brave, we can do this, we are loved...

  96. Edwina, so glad the post was an encouragement to you! :)

  97. Deanna, thank you! We all have a superpower...mine must be growing strong nails. :D :D :D

    I wish it was the ability to fly, but then again, I'm afraid of heights...

  98. Patricia, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles this month! But you are the embodiment of courage! Keep on being brave!

  99. Thank you so much, Seeker-Gals! As always, a lovely time as a guest blogger!

    My Speedbo goals were to finish a novella and plot a new story. The novella got finished, and I've already received the editorial letter, so the plotting has been pushed back so I can work on edits.

  100. The book sounds good. I have another one about Western brides. I just checked out Erica's blog.

  101. Howdy, Erica! Sorry I'm so late to stop by to read your wonderful post. I spent almost all of Thursday on the couch asleep, thanks to the flu bug that bit me. For once I out slept our cats. I only got up three times that day: once to say hi to my hubby when he got home from school and twice to hobble to my laptop and check on the RITA and GH finals.

    To let you know how sick I was, I didn't have the energy to whoop and holler for my friends whose names are on the finalist lists. You know me and how enthusiastic I normally am. (Flashback to me tearing across the ballroom lobby and nearly knocking you down when I heard the news at the ACFW conference that you were a NYT Bestselling author.) The fact that all I could do was smile weakly when I read the RITA and GH results Thursday proved the bug had bested me.

    But enough of my tale of woe. I'm alive and wellish now and am busy playing catch-up.

    I loved your post! It's like you jumped inside my head. I battle those Dreaded D's all the time. Yup! I'm on a first-name basis with Doubt, Discouragement and Disappointment.

    Like you, I've learned that keeping my expectations in check makes a BIG difference. Hitting "send" and immersing myself in the next project helps, too. That way I'm not sitting around fretting or frequently checking my email.

    Writing takes a whole lotta courage. I prefer your definition to the dictionary's. Fear is part of the writing life. We can't escape it, but we can refuse to let it rob us of our creative joy or stifle our hope.

    Thanks for such an uplifting post!