7/24/2014

Write without Fear


There’s one quality that separates old, published writers (moi) from young, unpublished ones.  

Boldness. Plus all its derivatives and synonyms. Young wordsmiths write without fear.

Last month I was invited to a Saturday young writers’ hangout-out, where I facilitated a workshop, and therefore had a chance to interact with 10 very young writers (ages 8-14).

Their task was to write an essay about someone they like very much, without saying so, but should leave the readers knowing so.

They allowed themselves no thinking time. They grasped pencil and paper, and piled words on their writing plates like the smorgasbord was running out of food. 

Watching them, I looked back to my youth, when I was their age, so terribly in love with words. And indeed, I possessed the same derring-do (how archaic that word sounds). No hesitation, no caution, no circumspection, no fear.

Then the years strew upon one’s path an odd amalgam of rejection notes, unanswered query letters, editors’ suggestions, publishers’ marketing decisions, ho-hum book readers’ reception, moderate book sales, and bland reviews—and the writing derring-do becomes archaic, if not obsolete, like it is now in new-edition dictionaries.  

I want to believe that writing without fear is God's grace-seed planted in a word-lover's young heart. Then it grows into a tree called passion that bears fruit called steadfastness, as the once-young becomes a published writer, one who crafts words not for herself but for others to meet her Savior.

Although the fear visits like an unwanted guest now and then, especially when your hope for an "aye" from a publisher is dimmed by the possibility of a "nay," the fruit ripens.      

And so she writes . . . and writes . . . and writes. But not without fear. And never without grace.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

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