Writer’s Digest Fred White said it best: “To be a writer means to take risks, putting yourself and your ideas out on a limb, making yourself vulnerable to criticism, maybe even ridicule.” [Source: 10 Creative Ways to Beat Writer's Block Fast]
And, boy, is he so right.
I can hardly imagine what Yale law professor Amy Chua must be going through right now, fielding criticisms right and left after an excerpt of her new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was published in the Wall Street Journal.
Just another day in the life of a writer.
Courage. It’s something any writer, aspiring or seasoned, should have in big doses. The courage to face criticism. The courage to swallow your pride when you’re corrected. The courage to stand up for what you wrote. The courage to face the consequences of what you’ve written.
And believe me, more than 10 years into my writing career, I still feel a little uncertainty, a little doubt each time I write something. I don’t click the Publish button on my blog without thinking, What will people say? Will I look bad if they read this? Will they think I am arrogant? What will my editor friends say? I hope they don’t catch a typo or a grammatical slip! Will they think this is crappy?
I’m not in total agreement with Chua’s parenting style, but I love how she’s bravely put everything out there, risking criticism and ridicule. It’s not a task any writer will easily take on, but if only for her brave spirit, I take my hat off to her.
Image: “Atmosphere of Trust” by Hansgbe