Why Being An Author Is Brave

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Certain words or ideas come to mind when you hear that someone is an author. It might be highly creative, broke, very emotional, drinks wine while writing by candlelight, sleeps in late, etc. I’m sure “brave” isn’t something most people think of when they imagine who an author might be. Writing stories to share with the world is indeed a brave endeavor.

Let me show you the reasons why.

You’re sharing a part of your mind with the world. Once you’ve published a book, you’ve put a piece of yourself out there for others to read. While most works of fiction aren’t based on true events in the author’s life, I think every story shares some part of the author’s life experience, be it in some of the interactions, the character concepts, or certain life events. It’s no small feat to write something you think is good enough to share with others. Some people literally bare their soul, especially in poetry. It’s a brave thing to show those parts of yourself to complete strangers – and to people who know you.

You’re opening yourself up to criticism. Once you’ve released your book to be sold – be it online or in stores, or both, you will have readers writing reviews about your work. A few might message you directly, though most times you’ll see a review posted on Amazon or Goodreads. When the reviews are good, it can make your day and bring a smile to your face. It also means some people won’t like your work – and the negative reviews can be an eye opener. It comes with the territory. The more popular you become, the more chances you’ll have at being criticized. The good thing is that if you truly write from the heart and present the best work that you can, you’ll for sure get more love than hate.

You’re confident enough to think your writing is good. It takes courage to believe in yourself, especially if you don’t have an agent or a publisher to back you up. Writing is a truly personal thing – unlike certain online businesses, creative writing is your intellectual (and often emotional) property. Publishing your work shows that you think it’s worth buying and reading. That takes guts!

You risk being trolled. Overall, my own online experience has been mostly positive. However, if you build your platform online and try to gain more readers, you’ll end up attracting a few people who don’t like you for whatever reason and some of them will troll you. Maybe you wrote something they don’t agree with or maybe they’re a misogynist or racist, etc. Whatever the reason, there will always be someone with too much time on their hands who will go out of their way to make someone else feel bad. It’s best not to let those comments or messages get to you, but of course, it does take a thick skin to put yourself out there and not give up when harassment happens from time to time.

You might not make much money. We live in an era where anyone can build a small empire through making money online. Some people are very successful at this while others may not hit the jackpot – and a few will reach success after a couple of decades. In any event, there’s a chance that your hard work as an author may not pay off financially, at least not at the level you hoped or expected. That doesn’t mean success isn’t achieved – I see any completed story as a success. Releasing a book is success. A positive review is a success, too. However, you need to get comfortable with the fact that many authors write simply because they love it – not because it will make them money. In the creative field, you seem to either hit it big or you make a very modest income. What matters most is that you do what you love – and there’s bravery in that. Creative writing isn’t usually practical or lucrative – it’s isolating and some people will even judge you for it. But you do it because you love it and you couldn’t imagine not doing it. Doing something you love even if it doesn’t pay well is pretty bad ass in my opinion.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I wish you a lovely day – and happy writing! ❤

8 comments

  1. In writing, the very act of world-building, of creating something out of nothing, is just so magical to me. I also share the same belief that every piece of fiction contains parts of an author’s life. To be able to read about it and share in that experience makes me grateful for the writer and all those that have made this path possible.

    Thanks for the wonderful post! Cheers to being brave today.

  2. Writing blog articles, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, song… anything, is one of the most unnerving things I’ve ever done. And I still feel like an imposter.
    But as you say above, there are many reasons why putting pen to paper (so to speak) is brave. There are so many things that can make a writer feel like a failure.

    Like death and taxes, you can count on the fact that not everyone will like you or your work. And when a writer accepts that, and can cope with criticism, they can truly enjoy the writing and publishing process. And baring a part of your soul is that much easier.

    A brilliant article Sara.
    Thank you.

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