“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.” Aristotle
Aristotle knew a thing or two about writing — he penned the Poetics, which is still widely viewed as a classic guide to writing drama. Now, we may or may not be eager to crack open a dog-eared copy that’s sitting on one of our shelves, but he still has wisdom to spare.
We become “brave by performing brave actions” — how can we fruitfully apply this to our writing life? Let me count the ways!
Brave actions — we writers take them all the time, don’t we?
We’re brave when we trust that we have things worth saying — things that matter — and we make a decision to put them out into the world.
We’re brave when we sit in front of a blank page and stare at it until we somehow figure out what words are supposed to fill it.
We’re brave when we send our characters out into the world and let them find the path that’s theirs alone, even though that path seems to be a mystery to us.
We’re brave when realize that what we’ve written has nuggets of gold buried in it, but needs to be revised and polished until it shines — and we get the job done, even though it’s hard.
We’re braze when we send our completed work out knowing that a lot of rejection awaits us. Yet we keep on keeping on. When we say “yes” while other people say, “no.”
We’re brave when we persist with a project we love in the face of obstacles that might discourage others — when we dig deep and find the courage to keep writing, improving, and growing.
Yes, we writers are a bold lot, are we not? We conjure worlds out of air and heart — what is braver than that? And remember, we become “brave by performing brave actions” — so the more we write, the braver we become! Now that’s writing dangerously! Write on!