“Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage.” George Patton
“A miracle fiber called courage”—what is that, exactly? A quick look at my handy Century Dictionary gives us some clues: “Heart…also, the quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear; valor; bravery.” My Compact Oxford Dictionary goes further: “the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in the face of pain or grief.”
However it’s defined, that miracle fiber all comes down to one word, doesn’t it? Heart. Finding the heart, the strength and will to go on when something difficult happens.
While as writers and creatives, we’re not grappling with life-threatening situations on a day-to-day basis, we do encounter those moments when our heart sinks, when we feel small and forlorn, when we feel a blow to our hopes and dreams.
It may be an interview for a project that doesn’t go well. Or yet another rejections from a magazine we’ve submitted to. Or an agent we were hopeful about who takes a pass and never really tells us why.
You may be dealing with one or more of these situations right now. When it happens, we’re all tempted to shrink into ourselves and to spend time licking ur wounds.
But if we feel strongly about our work and the effort, the time and energy, we’ve poured into it, then something miraculous happens after a while, doesn’t it? We gather ourselves up, find our courage, and get back into the arena. And when we do, often we feel stronger: We’ve survived another blow and still come out swinging. That’s courage.
No one’s road is perfectly smooth. No one escapes the potholes of life. Sometime soon, you’re going to need to find that “miracle fiber” inside yourself—we all will. Let’s remember it’s part of who we are as we all write on.