Book Review: The Courage to Write

TITLE: The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear

AUTHOR: Ralph Keyes

GENRE: Non-Fiction

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A writer is someone who is exhilarated and terrified at the same time.

What if we sound foolish to readers? What if we put too much of ourselves into our writing? What if someone gets offended by what we have written? What if our work gets rejected?

Fear has many forms and no matter how many times we knock it down, it will get back up and dare us to fight back. Most people give in to the intimidation. Most people walk away. There are plenty of brilliant writers out there who are afraid to pen down their best writings because they are daunted by the works of literary geniuses, the ones who dared to write despite their anxieties.

Ralph Keyes probably faced the same fear while writing this book and the reason why it’s here on our desks or desktop is because he didn’t let this fear dominate his will to write. That’s exactly what this book has to offer to all those who are afraid.

Finding the courage to write does not involve erasing or “conquering” one’s fears. Working writers aren’t those who have eliminated their anxieties. They are the one who keep scribbling while their heart races and their stomach churns, and who mail manuscripts with trembling fingers.

Writing is a daunting task which asks us to look beneath our skin to find layers of suppressed pain and it asks us to give it a physical form. Of course, it’s scary. Of course we get hurt by criticism when someone ridicules that pain. But those for whom the thought of never writing is scarier than their writing not being liked, they still write. They find ways to calm their nerves or make a routine out of their chaotic lives. But they write. They dare. There is nothing wrong with being afraid but always remember to stay one step ahead from being paralyzed by the same fear.

Ralph Keyes has done a commendable job with this book. He has not only talked about an untouched topic but has also provided us with writers’ similar experiences and how they walked through it. It provides us with strength. It provides us with the courage to write.

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