The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear
by Ralph Keyes
In The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes assures us that anxiety is felt by writers at every level, especially when they dare to do their best. Rather ... Show synopsis In The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes assures us that anxiety is felt by writers at every level, especially when they dare to do their best. Rather than define it as a block or impediment, as many books do, Keyes shows us that anxiety is an integral and even necessary part of the writing process and can be harnessed to produce honest and disciplined work. He describes the sequence of "courage points" through which all writers must pass - from the challenge of identifying a worthwhile project, to the "page fright" they experience when facing a blank sheet of paper, to the mixture of pride and panic they feel when examining a newly published book or article. An author who has taught writing for nearly twenty-five years, Keyes knows well the voice in almost every writer that asks, "Will they see through me?" He explores the roots of that feeling of exposure in our fears of public "performance" and the judgment of family and friends, and teaches writers how to wrestle down their "censors in chief." He offers specifics on how to make the best use of writers workshops and conferences and handle criticism of works in progress, and he exposes the most common "false fear busters" (needing new equipment, a better setting, a new agent). Keyes includes the comments of many accomplished writers - including E. B. White, Pat Conroy, Amy Tan, and Rita Dove, among many others - on how they transcended their own anxieties to produce great works.