Writers need courage to write about their lives.
Having courage applies to non-fiction writers and fiction writers alike. At some point in your writing, your personal life will find its way into your words.
Use of Pen Names
Using a pen name may allow some writers to write about subjects that they would not otherwise touch with their “real” names. There is nothing wrong with using a pen name, it still takes courage to do the writing. There are just not usually as many consequences.
When you write with a pen name, your manner of writing may change. Try it sometime, if you are accustomed to writing under your real name. Sit down to write something that you will publish under a pen name. See if your writing changes. Find out if you are willing to reveal more, or take a different tone than you normally would.
Courage and Writing
For those writers who do use their real names, they do need to muster up some courage to write compelling works.
When writing fiction it is easy enough to say you just made it all up. Oftentimes, certain characters could be auto-biographical or semi-autobiographical. The best writing flows from experience, which makes it natural to include ourselves in our works.
Fiction may also contain actual conversations the writers had at one time, as these words find their way into your story’s dialogue. This dialogue could be coming out of the mouths of characters you have written that are based on actual people in your life and from your past.
It takes courage to write because you will have to face the proverbial music when your work is published. Novelists and fiction writers think about how wonderful it will be when people around the country, and maybe even the world, will curl up and read their first book. What fiction writers sometimes forget is that people you know will also be reading that book.
People from your past may instantly recognize themselves in your work, and they may even contact you.
Using people from you past brings up some interesting questions. Should you really write about other people? Won’t you just be sharing your point of view? You have every right to write about yourexperiences, even when that also means writing about other people. Writers just need the courage to face those people if they are offended, or take issue with their inclusion.
Writers also need courage to write about people currently in their lives. Fiction and non-fiction writers alike draw from every day life, and their stories and articles sometimes tell too much truth.
For example, a writer may write about a current family situation, including alcoholism, gambling addiction, or parenting issues. Chances are, if a writer’s family reads the works, one of the, at some point, will be offended. Writers need to consider this before publishing works that may be offensive to family members. This should not stop the writer, it just needs to be considered before the work is published, so the writer can be prepared with a response.
Because of this potential real life conflict, some writers choose not to write about anything personal. They also choose not to write about their families, their past or their personal experiences. Writing does not have to be autobiographical to be effective, but it does tend to engage the reader, even if it is presented as fiction.
Some fiction writers may talk themselves out of writing certain stories because they are too personal, or they are too worried about what their family and friends will think. Here is a good rule of thumb: write it first, worry later. When you are still in the writing stages, you are the only one who will see it anyway. You dont’ know what you can create until you actually sit down and write honestly, without worrying about what others will think.
The best writing comes from a place of honesty.
This is why writers need courage to write. Writers cannot write in the open, and share their words and visions if they are not willing to be honest. Writers need to take the leap of faith from the safe plateau, and reach new heights by including truths in their works. The most compelling fiction and non-fiction works all have an air of realness that can only be written by truly courageous writers.