Saturday, May 14, 2011

Courage!


 
As writers, we've got a lot of it. We need courage to take every single step of this writing process - from cutting a favourite sentence to letting someone else read our work, from finding a crit buddy to sending out a query letter, from getting that first form rejection to dealing with the rejection of a full.

We keep going. We keep learning. We keep growing.

Courage.

I came across this video the other day. Courage is one of the themes we're discussing in my classroom right now. This is a Nike commercial that fits the theme. It's all about pushing through, getting back up, and doing more than you think you possibly can.

It's about a minute long. It's worth watching just for the guy who shows up in the last 3 seconds or so.

(sorry - had to remove the video)

Right now I'm using up all my courage working through this rewrite. It's a slow process, but I really do think it's making the story stronger. I'm not giving up. I'm pushing on through.

What are using your courage for these days?

***

(On a side note, more than a dozen comments from my last post got eaten when Blogger was down the other day. I can't seem to get them back up (or even find them) and of course, I deleted my emails. Thank you to those who commented and I'm sorry that I don't have the technical skills to recover the comments. I really hope THAT never happens again!)

86 comments:

  1. Wow--I haven't seen that commercial yet but it's awesome (and that guy was booking! Absolutely fantastic!). Courage is a great theme for discussion, especially there are so many different types of courage. Personally, I've needed courage to keep writing lately. *sigh* Maybe it's just that time of year.

    Good luck on your rewrite! Just keep swimming!

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  2. Mary - isn't he amazing! I love the sound and image and message at the end!

    It is definitely that time of year! Between provincial testing, finishing curriculum, track & field, softball, & everything else - it's crazy hard to find the time. Good luck to you too!

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  3. As if the whole day of not being able to check or even see your post, it was really aggravating to know we'd all lost that day's comments! Grr.

    Rewrites are slow going. I read through and find things, make corrections, then read again and find new things, make corrections, then... On and on it goes.

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  4. Helen - I'm a little relieved to know it wasn't just me. I hadn't looked into it much. Once I realized other people couldn't see blogs too (thanks to Twitter!) I didn't check into it much more. I was just relieved I hadn't broken the universe!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one. I hear some people zipping away through their rewrites and it makes me want to cry! I need a LOT of time to let the new plot lines filter.

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  5. I'm sending queries out for Dog Show Detective - so I need courage there, but mostly I need my courage when I give my first draft out to readers. That's scarier because you get direct feedback.

    I also need courage for the unexplained increase in spider population... but thats another conversation.

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  6. Charmaine - yup! Queries definitely require courage!! :)

    And handing the story to any kind of reader is terrifying! I'm surprised we're not all total wrecks all the time!

    Good luck with those spiders!!

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  7. Hey Jemi, did I ever give you notice for a blog award I gave you? For some reason, I can't seem to remember. It was the Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award.

    Cherie

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  8. Cherie - awwww - thank you!!! You're the sweetie! :)

    I've been so wrapped up with writing and Real Life lately that I just missed it! I appreciate it :)

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  9. Loved this! I should watch every day before I write. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. I submitting art and articles to magazines. Good Luck to you~
    Loved this commercial...Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Anita - I know!! These folks are so inspirational! It's only a minute and it sure got my blood pumping! :)

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  12. Ella - submitting takes a very special kind of courage! It's such a huge risk. Good for you!

    Thanks! I'm glad you liked it too :)

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  13. Wow! That video really puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

    Courage is good. It's what we have when it feels like we have nothing else. We continue. I'm all about leaning forward these day and using courage to live as fully as possible every day I'm gifted with.

    Have a wonderful weekend and good luck with the revision!

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  14. Julie - it most certainly does!!

    I love your attitude and your approach - leaning forward. That's awesome and I'm going to borrow that visual & use it with my students! :)

    Thanks - same to you :)

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  15. I did see the commercial before. It's great.
    I'm using my courage to keep writing after a serious set back this past week. Took me a few days to get it back together but I'm back at the keyboard.

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  16. Oh it was probably my fault! There was a long list of nominees and I thought I had informed everyone. Glad I double-checked today. Super late but the award is still yours for the taking. ;)

    Btw, I love the Wizard of Oz, especially the Cowardly Lion. He's so cute with that red bow on his head. I'll have to watch the video you posted above after this. Everyone seems to like it so much. ;)

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  17. "We keep going. We keep learning. We keep growing."

    So true.

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  18. Bad Blogger! :)

    I need courage for a rewrite, too. I'm scared I won't be able to pull it off, and I've been trying to work my way up to it for the past few days.

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  19. Just do it, Jemi Fraser!! :-)

    Good luck!!! Take care
    x

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  20. It ate a bunch of my comments as well. And you can get through the rewrite - I just know it!

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  21. Hi Jemi,
    It takes courage to send queries. That's what I'm using up my courage on. You'll do it, finish the race. And yeah, Blogger was a pig, eating all those comments.

    The commercial was cool but being by Nike tainted it for me. Maybe they could spend less money on commercials and make the product here they sell here, not at slave labor prices in India and Bangladesh, etal. They always have a pretty message, a huge marketing dept. Lots of money. Lots and lots of money. But no shoes made in America by Nike. Nope. But we buy 'em, sop it up and pull out our wallet. Sorry. I didn't need to go on like that.

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  22. Yes, blogger did blog-up! But congratulations on how far you have gone with your writing! You already show lots of courage.

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  23. Susan - good for you! It's really, really hard to get back to the keyboard after set backs. Glad you're there! :)

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  24. Cherie - I think W of Oz is my favourite all-time movie. I've loved it forever :)

    The video is worth the minute. I don't usually post videos but this one is pretty cool!

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  25. Katie - thanks! It's hard to even fathom the number of things I've learned in the past couple of years. I hope to keep growing! :)

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  26. Talli - for me the rewrites are the scariest of all. Taking the story completely apart and trying to put it together in a new way is frightening! Good luck with yours! :)

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  27. Old Kitty - thanks! I need that. I'm not always the bravest person in the universe but I'm working on it! :)

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  28. Yvonne - thanks! I hope so. It's taken MONTHS longer than I expected. And I'm only maybe a quarter of the way through it. It's not easy, but I'm making progress :)

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  29. Alex - I guess it happened to everyone on Blogger - so frustrating!

    I hope I can - it's a tough go!

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  30. Yvonne O - queries are hard & sending them is harder!! Good luck with yours!

    It is SO frustrating when we find out companies aren't anywhere near what their public face is. I can't believe the amount of companies who use cheap labour from overseas where the people have horrific working conditions! We try to be as aware as possible too - and buy smart!

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  31. Lynn - thanks! I hope it continues to work and I continue to get through it! :)

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  32. ...coming from an athletic background, and now being surrounded in sports via my boys, I'm constantly telling them how 90% of the game is mental, and how victories are more often than not, determined not by the aggressor, but by the thinker. It works the same in writing. As storytellers we've gotta want it, really want it. We have to envision success and believe in ourselves. And yes, to do that we need courage. Much of my book is based on just that, the courage of a ten year old boy doing what must be done in order to prevent his siblings from harm's way.

    Loved it, Jemi. This is something I'm passionate about. Well done:)

    EL

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  33. Elliot - thanks!

    We're all athletes in my family too and this video sent a few chills my way. Perseverence, dedication and plain old stubborness are pretty good traits to have - for athletes and writers.

    I'm always talking to my students about courage too - it's such an important part of growing up and learning to be yourself.

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  34. Blogger claims we'll get those comments back "over the weekend." I think the weekend is winding down, though!

    I like that you labeled it 'courage.' Sometime I've felt it was 'pigheadedness,' which doesn't sound as nice!

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  35. Elizabeth - it is getting closer to the end! I can't even imagine the work entailed in trying to straighten all of that out. Just changing a template boggles my brain!

    Courage, pigheadedness - 6 of one...

    And I think I've got the 2nd half of that covered at least! :)

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  36. The video really charged me up. I can't wait for my class to see it. When I need a courage recharge, I make the blogging rounds. I never fail to find inspiration and a boost from writing community.

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  37. Leslie - me too! It's an awesome mix of images from so many areas.

    You're so right about the blogging community of writers - so full of support, hope and excitement! :)

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  38. Man I was angry at Blogger for that!! *breathes* Great post! It sure does take courage at all points.

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  39. Good luck with the rewrite!

    I have a little fairy plaque that says, "Surrender your fear" and "Keep being brave." It looks at me each morning when I leave my room (less creepy than it sounds) and keeps me in line on the courage front.

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  40. Courage--it's the new cool. Or something like that. And being an author definitely takes bucket loads. Keep going! You'll make it.

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  41. Great Video! I just keep telling myself
    I can do it. My much beloved gave me a card which I keep by my computer. It has a verse on it which saids...

    I believe in you.

    One line reads:I believe in you and know you have what it takes to follow your dream. Let that strong spirit of yours be your guide.

    It is my husband's faith in me which keeps me strong and moving forward.

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  42. I use courage all the time to not look at what's going on around or take any rejections too personally so it gets me down. And to take the plunge and query. That takes courage!

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  43. Lisa - I think I was mostly relieved when I realized I hadn't done anything! :)

    We do require lots of courage in this venture!

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  44. Stephanie - lol :) Doesn't sound creepy at all!

    The plaque sounds like a perfect message for writers - and for everyone else as well!

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  45. Nichole - thanks!

    'is the new cool' -- that's just about perfect!! :)

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  46. Jarmara - what a wonderful card and an even more wonderful hubby!! Knowing he has that kind of faith in you must be incredible!! :)

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  47. Laura - queries require mountains of courage!! And dealing with those rejections is a nightmare. Good luck with it! :)

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  48. hi miss jemi! im just real glad you got up your courage to work on that rewrite. lots of writing stuff take big courage. for me right now im not doing so much writing like i should cause im mostly using my courage to get through this yucky chemo stuff. lots of my courage i get from my blogger friends just like you. :)
    ...hugs from lenny

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  49. Great vid! Thanks for sharing!

    Ah, courage. I think we're all courageous for even trying.

    Writing is hard. Writing for publication is kinda crazy.

    But we still do it! :)

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  50. I need courage right now. I feel sick to my stomach every time I send out a query. It's horrible! I need one of those little Lion medals! :)

    Amy

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  51. Hi, Jemi. Your courage will get you through the rewrite. You go!

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  52. Lenny - that's exactly where you need the courage to be. It's been working great so far, and I know your courage is going to have you finished with all the yucky chemo one day!

    You really are one of the bravest, most courageous people I know. You inspire me every single day!

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  53. Notes - that's the best advice every! Thanks :)

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  54. Karen - exactly! Love that line -- "Writing is hard. Writing for publication is kinda crazy."

    That describes it perfectly!

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  55. A.L. - one virtual hero medal winging your way! Sending out queries requires a mountain sized bucket of courage! Keep your spirits up! :)

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  56. Susanne - thanks! I certainly hope so! Some days it feels like an impossible feat - other days, it's doable! :)

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  57. I'm in the rewrite phase too. Let's hope we can both muster the courage to get through the edits. And then we'll muster some courage to query. Good luck!

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  58. re. goggle/blogger... it WILL happen again, seems to be ongoing... they don't care what happens to us peons GRRR

    as for courage... some seek it in chemicals...

    my chemical of choice? CAFFEINE

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  59. Theresa - sounds like a good plan! I'm just floored at how loooooong it's taking me. I thought I'd be well done by now, but I've barely started!

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  60. Laughing wolf - chocolate & chai tea would be my chemicals of choice!! :)

    I do think it's going to probably happen again!

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  61. I'm using my courage to face major rewrites of a wip. It's scary to see myself make major shifts in plot.

    Writers are courageous people.

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  62. Ooh, I'm going through the same thing--rewrites on two books. It takes tremendous strength to take a book, pull its seams out and reattach it into something else. Hopefully it helps both of us!

    Hugs!

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  63. Medeia - I think we are!

    Rewrites are tough! I'm finding it's taking me a lot longer than I estimated! Hope yours goes well!

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  64. Jackee - I hope it does too! I can't imagine doing two at once! That's got to be really hard - good luck!! :)

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  65. Thanks for sharing this, Jemi. I love the Wizard of Oz and that cowardly lion! I'm working on some children's book rewrites and hoping to have the courage to submit them again! Hope your rewrite goes well!

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  66. Connie - me too! The Wiz of O is my favourite all-time movie! :)

    Thanks! I hope the same for you - good luck!!

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  67. Jemi, I loved that video! Wow. It definitely takes courage to write the piece and send it out. I think each writer gets nervous before taking the next step, but we must!

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  68. Julie - thanks! I thought it was incredible too! :)

    We must. Each and every step terrifies me for a while. But I keep pushing. Hopefully I've got the courage for the long haul! :)

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  69. I'm using up all my courage as I trudge through query wars. Ugh! Such a difficult process. :-)

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  70. Shannon - yuck! The querying part is probably the most terrifying of all for most people! Good luck with it! :)

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  71. wow! I got goose bumps watching this! Very powerful! Thanks for posting! And I know you will prevail with your wip!

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  72. Terry - I love this video - gives me chills every time! :)

    Thanks for the vote of confidence - I need a boost right about now!

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  73. oh, I love that. And very well-timed. For me, it's the courage that there WILL be an editor who likes my MS...

    scary. :p

    Here's to all of us. Thanks, J~ <3

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  74. Courage...I think I might be missing some. I keep putting off submitting any of my stories. I send them to one place and then stop. I think I need to find some courage...

    Good luck with your revisions, Jemi!

    Thanks for the inspirational post.

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  75. Leigh - there will be! It's just a matter of finding the right one!! Stay strong :)

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  76. Sharon - I know how you feel. This rewrite took me a long time to wrap my head around - but at least it's moving now!

    Take a deep breath and send!! :)

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  77. I'm working on rewrites, too--so thanks for the awesome video! :)

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  78. Golden Eagle - it really is a perfect motivational tool for me. That last guy makes me feel downright lazy! :) Good luck!

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  79. It takes courage to face down your own mistakes in print everyday as we revise. Sometimes it seems like every other word.

    It also takes courage to pick up and write a novel, daring to take a chance on making your dreams come true.

    Love the Nike commercial. I'm going to be singing that song in my head for a couple of days.

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  80. Great post! It goes very well with my post, too! I use my courage to dive into brave new things like public speaking! Aaaa!!!

    One thing that I believe that encompasses all, is to believe in yourself!

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

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  81. Kari - I think the act of writing the novel itself takes the most courage. To believe that dream might come true, to take that risk is huge!

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  82. Elizabeth - I know! I thought our posts went well together too! Good timing :)

    Believing in ourselves is maybe the toughest of all!

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  83. love that you used Lion for illustration :)
    I think I'm courageous when it comes to taking risks in business.

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  84. Dezzy - I love the lion!!

    I'm not the most courageous person in most areas - but I'm working on getting better! :)

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