Fighting Page Fright

by jeanieransom on June 29, 2012

Author E. B. White often commented on how much courage it took to write, and how courage could fail even the most accomplished author. White spoke from experience. He would do anything to avoid writing. Yet, despite his fear, E.B. White managed to produce award-winning work that included the beloved Charlotte’s Web.

The courage to write came knocking at my front door this morning. Literally. The UPS man had a package for me. Thinking that it might be one of the birthday gifts I’d ordered for my husband, Bob, I opened the package only to find a book titled The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear, by Ralph Keyes. It was a gift from Bob – my webmaster, my graphic designer, my friend, my parenting partner, and my writing cheerleader.
It always helps to have someone who believes that you have what it takes to make it. Especially when you don’t always believe it yourself. According to author Ralph Keyes, writers at every level experience anxiety. But page fright can be paralyzing, and it’s something both my middle son and I have been struggling with.

In fact, my husband and I had recently given our son Ralph Keyes’ book with the hope that it might offer some insight and support. When I found myself picking up the book to read a chapter here and there, I asked my son if I could borrow it. So much rang true, I wanted to highlight the passages and burn them into my brain. Of course, I didn’t. I couldn’t. It wasn’t my book.

But now I have my own copy, thanks to a very perceptive husband. I’ve already tracked down a highlighter to keep close at hand. I’m excited to add The Courage to Write to my summer reading list – though I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again and again throughout the year.

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