The Heart of Courage

“What counts is not the enormity of the task, but the size of the courage.”

                                                                                                 ~Matthieu Richard

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What is courage?

According to Brené Brown, the leading shame and vulnerability researcher and expert, courage is a “heart word.” “The root of the word courage is ‘cor’ – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart’.”

I am not always good with speaking my heart. I worry what others will think of me. Will I be able to get my point across without being misunderstood? I always expect to be misunderstood. I spent my entire life hiding who I really was. Hoping that I could master the art of wearing a mask without anyone knowing. To be what they wanted me to be.

Yet, when I write…everything changes. I am able to be vulnerable and open up. Sometimes I use my characters to say what I want to say or be who I really want to be. I speak my mind by telling what’s in my heart.

Is that really courage?

Yet recently I have been scaring myself.

I have undertaken quite a few tasks. Maybe too many tasks…

I am working on two novels at once. Editing and writing in a new genre. I usually write Erotic romance but recently I have been leaning away from the erotica and more on suspense and murder mystery. That is frightening. I am not sure if I even know what I am doing. I have never written a mystery before in my life and I don’t really have very much experience in it. I just let my characters lead me where they want to go.

Being an introvert it is hard for me to speak in front of people or be the center of attention. I get anxiety and feel like I am not worthy to be in the eye of the people. So it was strange when I began speaking to writers groups sharing my writing experience. It helped that my husband/partner was there with me but I had to dig deep and find an extrovert inside somewhere. (It’s weird to me that people have no clue I’m an introvert or that I have social anxiety because of that.)

Am I being courageous?

With my husband/partner Marcus, I have also launched a Self Publishing system course that helps writers self publish their novels on their own terms. I used a system that I created while I was publishing my own novels. I also started a YouTube series entitled “How to Start a Novel” where I give tips every month on how to write your novel as well as ways to market yourself and your book.

Is that courage?

For the past year I have been Vice President of Writers of Kern, which has also been scary for me. Am I doing a good job? Can I serve the members the way they need to be served? Am I being an asset to the President and the rest of the board? (I hate when the “am I good enough” thoughts creep in)

The extent of the tasks that I have taken on this past year have me terrified. There is so much to be done on top of raising three children and doing my daily motherly tasks. That is not to include posting on social media platforms everyday and marketing the books that I have already published.

Some days I look at what I have to do and I get so overwhelmed that I am paralyzed. I am frozen by my anxiety.  I always think that I am not good enough to take on so many things. I tend to just stick to one thing at a time not sure of the challenge. Then I think about the quote above. The enormity of the task does not count. What matters is the courage you have to tackle what lies in front of you.

Courage takes heart and when it comes to my writing and my family I have all the heart I need to climb this mountain in front of me.

So, be encouraged. Give your heart. Don’t let the size of the tasks that you have discourage you from accomplishing your goals. You are enough and you’ve got this!

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