Be Brave, Not Fearless

Last week I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert at a book event for her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Though the book is just out, I’ve been listening to a podcast she’s been doing, which has given me a head start. Now, I’m already a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I unapologetically loved Eat, Pray, Love. Her TED talks inspired me. (See them here and here.)

Seeing her speak was just terrific, and timely. I am days (DAYS!!) away from my long time dream of being published coming true. And you know what, dear readers? Fear is my co-pilot on this journey. I’ve been struggling with that—what is there to be afraid of? Surely I can meditate/visualize/breath through the fear and get rid of it. (Fear laughs hard at this, and moves back in, usually around 3 A.M.)

Elizabeth Gilbert said something that is resonating with me. Don’t be fearless, be brave. She said a lot more than that (a future blog post!), but for this week, that is enough. Don’t be fearless. Just be brave enough to act anyway. Let fear into the car, just don’t let it drive, use the GPS, change the radio station, or look at the maps. But fear gets a seat in the car. It would have taken one anyway.

Writing is a brave act. Getting published is related to writing, but it isn’t writing itself. The act of writing, which I’ve been doing forever, and actively doing for fifteen years with the hope of getting published, is brave. It is vulnerable, challenging, uncomfortable. And brave. Next week I celebrate getting published. But I’ve already won, because I’m a writer.

Launch Social Media FB postIn a bit of self promotion—if you live near the New England Mobile Book Fair, my launch party is next Tuesday, October 6, starting at 5:30. All are welcome. If you do come, please make sure and say hello, and that you know me from the blog.

In the meantime, let’s all work on being brave.

17 thoughts on “Be Brave, Not Fearless

  1. Some amount of anxiety does foster creativity, which we call creative anxiety or healthy tension. Progress in our lives, in any domains–spiritual, physical and mental is result of conflict and friction. So we must welcome them with open arms but as you said in your post–must not let them drive the car–goal is always fearlessness. Creating out of love and out of fear are two distinct things and the former is true bliss 🙂

    Love and light ❤
    Anand 🙂

  2. The brave take action despite their fears. The fearful give in to their fears. The fears of both are the same.
    It always comes back to the question used in Choice Theory: who’s driving your car?
    The brave know how to drive and choose to sit in the driver’s seat.
    The fearful sit in the back and let their fears do the driving.

  3. So glad you were able to see her! I love her podcast. Just discovered it and had a listening marathon! They were awesome to hear, she’s coming to town soon so I’m taking a road trip to be there. Can’t wait to read about your post on the talk. Did she bring something different, or was it like listening to her podcast? Was there a Q&A? Well can’t wait to hear about it, and wanted to of course CONGRATULATE you on getting your book published! I hope all goes well on your launch 🙂 high five for an awesome dream that’s happening to you 🙂

    • Thank you for the congrats! Re Elizabeth Gilbert, she did a short reading, and then opened it up to the crowd for Q&A. She considers the book her manifesto, and I have to agree. The podcast is rooted in the book, but the book stands alone. I promise, will write more about that later!

  4. Wow! I very much needed that perspective this morning. Thank you for sharing. It always amazes me how a small shift in words can open up so much potential change.

  5. Pingback: Aspiring No More | Live to Write – Write to Live

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