Grow Courageous in the Process

An author in the digital age must balance improving their craft, producing new work, growing a network, and building a platform all at once. Oftentimes while working a day-job. Sustaining these four additional full-time jobs has lead too many great authors to quit, damning us all to a less imaginative world than we might have had.

But isn’t hardship like this exactly what we evolved to confront, day after day? So that our minds and bodies grow stronger, wiser, and more courageous in the process? So that tomorrow we can face even greater challenges than today?

  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote the Nobel-prize winning The Gulag Archipelago, a brutal critique of Communism, from within Soviet Russia, even after serving eight years in labor camps for criticism levied in a single, private letter.
  • Viktor Frankl kept secret notes for what would become the international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning while inside Nazi concentration camps, where he lost his entire family.
  • At 17 years old, Paulo Coelho was committed to an asylum for three years of electroshock treatment and drug cocktails by his parents, only to become the bestselling Portuguese author of all time with his novel The Alchemist.

If these authors (and so many others) were capable of facing adversity with courage, temperance, wisdom, and clarity, then maybe so can we. Instead of seeing our mounting todo lists as a burden, perhaps we can see each task as an opportunity to improve. To gain experience. To develop the skills we’ll need to seize the tantalizing future that, in our darkest hour, falsely seem so out of reach.