Bravery and thanks

I got complimented for my “bravery” yesterday. I took a deep breath and said, “Thank you.”

Of course, that was the last thing I wanted to say. That “thank you” had to bubble up from under a thick layer of denial and deflection. Do you go through the same process when you get a compliment?

I don’t know if there’s a direct correlation between the compliment I got yesterday and the action I took today but I did in fact do something brave today. I asked for a favor. Several favors. Well, one favor from several people. And not just any people; I reached out to some rockstars.

The first rockstar I asked—a very busy person—hit Reply almost immediately, and didn’t just say yes to my request, she actually thanked me. For asking her for a favor:

bravery and thanks

Go figure. Rockstar #2 wrote:

bravery and thanks

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two rockstars and four exclamation points. Ordinarily I’d say that’s much too high a concentration of exclamation points, but—hey—they were excited. That I had asked them a favor.

The bravery in asking for help

Writers have to be brave. But our bravery often consists of just ignoring the negative voices in our heads long enough to put words to paper or bytes on disk and send them out into the world. Again, despite the negative voices—some of which will show up outside our heads once we ship. As the old saying goes, “Everyone’s a critic.”

So I may be brave in some respects, but I still feel like the Cowardly Lion in many others. Not that that’s a bad thing—he’s got some of my favorite lyrics in The Wizard of Oz. But when I step outside my comfort zone, I am rarely disappointed. One of these days maybe I’ll remember that.

Okay, dammit. I’m contacting Rockstar #3.


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