She did not plan; she merely let herself go, and the overwhelming life in her did the rest. It is only when youth is gone and experience has given us a sort of cheap courage that most of us realize how simple such things are. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
If I was afraid of heights, this blog would be my skydiving. I’m hoping that by letting myself go and facing the fear of my failure, I won’t be afraid anymore. I want other timid writers to join me in erasing fear and finding voices here. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cheap courage reminds me that I have never failed but found other ways to live a happy and genuine life. It’s easier to trust myself than to create a plan that I will never meet.
I don’t attend graduate school for creative writing and I don’t have a journalism degree. In fact, I spend most of my days in front of a computer scheduling calendars. A job, believe it or not, I actually kind of enjoy. No one is paying me to write this and in fact, I’m shelling out cash to a website provider to write this because it frees me. I am showing the world that I’m not afraid anymore and that the world (that’s you) doesn’t need to be afraid anymore either.
This is a blog about writing. Here, I intend to archive the beginning of my writing life. I want to record every embarrassing rejection, awkward handshake, and forgotten deadline. I want to share the good too: events I attend, other aspiring writers I know, and the few actual accomplishments I may have. I don’t want to hide from what interviews gloss over when they ask writers how they made it and they say, “By writing.”
I certainly don’t argue that fact, but in a time when everyone has a brand, I also believe there is a little more to it. Like developing a voice, creating a community, and carefully mining a skill. The desire to write is a gift, but the practice of writing is not. It takes work and imagination and determination. I’m going to address what it’s like to be the new kid on the block in a world where it appears that everyone had an internship at Vanity Fair or has an MFA in Poetry.
One day, I hope I can look back at this experiment as the full documentation of how “I Made It”. Because then when someone interviews me and asks, “How did you do it?” There’s a little more advice than just “Write.”
Amanda Kusek is a stubborn blogger, poet, essayist, dreamer, and the founder of Cheap Courage. The blog is her experiment in sharing the weird journey that one goes on from a nobody with a pen to a somebody with a hardcover. She wants other new writers to join her on the journey and shares her tips, musings, and motivation with them through the site.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.