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#atozchallenge : B is for Being brave #fiction #writing #quotes

A to Z Challenge Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

The second day of April, and I’m bravely entering the linky list, way more than in the last two months– and I’m finding myself a treasure-trove of lovely folks and posts.

How’s your A to Z shaping up so far?

Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important bits about writing fiction– making a start, and then following bravely where your muse takes you.

Loads of folks think they have a book in them but the difference between them and those who actually write one book, then another and another is the willingness to take a risk, to face the fact that the book may come to nothing, be an aborted baby, a little something in a forgotten folder that no one other than the writer reads.

It also takes bravery to bare your soul, and worse still, follow the truth of a story and not the facts of life. Here’s what those who should know what they’re talking about say about bravery in writing:

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • This post reminds me of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty, the chorus of which goes as follows:

    "I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing"

  • What scares me the most? Not finishing what I've started.

  • Sherry Ellis says:

    Love your quotes! They all can be inspiring for writers!

  • SlimDoggy says:

    Great quotes. I don't consider myself a 'writer' – our blog is more a result of our business although I've found that I really enjoy it and like giving a voice to our adventures with our dogs.

  • angelsbark says:

    I love Stephen King: he gives such great advice. So do you! Thanks!

  • Bish Denham says:

    Sylvia Plath's quote is so true. Maybe that's one of the things that got her in the end, since she killed herself.

  • Great post, loved how both you and Nicole at Madlab Post wrote about bravery in the similar sense. I think we all need this reminder from time to time!
    Andrea, #atozchallenge Mighty Minion Asset

  • Good Post!! And love quotes.

  • I'm just scared that it will sound boring.

    Love the quote about developing wings after we jump!

  • Wonderful write ups and blog. Followed you.

  • You are so right about the courage to accept something may come to nothing – I have so many ideas that just didn't work when I tried to put them onto paper, they either didn't have enough substance, or the concepts failed. It's always a risk when starting out, but I do find there are rewards, even in failure – they can spark new ideas and the cycle starts all over again 🙂
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic

  • Great set of quotes there. I'll be keeping those in mind through the course of the writing day. 🙂

    I've learnt, this week, that I'm not as brave as I thought I was. My self publishing journey is stalling over and over because I'm chickening out of certain aspects. But it's something I want so much… pushing past the fear is what's going to get me where I want to be, so, that's what I need to do.

    Bravery isn't a lack of fear… it's pushing on despite that fear.
    ~I wish I knew where that came from; I'm sure I've paraphrased it from someone!

  • Nice word. Have you heard the song Brave by Sara Bareilles ? It's quite inspirational and encouraging. Lovely quotes!

  • klahanie says:

    Hi human, Damyanti,

    My fictional human and I are totally relaxed about writing. No expectations, just open, honest, transparent writing that comes from the heart and soul. When either my fictional human or I write, we write to the one reader. It's intimate and if somebody doesn't like our writing, that's fine. It's only therapy for us. We don't feel brave because we press pawblish. All we want to do is be there for the one person reading.

    Be well and smile, my dear human friend 🙂

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

  • Anna Tan says:

    It's so hard to be brave sometimes.
    Pressing "publish" on my blog takes an enormous effort on some days. Putting the actual book out there will take even more bravery!

    anna @ Deeply Shallow

  • AJ Lauer says:

    Ooh bravery is a great word 🙂 Writing certainly does take that! And you seem to have it in spades. Bravery + smarts + organization = MJ!

  • Enchantress says:

    “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." ~ Sylvia Plath
    This has been saved and shall be read and re read again and again..Thanks for sharing such a BEAUTIFUL pOST

  • I love the quotes you've chosen, especially Kafka's. I've no fear when it comes to writing. It's more freeing than anything I've ever done. I'm happy just to get the words on the page, the way they sound and feel in my head:)

    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

  • I actually get scared that I will run out of ideas when it comes to my writing. Hasn't happened yet. *Crosses fingers*

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  • kmckendry says:

    Great post! I'm mostly afraid after I put all this hard work in my novel still won't work. But so far I've continued to keep at it, thinking that maybe even if this one is no good, that I am at least learning to write better each time I add words to the page.

  • Tina says:

    Yeah, the Vonnegut quote is my favorite, too. I'm anxiously awaiting a time when I can continue on my novel…meanwhile I'm bravely churning out blog posts with far less angst and editing than five years ago. So there's that to celebrate.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

  • Love the Vonnegut quote. I jump off a cliff daily, it seems lately. But, I haven't gone splat, yet.

  • I'm so not a writer. Or at least not in the book sense 🙂 I do write a blog on a daily basis and just dive right in and go for it 🙂

    Hope your challenge is going fab so far! Have been having a great time on this end 🙂

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    My A to Z:Body Beauty.

  • Thank You. This post touches on a huge part of my creative writing process. I'm writing a story through the A-Z, writing and posting it everyday. And yesterday after posting the introduction, I was so scared because I didn't know if anyone would find it and if they did, if they would read it and if they did read it, whether they would want to learn more. I almost took it off I was so nervous. I still am. But I decided that's just what I have to do to grow as a writer.
    So today I wrote the second installment.. and posted it. I felt better afterwards. Still scared, but getting used to the butterflies in my stomch. And yes, the story sounds so majestic in my head but I'm not sure it is majestic on paper. But tha's also OK.

  • Kyra Lennon says:

    Excellent quotes, and all so true. Becoming a writer takes a LOT of bravery.

  • The second quote from Mr. King made me teary. He's so eloquent and so true to the nature of writing. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  • T. A. Miles says:

    “Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” <—- That. 🙂

    The Immarcescible Word

  • Fe says:

    Lovely post, MJ. I have not only started but am almost finished my first. I've given it (unfinished) to an editor and she is enjoying it, so, so far so good. I've had a problem finishing the thing and I think that's an even more scary place to be. One and a half chapters to finish it and I've hit a wall. Irritating but I'll find the footholes in the wall and climb over it. 🙂

  • Once I finished writing my book I realized I could do ANYTHING, because actually finishing the darned thing was the bravest thing I've ever done.

    And I loved reading your quotes! Inspiring post!

  • No fears in writing. I always write what I want.
    Nice set of quotes. 🙂


  • Siv Ottem says:

    Most things in life are the scariest just before we start them. Lovely quotes on bravery and great B for the challenge.

  • Stephen King is right about the first moments being the scariest. This post offers encouragement and I also like what was said about writing books.

  • shelly says:

    Great quotes. As for A to Z, I'm desperately trying to stay on top of it. I have off tomorrow so I plan to visit some blogs I've never been to.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  • This one touches home for me, Damy. It's hard to put it all out there. Yet as writers, what else can we do?

  • Madhu says:

    Enjoying reading your posts on writing. Especially as I almost thought I will quit doing the A-Z Challenge as it looked so overwhelming. These posts are a motivation. Now I am enjoying my jig of doing stories everyday. Happy posting this month!

  • cleemckenzie says:

    Some great quotes here to inspire the writer in us. Thanks for them.

  • I have a story or at least part of story I would love to unleash to form a good fiction, but I have yet to sit down to begin. Maybe, I am little like Stephen King in those scariest first moments that I just am not brave enough to overcome my fear. Or, it could be I just haven't gotten enough motivation behind me.