In the beginning, Gilbert discusses a poet, Jack Gilbert (no relation), who was, apparently, a wonderful poet and teacher, later in life. She shares some of his words gained from students she taught at the same institution in which he taught just prior to the time Ms. Gilbert began her tenure.
Her students shared that he had asked his students to be brave as, "Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known...their lives would remain small--far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be."
Wow! As writers, we do have to be brave to put pen to paper with our innermost thoughts, ideas, fears, etc. We have to be brave to submit our writing and send it out into the world, a world that may or may not like it and may be highly critical. And, more than ever, we must be brave as we forge ahead with the next piece of writing that follows and all those thereafter. Never ending bravery needed. I don't know about you, but, for me, it is easier to come by some days more than others.
Another student shared with Ms. Gilbert that Jack Gilbert, as her professor, had asked what she wanted to do with her life. His response when she indicated she wanted to be a writer was this:
"Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes."
This. Hit. Home! Moving beyond the fear, the what ifs and the blocks is all about cultivating the courage, mining the bravery and celebrating the true creative spirit within all of us to persist, persevere and find our niche in this writing life.
I am so looking forward to reading this book. Wishing you all a very creative, fruitful writing week.