Sunday, December 6, 2009

The writer's "red badge" ~ by Donna Carrick

My imagination has been captured of late by the concept of ‘courage’ – that crystalline intangible that defines some authors and causes their words to reach us at the core.

What is it that characterizes some artists as ‘brave’, in a world where so many miss the mark?

Is it the refusal to shirk the truth? For I believe ‘truth’ is at the heart of all great works, even – no, especially – those of fiction.

Is it the author’s willingness to embrace ideas that are not yet popular, whose time is yet to come? Maybe it’s a brutal exploration of the past, either personal or societal, that lifts some books to that higher level.

If I, as a writer, aspire to write with ‘courage’, then I must first understand what exactly it is that marks a work as ‘brave’, ‘honest’, ‘cutting’.

Maybe it’s the shutting of one’s eyes as one writes – the feeling of one’s inner self surging forth onto the page…the screen…the world.

Perhaps it is nothing more or less than the writer’s willingness to fail or to succeed on his or her own terms.

To those great writers who have already earned this badge, I salute you with my heart.

Donna Carrick, December 6, 2009

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