By Kathy Harris
I’m extremely blessed as a writer. There is only one finished manuscript collecting dust under my bed. I wrote it, to the best of my recollection, in about six months. After submitting it—and attending my first ACFW conference—I quickly found out that I had a lot to learn. My second manuscript took six years to complete. Ditto my third.
The second manuscript, a women’s fiction standalone, The Road to Mercy, was published in 2012. The third, Deadly Commitment, which ultimately became the first book in a romantic suspense series, wasn’t published until 2020.
I write slow. Or, at least that’s what I was telling myself. And I often told others, ‘I wouldn’t accept a series contract it if was offered.’ But then it was offered in 2020, and I had to decide what to do.
Was I in this for real? Or was writing just a pastime? A pastime I’d dreamed of pursuing since childhood. I took a deep breath—and said an even bigger prayer—and made the decision to go bold. To take a chance on failing.
Books two and three in the series were released in October 2021 and yesterday (November 1, 2022). They are milestones I would never have reached if I hadn’t stepped outside of my comfort zone. Way outside.
I wrote both books in less than a year each, because, in 2020, I stepped beyond my fear and committed. In the past, I have been blocked… stopped… detoured… and discouraged as a writer because of fear. Ultimately, the only fix was to ‘go bold.’
I believe ‘going bold’ can help you too, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Read what some of our most successful fellow creatives have to say about being bold.
“Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self.” – Queen Latifah
“Be original; don’t be scared of being bold!” – Ed Sheeran
“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost
“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory. – Alan Alda
And, although she may or may not be considered a creative, my favorite quote comes from world champion tennis player Billy Jean King: “Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”
What exactly does ‘going bold’ mean to you? Do you need to finish a manuscript? Or do you need to submit—to an agent, a contest, or even a crit partner? Maybe you need to write the first word… or the last chapter.
Start with these four things:
Be focused. Open your computer, your notebook, your mind. No more excuses.
Look up. Let go and let God. He’s the ultimate Creator.
Do it. Don’t quit. Don’t doubt. Just do it.
Accept a deadline. Or set one for yourself. Deadlines are a writer’s best friend.
And remember. ‘The closer we get to who we’re created to be, the more our fear, apathy and excuses have to get out of the way.’ – Staci Frenes, author of Flourish, Cultivate Creativity. Sow Beauty. Live in Color
You’re not going to sell a story that’s not written. And you’re not going to land an agent or a publisher unless you submit. Step outside of your comfort zone. Go bold.Put fear behind you as a writer… and go bold! Click To Tweet Do you want to jumpstart your writing career? Go bold! Click To Tweet
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Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment business where she works as a marketing director. Deadly Conclusion, the third book in The Deadly Secrets romantic suspense series, released November 1. Follow Kathy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Thank you, Kathy! I truly needed the encouragement.
Davina, I can’t wait for you to finish that book!