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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wagner


Definition of brave (entry 3 of 3)

One with the mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty: one who is brave.

Merriam-Webster, online

As a therapist and writing instructor, I learned the power of words to change nearly everything.

Most of us will never be the reporter embedded with soldiers or the investigative researcher who makes breaking news. We won’t be Pulitzer or Nobel prize winners. What we will be is us. We are more than enough.

We’re survivors of divorces and abuse. We care for our terminally sick kids or parents. We quit drinking, leave toxic families, try and lose jobs, and start over. We recognize patterns of behavior that make us better or worse human beings. And many of us write about all those things.

When I started writing, I understood myself, my childhood, and my actions much better. I approached and pulled back from truth-telling through stories, poems, and essays. Some people thought I was too honest and shouldn’t write about things like family, alcoholism, or abuse. Others responded to my words with understanding and encouragement.

I often encourage writers to write about those subjects they fear the most. It will change you even if you are the only person to see your words in black and white. If you have the mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty, you can learn what you think and feel, what’s important to you and what’s not. From there, you can expand your new understanding into anything you write. You can help others in the same situation or finally say goodbye to the old you.

It does take strength and courage to write so fearlessly. It’s not something everyone wants to share either. But if you feel a call to try, do it. You won’t be sorry.

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