I learned a lot about writing when I was a teenager. Admittedly, not because I considered it a dream occupation, but rather as a fascinating medium of expression and creation. I enjoyed spending time with words and creating my own text constellations. I didn’t dare to share my writing with anyone (after all, it was simply an attempt to express my emotions through letters). But one day I read about a writing contest for young people which awakened my wish to share and interact with other writing enthusiasts. A few days of doubt and fear followed. Finally, my curiosity and courage prevailed – I wrote two of my poems on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and sent it out. Then I suddenly felt so scared that I hoped for a moment the envelope wouldn’t arrive and forgot about it.
To my surprise, a few weeks later a lady from the contest committee called and invited me to participate in a public reading together with some of the other contestants. I was petrified, but again, for a second time, I plucked up my courage and went. So I found myself sitting in the last row of a small room picturing how I would be asked to share my poems with the audience. When the moderator said my name and asked me to read out some of my poems, I was so terrified that I couldn’t react. Since no one there knew me in person, after a few minutes of no response they just thought that I hadn’t shown up. They called out the name of the next contestant who was courageous enough to share his writing…
It was a sad day for my courage and for myself, but it helped me realize how intense and even overpowering the relation of fear and courage can be. Fear has remained a loyal companion in my endeavors since then. But I chose to support courage and I am not willing to let it go.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”