How to be a Courageous Author

by Beth K. Vogt, @bethvogt

It appears that one of my favorite songs in The Sound of Music is the song actress Julie Andrews liked least of all.

The Sound of Music. What a story, with Julie Andrews as Maria, the spunky postulant – almost a nun – who falls in love with Captain von Trapp, the stern widower with seven children.

I love the scene where Maria sings “I Have Confidence,” as she strides down the street in those awful cast-off convent clothes, trying to convince herself that she’s not afraid of her future. If acting brave equals courage, Maria is one of the most daring woman you’ll ever meet, fictional or true to life.

Here’s what Julie Andrews said in an interview about “I Have Confidence”:
“The lyrics were a bit inane. Actually, what I did, because I couldn’t make sense of it and I have to have lyrics that make sense, I decided the best way to sing ‘I Have Confidence’ was to go completely nuts with panic and fear and busy work.”

The way Julie Andrews played Maria also teaches writers a valuable lesson. Take a closer look at courage and you discover that oh-so-brave person just might be faking it.
Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll believe what some other, more notable people have said courage:

  • “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.”~Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author & humoris

  • “Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway.” ~John Wayne (1907-1979), American actor
  • “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” ~Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (1890-1973), American World War 1 fighter ace

For all our talk about having confidence as a writer, let’s give ourselves the freedom to admit that all confidence has a thread fear woven through it. We struggle against the belief that we can’t do the thing we want to do most. Write. Sign with an agent. Land a contract. Succeed at indie publishing.

But we start there – afraid. We don’t stay there.

Fear only rules the day – and our lives – if we focus on everything that could go wrong along the writing road: rejections, rewrites and all the waiting while others walk through open doors.

My challenge to you today? Choose to live the life of a courageous writer. Go ahead, admit that pursuing your dream is scary and go after your dream anyhow. Admit that you might hear a “No, thank you” from an editor or an agent – and go ahead and pitch your novel at the next conference you attend. Accept you may come back home without anyone asking for your proposal– and go ahead and polish that work-in-progress.

Do what you’re afraid to do.

It’s all part of courageously living your dream.


How to be a Courageous Author by @bethvogt on @NovelRocket #writing (Click to Tweet)

Take a closer look at courage and you discover that brave person just might be faking it @bethvogt @NovelRocket  (Click to Tweet)

Admit that pursuing your dream is scary and go after your dream anyhow.~ @bethvogt on @NovelRocket #writing (Click to Tweet)


Almost Like Being in Love
She’s won a luxurious dream wedding—now all she needs is the groom!

Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him that she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? And while everyone says they’re perfect for each other, how strong is a relationship when it’s built around protecting secrets?

Realtor Kade Webster’s business savvy just secured his company’s participation in the Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into Caron Hollister—the woman who broke his heart—right when Webster Select Realty is taking off. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should avoid Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business—Realtor to Realtor.

Spending time with Kade again has Caron questioning who she is and what she wants. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she walked away from. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? How can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding Series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at