Tuesday Therapy: Finding Courage

Julie E. Czerneda is a best-selling, award-winning author of 14 novels and dozens of short stories — and, in her ‘spare’ time, she has edited over 15 anthologies (wow!) She is also one of the friendliest writers — and this is not an exaggeration — in the whole world. At Natcon in Adelaide a couple of years ago, I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Julie in conversation with Helen Merrick, and it was one of the most delightful convention sessions I’ve ever been to: the only drawback was, with such excellent questions from Helen and enthusiastic responses from Julie, the hour flew past far too quickly!

With her trademark ::lovemylife:: status updates on Facebook, Julie inspires people without even trying — and she joins us today with some advice that honestly gave me chills when I first read it.

Thanks, Julie!

For decades I’ve kept a faded post-it with a quote from J. Michael Straczynski where I’ll see it when I look up from my keyboard. “Courage is the writer’s main virtue.”

I believe that, utterly. How daring we are to lock our ideas and daydreams into words! How brave, to show the result to anyone else! To do our craft, our job, we pour out our innermost passions and convictions on a daily basis, edit them as cruelly as we can, then hand them to strangers.

If that doesn’t take courage, I don’t know what does.

So whenever I catch myself evading a difficult bit of writing (I’m a bit of a suck), or feeling overwhelmed by what’s ahead of me, or simply tired, I look at those words and give myself credit. It is hard. It has to be. I’ve found the courage before. I will again.

So will you.

Since 1997, Julie E. Czerneda has turned her love and knowledge of biology into science fiction novels and short stories that have received international acclaim, multiple awards, and best-selling status. A popular speaker on scientific literacy and SF, in 2009 Julie was Guest of Honour for the national conventions of New Zealand and Australia, as well as Master of Ceremonies for Anticipation, the Montreal Worldcon. She’s busy writing short stories as well as her next novel, having finished her first really big fantasy, A Turn of Light, to be published by DAW March 2013. Most recently, Julie was guest speaker at the U. of South Florida’s symposium on Women Writers of SF, and co-edited Tesseracts 15: A Case of Quite Curious Tales with Susan MacGregor. (No matter how busy, she’ll be out canoeing too.) For more about Julie’s work, visit www.czerneda.com or visit her on Facebook or Goodreads.



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