Got Guts?

Say what you will about the current craze of reality competition shows, but those contestants have guts.

It takes courage to not only perform and compete but also to stand before a panel of judges to be critiqued in front of a live audience and millions of viewers at home. Most of us would never attempt one—let alone both—of those very public laying-it-all-on-the-line chances at success—or failure.

For the most part, as a viewer I usually gravitate toward the singing competitions. I’m not into fashion, I can’t dance, and I’m only a marginal cook, but I know music well enough to know a good singer and musician when I hear one. In fact, I’ve slipped quite naturally into my at-home role of judging America’s wannabe recording stars. And many times I’m left wondering why everyone doesn’t agree with me :)

It seems a few contestants always make me wonder how in the world they’ve made it as far as they have. But I have to give them this: They are courageous. They are trying.

Most are at least a little—if not a lot—nervous. A few take some real beatings when the judges pronounce their verdicts. But still they put themselves out there in the hope of coming one step closer to their dreams becoming reality.

As a writer, I can identify with much of this. It takes courage to put myself out there, to submit my work to editors or agents knowing there is a good chance it will be rejected. A certain amount of guts even comes into play when showing a piece to my critique group. What will they think? How will they judge it? And even when blogging, I sometimes feel a little insecure about how certain posts might be viewed.

My writing will never make a difference, though, if I don’t risk the performance, the competition, the judging. And so I keep at it.

Are there areas in your life—or maybe even another in mine—where it’s time to step out in courage and give it our best shot? Have we got the guts to do it, to risk unpleasant responses or possibly even failure? If we don’t take the risk, we’ll never know the blessing and joy of succeeding in those areas, though, will we?

How about it? Got guts?

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

*Have you put yourself or your work out there for critique or judging? Are you currently trying to work up the courage to do it?

*Flickr photo by seanmcgrath

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. Sign up is free and to the right!


  1. I count on you to spur me along, Cheryl! You are so faithful to your calling (God, family, writing). I admire your fortitude and always leave here feeling encouraged. Keep to it, sister.


  2. Thanks so much, Elaine. What a blessing to hear that you find encouragement here. That’s an encouragement to ME! I will indeed keep to it!

  3. Cheryl,

    Keep writing and taking the risks! :) I enjoy stopping by here too.

    Hey, thank you again for that Cheesecake factory gift card that I won last month. Hubby and I went to use it last week, and had a fabulous time together. :) Thank you again. We were talking about you on our date on Thursday.

    Jennifer Dougan

  4. Thanks for your encouragement to keep on, Jennifer. So glad you enjoy stopping by. And it makes me so happy to hear that you and your hubby enjoyed a fun date with the gift card. Love it!

  5. We are all so glad you do have guts, Cheryl, and that you share your writing with us. It takes courage to put a little bit of yourself out there for all the world to see. It definitely takes guts to be a writer. I admire your honesty, determination, and dedication to your craft, and especially your willingness to take the risks of blogging. Wishing you every success with your writing.

  6. Mairead, thank you so much. I know you understand the challenges of the writing life, too. All the best to you as well!

  7. Thanks Cheryl! You are a great encourager and enjoy reading your blog. When I feel I need a little pick me up this is one of the places I go. I do have a couple of things I am sitting on the fence with a couple of things I want to try and this is helping me just do it!

  8. Nanette, can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that this is one of the places you come for a pick-me-up. And how cool that this post is spurring you on to try a couple of new things. Thanks so much for letting me know these wonderful things! :)

Leave a Comment