The Page a Day Writers Group

It takes courage

Posted on: December 15, 2009

Reading past blog posts, I am once again inspired by these amazing ladies. I learn so much from them, on many levels. Dedication, humility, pride, faith, just-do-it-ness. They have these qualities in spades. And I can’t leave out courage. It takes courage to write, to pull embers from your soul and set them alight on the page for many to see.

I recently finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Stockett summoned such courage to write this story, and it was apparent on each page. It moved me so much; I highly recommend it. The complex relationships between domestic help and their employers in the early sixties in Jackson, Mississippi… yes, courageous. My writing teacher, Drusilla Campbell, recommended it to me- what a gift.

Now I’m reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I somehow managed to get this far in life without ever reading it before. It’s life changing. Courageous isn’t even the right word for it. It’s a light in all the darkness. I’m fully aware that’s a cliche but that’s what comes to mind. The fact that her journal- her inner struggles to make sense of and sort through the details of her young life- survived the monstrous epoch that took her life- is such a triumph.

Frank could have kept all her thoughts and musings to herself, but she wrote them down. She wrote and kept writing, through challenges that most of us can’t imagine but for her eloquent description. And humor! Through it all, alongside her doubts and discontented observations she somehow kept her humor, her faith, her optimism. And she wrote it all down. The courage of that. In reading Anne Frank, it’s easy to see that her writing was a big part of what helped her through her days in the Secret Annex.  So not only did it take courage for her to write the details of her soul; it gave her courage, too. The exponential nature of courageous writing! And how many millions of lives has she touched?

Let’s have courage to keep writing our stories, whatever they may be.

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

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1 Response to "It takes courage"

Ondine, are you reading the newer, unedited version of Anne’s diary? It’s much better than the original because it includes all the thoughts and feelings that her father felt shouldn’t be read by the public.

I understand why he would want these things kept secret since a lot of it is about sexual feelings toward Peter and some resentment toward her mother (typical teenaged girl stuff), but it’s a shame that an entire generation might have missed this version because they’d read the earlier one.

I went to the ‘house’ in Amsterdam when I was 11 and saw where they were. This was the first time I’d ever heard anything about the Holocaust and was so moved by the presences I could still feel there that I bought the book and read right through it. Years later, I discovered the unedited version and again, immediately bought it and read right through!

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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