Being Brave

Are you brave?   I don’t mean riding roller coasters, or taking leaps out of perfectly good airplanes.  I mean taking a leap of faith and stepping out of your comfort zone.  Putting yourself out there, trying something new.

Last week when I sent in the last pass on Midnight Hour, my final book in the Shadow Falls series, I remembered when the editor called me and asked if I would write a young adult series.  I didn’t write YA.  I didn’t read YA.  I didn’t even particularly like young adults.  LOL. (Don’t worry, I’ve grown to love you.)  But the point is that I came so close to saying no. I wasn’t going to do it.

The reason was simple.  And I kind of hate to even admit it.  You see, I was scared.  Not trembling I’m-gonna-die kind of scared like I’d feel jumping out of airplane—or being pushed out of one, because I would NOT jump—but the kind of fear that is even more harmful. The kind of fear that can rip away opportunities. The kind of fear that robs you of your dreams. The kind of fear that holds so many of us back from meeting our true potential.

Yup, I was scared of try something new.  Scared of failing. I was writing romance novels, and I had that figured out.  My books were doing well.  I had my career ladder built and was already on the climb.  I asked myself, Why risk it?. Why not just stick to what I knew how to do?

Oddly enough, the same thing that was holding me back was what ultimately pushed me forward.

Fear.

Have you ever met anyone who had so much potential and yet, they never tried.  They buried their dreams, their possibilities so deep that they no longer think about them.  They quit wanting them.  Those two words, “what if” aren’t even part of their vocabulary.  They stopped being dreamers and started being accepters.  They accept what is, the almost good, the bad, the ho-hum.

When I was young, naïve, and in an abusive marriage, I was one of those people. I had started accepting.   With the help of others, I found a new way.  I found my way back to dreaming.

And while I wasn’t anywhere close to that dark place when that phone call came in from my editor to write YA.  I realized that I had allowed myself get really cozy in my comfort zone.  I’d stopped taking risks, stopped dreaming big.

When I think I could have missed it all because I was frightened to take a chance, to try something new, it makes me crazy.  It makes me even more courageous.  It makes me want to reach out and make sure I light of fire under other settlers.  It makes me want to write about characters who are fighting to make their own dreams come true.

MidnightHour_Final CVR_revisedMidnight Hour will be my ninth novel, tenth, if you count Almost Midnight, the anthology of five novellas.  This series has taken me the New York Times list, to the USA Today list.  It brought me to a world I didn’t know existed.  The wonderful world of Shadow Falls.  It brought all of you into my world.

So, I want to encourage you to stop and check the place where you are.  Are you in a comfort zone?  Have you stopped dreaming?  Have you started accepting?  Are you settling?

 

 

 

61iD1OFhkJLToday, one person who can tell me how they are pushing past fear and trying to make their dreams come true, will win my very first ARC of Midnight Hour.  That’s right, you’ll get to read Miranda’s book and her story of how she finally moved past her fear and the hurdles of being dyslexic, and started reaching her true potential.  A second person will win a hardback, signed copy, of E. Katherine Kottaras’s novel, How to Be Brave, which is all about a girl who is trying to overcome her fear, find the life she deserves, and finally learn how to be brave. (Sorry this giveaway is for US residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave a comment on my website blog to enter. )

Hope you are enjoying your summer.

 

Winners from my Beach Book Bonanza!!!

The winners from last week’s ebook giveaway are Seline Bala, Lisa V and Sue Chi. Email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com to claim your book, and please tell me if you prefer the NOOK or Kindle version.

IMG_0502-2I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my Beach Book Bonanza blogs. I hope you all learned a bit about some new authors and plan to read their books. The winner of my awesome beach tote is Victoria Flores.You have one week to claim your beach tote. Email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address.

And from my Street Team for posting so much, Judy Hodes also gets a beach tote!

28 thoughts on “Being Brave

  1. Struggling with mental health is a dark topic that most people don’t really like to talk about, or even hear about for that matter. However, I would like to think that battling my internal demons of depression and anxiety makes me a little brave. I’ve recently been trying to come to grips with the fact that I have bipolar depression. It’s been a bumpy, bumpy road, but I’m doing the best I can to manage. I see it as pushing past fear every time I get out that door and get to class. I’m trying to make my dreams come true. I have a plan and goals but my battle with my mental illness is something that definitely tries to hold me down. I refuse to let it almost every day and in my world that is courage.

  2. This is probably my favorite of your blog posts ever. You are SO right. I was settled, content with where I was a few years back but then one day, I woke up and decided I want to try write a book and FINISH it. I’m on the third draft of my book and even though it isn’t near ready, I’m not ready to give up on my dream. You are one of my role models! I will miss new books in the Shadow Falls world but all good things must come to an end. I’m looking forward to Midnight hour so much. I NEED Miranda’s book. Thank you for bringing the Shadow Fall’s characters into my life. They helped mold me into the person I am today.

  3. C.C. you are an amazing writer. I love your books and this is an amazing post.

    I have been in my comfort zone. I got used to my small piece of happiness and I stress small, not because I don’t value it but because there is plenty wrong with it. My home and where I live for example and the fact that I am a single parent struggling to make ends meet whilst trying to do something worthwhile in the world.
    I accepted that that was my lot in life and that I would never pull myself out and even as we speak, my inner demons are telling me to give up because I’ll never achieve anything. It’s a daily struggle, but I won’t give up! I can’t. Our dreams are such an essential part of us and to give up on them is to give up on yourself and say you’re not worth it. But I am worth it and despite the fact that I’m terrified to move to another part of the country away from my friends and family I will. Because that worry that I might fall flat on my butt is the very thing that will make me fall flat on my butt.
    So I will fight my inner demons and not allow self sabotage to set in, that is my promise to myself.
    So… publishing a novel and my poetry here I come!
    Moving to a new place in the country, here I come!
    Accepting help and praise, here I come!
    And anything else that I struggle with, I am so over you! ☺

      • Thanks CC. I know a similar quote to that one very well.
        “He who says he can and he who says he can’t, are both usually right.” I often quote that to my daughter.
        But my favourite has to be;
        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
        Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
        It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

        And then there’s always my own personal one, (which undoubtedly someone thought of before me) be all you can be.

  4. I have always been the shy but polite girl. Recently I was being asked questions by a person who’s name I will not mention. I got so scared and afraid that they would yell at me that I started crying. Of course that embarrassed me and I realized that I needed to become more brave and confident. I needed to stick up for myself and tell someone if they were right or wrong. I want to be a writer someday because of how books take you places and make you feel better. I want to do that so that others can feel the way that I do when I read books. But I always get told off by certain people because they say that my writing is cheesy or how I might not even become successful and just get a degree in medicine. I decided to ignore them and take risks just like CC did. And look at where that got her. She overcame hard obstacles and is now one of my favorite authors. I applaud you for that CC. Your writing is the reason why I am starting to write more. Thank you for that.

  5. I’d like to say that I agree with are easily letting ourselves stay in our comfort zone scared of the unknown. Though it’s not a lot, I have a tendancy to accept things as they are usually. I don’t like my job? I’ll complain and complain, but I won’t quit because I am scared, but for the past month, I have been looking at different classes I could take to find the kind of job I would like and started saving money to take some of these classes. It may not be the kind of brave you had in mind, but to me, it’s still a lot to go back to school; a place that I only have bad memories of, feeling like I was never really good enough, but who knows what this time will bring me.

  6. I dream of becoming Psychologist and helping people. I want to help others realize their potential and get past whatever obstacle is in their way. But I’ve been told by many people that I’m dreaming too big. They say I’ll never make it come true. But, I’m pushing forward and trying to remain positive. I’m in college and moving forward. Despite my fear that others don’t believe in me and that they may be right, I am moving forward. I have to try. I’m afraid, but I can’t let fear stop me. I know the most important thing is that I believe in myself. I’ll believe in myself just like Kylie, Della, and Miranda believed in themselves.

    • Please don’t listen to those that tell you, you can’t. The problem is we were born into a society where we’re told we can’t do things. How this came about? I don’t know but it is there none the less.
      I was once in a very negative thought spiral but I fought against it and sometimes still need to. The secret is to be kind to yourself and celebrate your small victories.
      I also went as far as to cut people out who really were too negative towards me. Drastic decision that I don’t recommend to everybody.
      Look sorry to bother you with it, but it really bothers me when I hear that people are telling others that they’ll fail. You know what if you feel passionately about something enough and you want it with every fibre of your being, then you’ll get it!
      Listen to inspirational quotes and even look up motivational things, they help me. You’ll go far Casey don’t doubt it.
      Sorry if that was too flowery, that’s just the way I roll ☺

  7. For me I had a self esteem issue. Which in reality boils down to fear. Frightened by not being good enough, smart enough to reach my dream of being a nurse. Instead I became a nurses assistant. After a lot of years, with the support and encouragement from great family and friends I started nursing school.
    Well here l am again trying to face my fear again to go back to school for a bachelor degree that I may advance in my nursing career.

  8. Not only are you an amazing writer but an amazing person as well! I love that you reach out to your fans. This is by far my favorite blog of yours. I believe everyone gets to a point where they settle in their lives. Scared to get out of their comfort zone. Right now I’m battling with moving to Oklahoma from Louisiana for a better job opportunity for my family. But this also means I will be moving away from everything I’ve know my whole life. Out of my comfort zone.

  9. Over the last several years, I have read many of your post. Every Tuesday, I wake up pack the girl’s lunches and sit down to eat breakfast before getting ready for work. I turn the laptop on, and click on your blog. There are several post that I have read and thought man is she a great writer. This post though, makes me think man is she a great motivational speaker. Great post on fear CC.

  10. First off I feel like life in int self is something to be brave about. There are so many incidents, so much stress and hurdles that come my way. Sometimes I think to myself why is this happening to me or is this worth it. Though I’m not the most patient person in the world and that my goals, dreams and desires won’t be achieved right away I feel that the small steps I take in achieving my all time dream is worth it. Worth the wait and sacrifice. If I didn’t sacrifice anything or wasn’t brave then I wouldn’t be content with who I am. I would feel like a failure and that’s the last thing I want. As well as I would never want to settle down for easy because being strong and fighting for what I want makes achieving my dream ten times better. Right now I’m a senior in high school and pretty good student. This is the time I have to apply to my dream schools. They both are far away from home, cost a lot, but are beneficial to my dream. It’s nerve racking doing your best all three years in highschool and not being accepted though you feel you should be. It’s nerve racking to know both my dreams schools means leaving home because there’s such a close bond to my family. But I need to take inspiration from even characters in books because books are my escape and though many are fiction there is still some truth to them. In the end I need to be brave for myself more than I have in my life.

  11. I am struggling a lot right now and I am trying to push and ask for help Hoping that I can overcome soon Thanks for the blog post

  12. Hey CC,
    The one sentence that helps me to go and try to achieve a lot is: “Das kann ich, dass klappt!” translated it means “I can do it, it will work out!”
    My mum told it to me and at first I hated it a lot, but as time went by I recognized what it did to me!
    Before every new step I took out of my comfort zone my heart started racing as if I ran away from something… but repeating that phrase in my head or saying it our loud, made me calmer. I started to thing about the things I have achieved and all the things I had to fight through to become the person that I am today and everytime I thought about that, I new I would master my next step eighter in the first, second or even third attempt, but I would and until now I have managed it 🙂
    Greeting from Germany
    Vanessa

  13. The fear I am overcoming is having multiple mental illness diagnosises along with terminal cancer. They can’t tell me how much time I have left and my life has pretty much become treatments. So that is my fear. That my life will be only treatment. That I won’t have quality of life. So I’m working on changing this by facing my fear of rejection and take a class and maybe get involved in volunteer work.

  14. Ever since I started playing cello I’ve always had the biggest fear of messing up in front of judges, but I try to overcome that fear so I can achieve my dream to become a great musician. I also have a fear of failure in academics, and I need to overcome that fear so I can do more things, and get into a good university.

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