A Reason to be Brave

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

Just a short one today.

I originally began a different post, but the more I wrote, the more words it demanded, and on IWSG Day, it’s better to be short and to the point. We’ll save the other for another time.

To tell you the truth, I’m as insecure as the next guy when it comes to putting my work out for scrutiny, but if I’ve done my best and believe in the piece, then I must be willing to take the chance. It may be a flop; it may be a hit, but nobody ever got anywhere without a little risk involved.

One way I overcome the naysayers in my head and out in the world is through music. It inspires. It lifts me up when I’m down. It tells me that all things are possible. It warms me and arms me for the battles ahead.

It gives me a reason to be BRAVE.


I discovered Peter Hollens through Facebook and fell in love with his a cappella covers of various hits, including this version of “Brave,” from the Disney movie of the same name. Listen to the lyrics and be inspired.

If you don’t have time to watch, feel free to hit play, then click on the IWSG badge below, and browse the other sites in a new window while the words resound.

Go forth and be brave.

Until next time…


ML Swift

A great group of folks!

This post was written as a part of Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month and share our solutions to common difficulties, encourage other writers to meet their insecurities head-on, and seek supportive shoulders to tear-stain when we’ve received just one too many rejections. If you’d like to join the group (and we’d love to have you), follow the link to Alex’s site, grab a badge, and put your name on the list. I’ll see you next month!

MikeBeachML Swift is a writer of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult fiction, although he dabbles in many genres.

An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.

He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.


63 thoughts on “A Reason to be Brave

    1. Sometimes fear, doubt, depression, and the negatives can keep us down…or paralyzed. Music lifts me out of that. Seriously. Songs speak to my heart and pull me up from the depths. Glad this could put a happier beat in your step today.

  1. I look forward to your longer post!
    But meanwhile I have to agree with you. Music is essential to my writing, and I sometimes wonder which comes first: the playlist or the story, because they are so tightly entwined. Even when I read my stuff aloud to make sure I haven’t skipped a word or fluffed a comma, music in the background helps me get past the sound of my own voice reading my words.
    I am so grateful for all the fine musicians of the world, who give me the wings I need to pursue my stories. 🙂

    1. Music is a universal language, isn’t it? Usually I write in silence, though. I let it inspire on the off times. Otherwise, I get caught up singing. Good to see you, Kirsten.

  2. I still have to see that movie. :/ Music speaks to our hearts, I think. It gets past the façade we erect, slipping through the cracks. Sometimes music makes me so sad I can’t stand to listen anymore, but it can also be very strengthening. Thanks for sharing the song!

    1. Yeah, it’s playing on the pay channels now, so I want to catch it soon, before it runs its course.

      And music can make me sad, too. Sometimes, when I need to cry something out, I’ll purposefully put on sad music to help purge the grief. It’s really beneficial. Getting drunk will do that too, but I hate the hangover! 🙂

  3. Oh it does take guts to put our stuff out there. And sometimes my bravery meets with silence– a flop. But when it resonates with a reader, wow, that’s the best. Off to visit more blogs and listen to the music while I do.

    1. Isn’t it the best, Julie? I crave that feeling. I guess enough to overcome the ones that only bring around the crickets. So I keep putting things out there in hopes of feeling it again.

      Glad you like the music. 🙂


  4. I found a fantastic CD for anyone wanting inspirational music. Two Steps from Hell. Sounds kinda negative I know but they are great for anyone wanting soundtrack style music. Keep on Truckin’. Bravery is only one of the passengers that you’ll pick up.

  5. Music is the best inspiration! Anything is possible with the right song:) In fact, I can’t write until I find that right song–there’s always a story lurking in the notes, waiting for us to pull it into words.

    1. Isn’t audiomachine the inspiration behind an anthology or something you put out? I think I listened to them…can’t remember.

      But yes, it is the best inspiration around, no matter the genre.

      1. Yep, that was the Tree of Life collaboration:) There’s another, rather large international composer collaboration coming up this month. Would love for you to join us!

      2. Yeah, that’s right. I enjoyed that.

        Are the deets on your blog (I’m trying to be hip with the slang)? Joining in definitely sounds like a possibility—just need to see what my schedule is like. I was sorry I missed the other.

      3. Details haven’t been announced yet, so you haven’t missed anything:) I’m waiting for the head composer to pass me the final info. I can tell you, it will kick off around Dec 13-ish with writers contributing stand-alone stories around 700 words inspired by the album’s tracks and an uplifting “hope in humanity” theme!

  6. We all need our inspirations… and writer/ friends are a big part of them to remind us that we all do indeed go through those self-doubts. Good for you for linking on to those who keep you in the right mindset to continue on with what you love.

    1. I’m a gregarious loner, if that makes any sense at all. I love people, but am fiercely independent, so it’s good to find friends that “fit” my personality. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys. Thanks for coming by, Nancy.

  7. Some of my IWSG posts tend to be on the longish side. Oops. lol But today it’s long because I’m offering a special, holiday story. 😉 Music always lifts me up and inspires me. I will definitely have to listen to Peter Hollens’ work. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’ll have to check out your longish post when I have more than the free moment I currently have. Sounds like a good read. I think you’ll enjoy this guy. Thanks for coming by!

  8. It’s great that you’ve discovered something to inspire you – anything to help get the words on the page or get a mood change is something to be thankful for. I loved Elizabeth’s comment above, and your reply. Yup, I try to hold my head high and hope no one notices my knees knocking. lol

    1. That’s it exactly, Lexa. Don’t ever let them see you sweat (remember that commercial?). Music can change my mood from bad to good in a heartbeat. Well, maybe two heartbeats.

  9. Impossible to say how many times I’ve found courage and strength on music. I think I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I’ve done if not for certain songs. There are some that never fail to pick me up from the ground. This one is a lovely song. I also like your Christmas tree very much. I used to stare at them when I was a little dragon. They hold so much magic to me.

    Sometimes I am amazed how many things one can do when we think we don’t have the courage of doing them, but we go ahead anyway. 🙂 Dragon Hugs!

    1. Whenever I’m down, there’s music. When I’m up, there’s music. Various genres lift me, from pop to rock to contemporary Christian to country: the message shines through.

      Do ya like the tree? That’s without the flash. With the flash it wasn’t as dreamy and pretty. I love how the picture turned out. Happy Holidays, Al. 😀

  10. Brave is what we do when we’re quaking in our boots. The longer I’ve been out there, the braver I feel. Most of the big sellers are known for only a couple of titles. We’re padding our backlists until then. 😀 So when we hit big, the new fans have other things to read until our new one comes out.

    1. Mary, I love that philosophy! Give the readers something to read after we write that one that takes us over the top. That’s like my fave music groups. When I discover them, it’s usually after a big hit, but it’s fun to go back and listen to all their earlier stuff.

  11. Hello, Mr.Swift, I know you’re surprised to see me here. Actually I met an accident and after that there was an exams. Finally I got relief from both. Now I’m happy to return in the blogging world.Nice Post…..

    1. Sakib! Glad to see you’re still alive and kicking. Yeah, I have you on my blogroll and hadn’t seen anything new in awhile; I figured it must be school related. Glad you survived the accident…hope it wasn’t serious. And of course, school comes first, then the blogging. Good to see you again. 🙂

      1. Sakib,

        IWSG is short for Insecure Writer’s Support Group and is geared towards writers and people in the publishing world. I don’t know if you’d be interested, but the link is the badge—click on it and it will take you to the website. That will explain it all.

  12. He’s a heavenly inspiration – cute too. Thanks for the music and message, Mike.

    Oh, thank you and Shels for the thank you. I’m inclined to send you a thank you card, but that might be a bit over-the-top. I was beaming when I read it.


    1. Yeah, I thought you might enjoy looking at him, you cougar, you! But he’s married and he and wife are expecting…so mitts off! LOL.

      We really did appreciate your uplifting poetry and continue to start the days with it, but if you send a thank you for the thank you, then I’d have to send a thank you for that and so on, and so on, and so on. It would be like an old Herbal Essence commercial. 🙂

  13. Excellent advice. By being brave and facing down those fears of rejection we do gain confidence. And music does help. I often psych myself up with music. 🙂

    1. That’s a good analogy, Lu (it is Lu, isn’t it? Seems like I saw that somewhere). It’s like psyching oneself up before a big game. And music does that for me better than anything else. Good to see you!

  14. Greetings Michael,

    Well said and music, a memory enhanced, a snapshot of your life. And we carry on, the belief we have and the belief we receive, a powerful source of inspiration.

    And bravery, we look within and we can be amazed.

    In kindness and goodwill,


    1. Amen, Gary! A memory enhanced…a snapshot of your life. It’s amazing how music can bring those forth. Bravery lies within each of us, we only need the right catalyst to spawn its appearance. Thanks for coming over, and for posting to FB. Have a great holiday.

  15. Wow, Mike. You weren’t kidding. We really did have the same thing in mind for IWSG, didn’t we? YouTube music and all 🙂

    You kept yours shorter than mine, though, darn it. I’m still working on that one…

    Seriously, though, this is a great post. It makes me happy to know we were thinking and sharing the same hope and fear, and I loved reading your take on it.

    1. I loved reading (and listening to) your take on it as well, Liz. And the brevity…I’m constantly working on that! My first post got waaayyy out of hand…it pertained to the insecurities I felt when posting my excerpt a few weeks ago (with the cussing). Of course, I had to get on a soapbox, and that’s where it got away from me.

      Yes, that’s the great thing about this group: to see the commonalities between us and know we are not alone.

  16. Last year, when I’d sit down to write, I’d put my headphones on and start typing. I’ve gotten away from that for some reason. And you know what? My writing doesn’t flow as it used to and I haven’t written nearly as much I did last year. Music certainly has an effect on my writing and I need to get back to it. *reaches for ipod*

    1. I like to write in either silence or with the tv on a very low hum in the background…but I love when music inspires me and lifts me or helps me through the roadblocks (or writer’s blocks) in life. Thanks for coming by and “tuning in,” Elise.

  17. With all the angst we go through, I think we writers are all a penny short of a dime, but if IT is what we love, then we can’t give up on the muse, can we 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration, Mike and Merry Christmas 🙂

    1. Hey Sarah,

      Good to see you again. Yes, I also love Josh’s music. This song was originally recorded by Josh, however, the video is a cover of the song performed by Peter Hollens. It’s all him: the music, drums, guitar, cymbals, background vocals, etc. Thanks again for coming. 🙂

    1. Yes, Misha, my point exactly. Everyone needs to find their own raison d’etre…their reason of existence, their reason to be brave. Sometimes we pull it out of our…hats. Good to see you, and have a great holiday.

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