Patty Chang Anker is the author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave (Riverhead 2013), a memoir about facing her fears and helping others to do the same.
From her Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:
What sparked the writing of this book? I loved that it was your daughter who inspired you to be braver, to take risks. Are there still any risks you won't take?--Marshal Zeringue
Three things actually sparked the idea of facing my fears. When I was 39 my daughters were 3 and 8 - at that age where I was constantly pushing them to try new things while I cheered from a bench. How long before they'd learn the word "hypocrite" and apply it to me? Around that time a friend ran her first marathon at age 40 and I realized some of my friends were doing more in midlife than ever while others were doing much less. My comfort zone was shrinking (it was the exact shape of a rut) when Barb, a recent acquaintance, invited me to go to the beach for the morning. It was the most decadent idea, to leave my responsibilities and go to the beach with a virtual stranger -- Patty Chang Anker would never do this! And in one of the most impulsive acts of my life up to that point I said yes. I couldn't believe myself - I had a fear of the ocean, I had a fear of strangers, but I said yes. All that sparked my blog, Facing Forty Upside Down, about trying new things in midlife. After 2 years of blogging I realized there were so many stories I wanted to tell in depth, so much information and practical advice from experts I wanted to share, that I wanted to write a book.
There are still risks I'm not ready to take, like...[read on]