On my way here, where I am now
I’ve learned to fly, I have to want to leave the ground
I’ve fallen hard, but I’ve been loved
And in the end it all works out
Faith has conquered fear on my way here
Clay Aiken, “On My Way Here”
Okay, so this entry is a bit different from my first two. With those, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and then I looked for a song lyric to fit the topic of the blog entry. With this one, though, I chose the song first. I was looking through my iTunes playlist (one of these days I’m going to actually figure out how many songs are related in some way, shape, or form to American Idol … my guess is at least half, probably more) and this song stood out to me. As soon as I listened to this part of the song, I knew I wanted to write about it and I knew exactly what I wanted to use it to illustrate. Maybe that in itself is a lesson that’s important to learn … flexibility. I’ve always been the type who likes to have a set agenda, a set plan, an outline, etc. I’ve been that way my whole life. But with something like this, it’s much more difficult. Of course there’s the general plan – write the book, edit the book until it’s polished and the best it can be, send out query letters, and so forth. There’s also a great deal of uncertainty that comes with the process. You don’t know when, if ever, a literary agent will take a chance on your work, you don’t know what will draw someone into a book and make them want to read. It’s subjective and it’s different for every person, and that’s okay. It makes it interesting. I know for me, I love getting to hear what interests people. If someone reads what I write, I’m so curious and eager to hear that person’s feedback. I like to know what draws people in to books in general, and I like to know what, if anything, they find interesting in my writing.
Alright, on to the song lyrics now. Even though I certainly still have very far to go in this whole process of trying to get my books published, I also look back on everything that I’ve done so far and realize just what it’s taken to get “where I am now.” Other than the obvious – writing, editing, more writing, more editing, research, more writing and editing – there’s also been the more introspective parts of the process, the parts that have helped me not only look at myself as a person but grow as a person. This whole process has been like flying for me. It’s something I want so badly, even if I didn’t realize it at first. It took a lot for me to realize I was ready to spread my wings and fly, to convince me that I was strong enough to want to leave the ground. It’s so hard with something like this to have the courage to step out of your safety zone, so to speak. The thing is, though, when it’s something you want with all your heart, you have to have that courage. You have to want to leave the ground, you have to want to spread your wings and fly … you have to want it that badly and then you have to do everything you can to make it happen. When you do that, your passion for it shines through. A lot of times, you need someone else to help you take that step, to help you take flight … and that’s okay. If you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life who believes in you and your dreams so completely, someone whose opinion you value so much, then you should listen to them. If they tell you that you have the strength to fly, then you should listen to them. Trust in the fact that that person is saying it because they mean it. Sometimes all we need is that person to give us a gentle push in the right direction … sometimes that’s all it takes to want to leave the ground.
And as for faith conquering fear … it’s so, so, so important. It’s okay to be afraid. What’s not okay is if you let that fear stop you from pursuing something that you dream of, something that you want so badly to make a career. Melinda Doolittle (sidenote: her debut album is in stores on February 3rd … go buy it, because she’s an amazing singer and an amazing person) says “Do it afraid.” And you know what? She’s right. It’s okay to do it afraid, as long as you DO it. It’s also incredibly important to have faith along the way. If you have that faith – in yourself and in your dream – and if you’re determined to keep dreaming big and working hard, then eventually that faith will conquer your fear. It will help you to spread your wings and fly … and who knows where that journey might lead. We all deserve to have that journey that we take to make our dreams come true.
I don’t know where this quest to publish my books will lead me, but I do know one thing. I refuse to let fear stop me. I will readily admit it was very intimidating when I began the process of sending out query letters. Different agents request different things. There were so many additional things I needed to do – write a synopsis, write query letters, do additional research, do more editing – the list goes on. It was intimidating … and it was impossible NOT to be afraid at the thought of putting my writing out there for strangers to read. These books are like my babies, and I was more than a bit afraid to put them out there. I knew, though, that I had to do this. It means WAY too much to me not to try, so I did it afraid. And you know what? Day by day, faith has conquered that fear. So no, I still don’t know where this quest will lead me. I know where I hope and pray that it will lead me – to the career I dream of having, to the career I hope for every single day. The path ahead may still be uncertain … but I have faith that it will all work out.