Keep the Faith.


“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Plaque

Desk

Dreams. Goals. Hope. Faith. Promise. Inspiration. It’s probably no secret that I’m a staunch believer in all of these things. After all, I start each post with song lyrics or a quote that speaks to me in some way. I have books filled with more of those quotes, shirts with inspirational sayings, plaques and tiles that dot my workspace and remind me to always dream big. And, as of two days ago, I also have the above plaque sitting right on my desk. I’ve loved that quote from the first time I saw it, and I was so, so excited to find this little tidbit of inspiration in a local Hallmark store (aka: best store ever). I couldn’t resist buying it – after all, what could serve as a better reminder when I sit down to write each day?

For me, this journey to becoming a published author has been all about faith. It’s been about taking that first step, even when the whole staircase isn’t in view. Maybe it’s even been about taking that first step because the whole staircase isn’t in view. I am not exactly the type of person who thrives on uncertainty. Possibility, yes, but uncertainty, no. I’ve always been a planner, but what these past few years have taught me is that sometimes it really is the unexpected, the unknown and the unplanned, that changes our lives the most. Taking that leap of faith and having hope that you’ll land on both feet isn’t just exhilarating. It’s inspiring. And sure, it’s also a bit scary – I’d be lying if I said otherwise – but when we “do it afraid” (thanks, Melinda!) it takes things to a whole new dimension. Do I know what I wish the next step on the staircase would be? Absolutely. Do I work every day to reach it? Without a doubt. A lot of it is out of my hands at this stage of the game, but I can see the beauty in that now. Things have a way of working out. We just have to have faith. I’ll keep that in mind as I wait to hear back from the agents who have requested material. I’ll keep that in mind as I continue querying. I’ll keep that in mind as I start brainstorming, plotting, and outlining the sequel to Reflections of Me (because, who am I kidding, I really can’t wait too much longer. I dearly miss those characters and am beyond excited about continuing their story!). In this writing journey and in all other aspects of my life, I’m going to keep taking one step at a time.

I have faith the staircase will be under my feet and that it’ll lead me exactly where I’m supposed to go.

How about you? Can you take that first step without knowing where the path may lead? Where do you want the staircase to take you?

(And, as a complete aside … Starbucks’ Double Chocolaty Chip = personification of amazing)

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12 thoughts on “Keep the Faith.

  1. Hallmark is seriously THE BEST store.

    And, your right. The journey is very much about having faith, and I think a lot of the time scariness can often imply faith of some sort. It’s all about taking the risk.

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re thinking about a sequel. :)

    • Isn’t it?! One of my friends and I have been saying for years that we want to own one someday. I can’t think of any store I’d rather spend every day in ;-)

      I absolutely agree with you – faith entails and incorporates so much, but at the heart of it, it plays upon our beliefs, dreams, and hopes. We might be scared to do something, but as long as that fear is grounded in faith and conviction of some sort, the risk is worth taking. Conquering the fear is a journey all its own.

      And thank you! Truthfully, I was tempted to start writing it the day after I finished the first one, but I figured it was probably better to get that one out to agents first. Now that that’s happening, I’m not sure how much longer I can wait to jump into the sequel. I miss those characters so, so much and am rather excited about part two of their journey!

  2. Shari,

    I don’t tell you enough, but you inspire me so much. I love your dedication to becoming a published author, but most of all I love your positive attitude about life and your incredible love and care for the people in your path, including me!

    As you know I have also taken the step to becoming a published author without knowing where the journey will ultimately lead me, and I love knowing I am not alone in this arduous journey that challenges me every day!

    <3

    Katie

    • Katie!

      You are so sweet … thank you, thank you, thank you not only for all your kind thoughts, but also for always being such a supportive and encouraging friend. You inspire me. Your outlook and perspective are so refreshing and uplifting. The world needs more people like you!

      I have complete and total faith that you will accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself, including that of being a published author. You are far too talented for that not to happen. It is surely a long, challenging journey … and one that is definitely worth taking. I look forward to all the steps that will follow for both of us as we work toward our dreams :-)

  3. Thank you for this. I really needed this inspiration right now — and that quote really is phenomenal. (Your quotes always are! I adore them!) Silly me, though, I saw that and immediately thought of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy must have faith that the invisible bridge is there — and then he takes the step into what appears to be air… only then to realize there is, in fact, a bridge below his foot… I’m a nerd =P

    I was getting down on myself today despite everything that’s happened positively for me in 2010, because I still am not a “real” author. My real life has yet to begin, and I’m a little old to still be waiting to start my first job. It frustrates me (present tense; can’t say my moment of getting down on myself is quite over!) but… you’re entirely right. This entire business, the whole journey of writing is always like this, will always be like this. There are ups and downs, but like with any “normal” job I have to get back up and go to work tomorrow and keep working and writing and getting better. And waiting, because it’s true that this business is as much about learning how to cope with waiting as much as it is about writing well.

    But having the strength to continue to work while waiting to hear back on your submissions? Having the tenacity to keep going in the face of rejection? These things take faith, more faith than I was conscious of possessing until recently. I realized that I don’t doubt the “if”, only the “when” — which seems so pompous. I know I will be published! I have such fervent faith in that truth it’s as if someone came back from the future and told me so. But it’s not that… I just know that it will happen because I will not give up until it does. The good things that have happened to me along this journey have confirmed my faith isn’t blind, it’s leading me in the right direction. So I’m charging headlong up that staircase and there had better be steps ready for me because there’s no way I’m turning around.

    • First of all – sending a smile and good vibes your way. I can’t say that I know exactly how you feel since I haven’t yet gotten to the part of the process that you have, but I can imagine how challenging and emotionally trying it must be. On the bright side, that shows how much it means to you – you’re invested and so affected because you care so much. I’m glad the quote was able to help a bit. There are so many I love, but this one is right up there at the top of the list. There’s just something special about it.

      I relate 100% about the whole “real author” thing. I was reading an interview with Emily Giffin earlier this year and she had a quote that I adored, about how writers shouldn’t call themselves aspiring. She said, “if you write, you’re a writer.” I believe in that completely, but the idea of taking that a step further to being a real author … well, that’s tricky. It does get frustrating sometimes, waiting for real life to begin (especially when you know so fully and whole-heartedly what you wish for and want that life to be like). In a way, though, that first job started with the first novel you wrote. At least, that’s how I think of it. It may not be a traditional job and it may not seem real to others, but as long as it does to us, isn’t that what matters? I agree completely about the business of writing being a roller coaster, but as long as the ups are at the heart of our love for it, then we have to believe that the downs will only make us stronger in the long run. Oh gosh, but the WAITING. AAAHHH. It can be painful, that’s for sure. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes reminding yourself that anything worth having is worth waiting for really does help.

      You’ll get there. I KNOW that for a fact, and I look forward to the day I buy your book in a store. You do have the strength to keep working. You do have the tenacity to keep going. That fervent faith will keep you going, wishing, working. Your passion for this is abundantly clear, and the fact that you won’t ever give up gives that passion a platform. I’m right behind you on those steps and will be cheering you on all the way :-)

  4. I think taking that first step, no matter what it is towards, is so important. You could have the most amazing story idea in your head, but if you don’t take out a piece of paper (or open a word document) and write it down…you’re never going to get to the place you want to be. I definitely identify with your planning tendencies. I always like being in control. Sometimes, though, you can only get so far on your own. Especially with book publishing, a great amount is left up to the universe/fate/chance.

    I love the quote, by the way. And your writing area is gorgeous! I’m jealous; my desk at school is so blahhh! :]

    • I absolutely agree. It’s one thing to have an idea that won’t leave your mind or fall away from your thoughts, but like you said, it’ll stay a little seed forever unless you take that first step toward letting it blossom. It’s really true of everything with the publishing process – and so, so many other things, too. And how did I know that we would share a similarity when it comes to planning? Just a hunch I had ;-) It’s hard to let go of the desire to steer your own life, but on the other hand, teamwork is so, so important and when you find someone to put that trust in, it can be a beautiful thing. The fate/chance part of the equation takes some getting used to at first, but hey … sometimes serendipity can be great, right?

      And thank you! I redid my entire room last year and absolutely love it. The whole thing is pale aqua and cream-colored, with a beach motif (that lamp even came from the shore!). I designated that area in the picture as my writing/work space, and having that separate place for just that has worked out so, so well. It’s amazing what an inspiring workspace can do!

  5. I love that quote. It really speaks the truth about faith and life in general. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I can’t wait to read more of your posts and get to know you better! My internship was a great experience, but right now I better get offline and back to working on my portfolio. Finals week starts in just a few days and the papers won’t write themselves! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    • Hi! Thank you for stopping by :-)

      I agree completely about the quote – there’s just something about it that really gets to the heart of the matter about the importance of having faith in your dreams and in life in general. It’s definitely an inspiring one.

      Good luck with your papers and portfolio!!

  6. You totally inspire me! I hadn’t seen that quote before and am so happy you posted it. I’m going to take the first steps towards writing a book and getting healthier. I may not know where I’ll end up but I’ve got to try. :)

    • That is my exact outlook on things :-) It can be tough setting off on a path that doesn’t have a clear finish line in sight, but as cliche as it sounds, the journey really is everything, not just the destination. We’ll never get anywhere if we don’t try, right? Good luck with your book and all your goals! I’m excited to see where they lead you!!

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