Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Leap of Faith

It doesn't take much. A look. A word. A non-response.

All your carefully built confidence comes crumbling down. That risk you took - that teeny tiny step towards the next level - suddenly seems like a ridiculous stretch. And the chasm is widening while you're in mid-leap.

You can't sprout wings to reach the other side. You can't go back.

So, you fall.

A long way.

The crash hurts. A lot.

You get up, pout about those bruises for a minute. Maybe two. Then you face a choice. Go backwards to safety. Or forwards to the unknown.

Not much of a choice really. You take a deep breath, put away the pout, and take that first step. Forward. Up the next ridge. Up into the future. To the next risk.

A little warily, but a little wiser too.

Building the strength to make the next leap of faith.

Alex J Cavanaugh hosts the Insecure Writer's Support Group the first Wednesday of the month. Check out his blog for a list of all the participants.

How do you recover from those falls?

53 comments:

  1. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I pout or shout or rant. Sometimes a funk settles over me that's hard to pull out of. But like you wrote, eventually I choose to move forward. I think those moments make us stronger.

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  2. Suzie - I agree - they do make us stronger. But they're haaaard to get through sometimes! :)

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  3. It's true all of it. But do those times make us stronger or do we become more numb and eventually feel nothing when we're punched again? Just kidding or am I? :)

    Love your post.

    Teresa

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  4. Teresa - oooooh - good question! I haven't been at it long enough to get numb, but I can sure see why some people end up feeling that way! :)

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  5. When I was young the scabs were on my knees. Now they're inside. I recover by plodding ahead to the next page.

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  6. Yvonne - And the scars on the inside hurt more than the other kind. But plodding on (and plotting on) definitely helps! :)

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  7. Jemi, that is very inspiring! Good on you to post something uplifting.

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  8. Alex - thank you! It's always more fun to go forward :)

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  9. Honestly...I get sad, I might eat a cookie (or two) and need a few days to get my oomph back. Sometimes it takes more than a few days, but I am still plodding along and still hoping!

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  10. Buttercup - I need a few days too. I need to mull and think and plan where to go next :)

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  11. Wonderful post, Jemi! Was this insecure because it sounded brave and hardy to me.

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  12. Thanks Karen! Well, I always feel insecure, just stubborn along with it :)

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  13. I love this post, Jemi. It's inspirational and so true. The best choice really is to keep going forward.

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  14. Great post! And a good reminder that we always need to keep going.

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  15. Awww you pick yourself up, you brush yourself down, you start all over again, wiser and more wonderful! Yay! take care
    x

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  16. I read a lot of good books and watch great movies to find that inspiration again!

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  17. Funk and depression is definitely what hits me. But I can only maintain that feeling for so long before hope creeps back in.

    This leap of faith (and sometimes falling) comes with every stage of the writing process. First there's beta-readers. Then queries. Then submissions. And after you think you've got it made with a published book on the shelf ... there's reviews and sales figures ... and the next book. No one tells you in advance that there's no guarantee your next book will be accepted. Back to the beginning of the circle again ...

    Good thing hope is so sturdy.

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  18. Lynda - thank you! There really isn't much other choice, is there?

    Elizabeth - thank you! Going forward is more fun anyway :)

    Old Kitty - thank you! Sometimes there's a lot to brush off :)

    Laura - me too! And I tend to go back to my favourites!

    Dianne - exactly! There's fear and risk and danger at every single turn of this journey. But there's also joy and hop - and they're much more powerful!

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  19. as one of the songs says - even an angel can end up falling, but don't you cry you're still crawling :)

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  20. I don't care any more, that's how I recover. So what if people stop to stare and laugh. I put on my best Pee Wee Herman voice and say, "I meant to do that."

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  21. It's so painful sitting on the ground with our "bruises," trying to remember that the experience will make us stronger - but it WILL. Such a wise and inspiring post, and a great attitude to have :)

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  22. I really did fall flat on my face last week, A brused cheekbone, and bleeding knee but like in life I got straight up and carried on.
    I am still sore but so is my ego.

    Yvonne.

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  23. Inspiring post. As writers, the two things we can control is whom we listen to and whether or not we continue to write. Feedback is all about working through the pain and having faith that we'll go forward, stronger and wiser than before.

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  24. Dez - I've never heard that one before! I like it! :)

    Stephen - a PWH voice will coast you through a lot of awkward situations! :)

    Julie - thanks! I have a really hard time putting myself out there, but I'm still walking up that hill!

    Yvonne - I think the egos take longer to heal than the bodies! Hope you're feeling better soon! :)

    Kelley - thank so much!

    VR - thank you. So true - learning to listen to the best people is certainly part of that process! :)

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  25. Great post. :)

    I deal with falls by letting myself absorb them for a moment . . . and then getting up and trying to forge on.

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  26. Great way to put this! And in an easy-to-read format with a great photo to go along with it. :) Yep, we leap, we crash, we moan...and we get back up again, hopefully!

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  27. Oh gosh. I get this at least once a day. All you can do is keep writing!

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  28. Golden Eagle - good strategy! I sometimes take a while to recoup, but I don't consider turning back :)

    Carol - thanks so much!! Hopefully we keep getting back on up! :)

    Deniz - so true! Keeping writing is what keeps me sane! :)

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  29. Falling might be a fun thrill if you didn't have to hit the ground. I try to land in a soft place when I can. And no matter what I've always been able to shake it off, maybe nurse my wounds a bit, and start over.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  30. Lee - That ground sure can hurt. I haven't really been tempted to turn back, but I haven't been doing this that long or taken too, too many risks. :)

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  31. Wonderful post, Jemi. I hate the falling, getting hurt part, so sometimes I take way too much time getting back up. But then there are so many things we can miss out on by not taking the risks, right?

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  32. by just keeping on, I guess. It's tough to get up, dust yourself off, and go again. But the only way to guarantee you'll never make it is to give up! :o) <3

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  33. Susanne - it is sooooo hard to get back up. I don't get up quickly either - but at least we're both climbing! :)

    Leigh - it is tough, but it's worth it. Can't make it without the climb :)

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  34. Many times I feel wounded, but I always reach for the unknown. Great post, Jemi.

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  35. Thanks Medeia! Reaching for the unknown requires great courage - you've got it! :)

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  36. A setback is an opportunity for a step up!

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  37. Diane - LOVE that! That's going to show up in my classroom one day! :)

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  38. Awesome. Only the brave reach the destination. (=

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  39. I like the mentality that we can only move forward. Sometimes when I've fallen really hard, I trick myself into thinking I can go backward, whether that means ignore the problem or deny it even happened. But really, we have to move forward and face what made us fall in the first place.

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  40. Shelley - there's really not any point in turning backwards, is there? Even when it seems like it would be a comfort, it's a trick! :)

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  41. It's tough when you fall. But I try to remember how great the climb felt and sike myself up for another try!

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  42. It really depends on what else is going on in my life and my hormones! Some I brush off and some I full into a blubbering heap with.
    Great post.
    Xx

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  43. Lisa - the climb does eel great! It's so much fun learning new things and stretching :)

    Michelle - exactly! Timing really is everything. I've had reactions all over the place!

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  44. Usually, I bounce quickly. Really, I'm a quick bouncer. But sometimes I get shaken up. I think we all do. I think those are the times that we come back stronger. They make us really analyze what we want to do, and--even knowing the odds and the risks--we get back on track.

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  45. Jemi - I loved this uplifting post and I really needed to hear it today. Thank you.

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  46. Oh, I can relate. It's hard to get up again. But it's true - it does makes us stronger, more resilient and more determined.

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  47. Dawn - so true. It's amazing what we can learn from a fall. Each forward step in this process is so helpful!

    Kari - you're very welcome! We all have those times when it seems so hard to move on, but we do!

    Talli - it really does. It's not an easy journey, but it's a worthwhile one!

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  48. I don't recover quite that well I have to admit. Each rejection knocks me back a little further and the funny thing is the acceptances, when they come, don't make the rejections hurt any less. That photo is making my knees go wobbly. I hate heights.

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  49. Rosalind - I've only sent out a few queries - and I'm working on implementing the advice I got from them. It's a long learning curve! :)

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  50. Hi Jemi!

    A very inspiring and uplifting post, thanks!

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  51. Romance - thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed :)

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