I’ve always been determined. It’s a characteristic that’s followed me since childhood, encouraging my Dad to refer back to the infamous “tick list.” The mental list I kept in my head with qualifications, jobs and ambitions I wished for. The driving test, the car, the office job and the degree are just a few of the ideals I was happy to place a large tick against, giving me a sense of achievement.
So when I unexpectedly crashed and was forced examine my list, I discovered something quite unexpected. I didn’t want it anymore. Instead of giving me direction, it stifled me, restricting my breathing and putting me in a box I didn’t belong in anymore. The procedures and routines that used to settle now made me to scream and hurl things and I was surprised as anyone to find I didn’t like rules, never mind following them. Once accepted, I found I could finally breathe and the air that greeted me was sweeter than I ever believed possible.
So once, after years of convincing myself, I decided to pursue my passion for writing. My old friend tenacity came back to haunt me, followed by his companion impatience and their stalker self-doubt. I’ve done the work, my Trilogy is finished, professionally edited and I’m playing tennis between story editing and creating the new world in my next Trilogy that I’m giddy with excitement about. Recent changes have made me question every area of my life, making me vulnerable to the seen and unseen. It turns out that whilst I don’t like the rules I need the validation. The words or message that restores your faith in what you’re doing. I need to find my audience and share my stories, it essential to me as my newly found fresh air.
This week my faith in my writing, my most sacred unshakeable place, was tested. The flashes in my head that encouraged me to write my fantasy faerie tale have both equally teased and terrified. Leading me to ask myself questions I never thought I would. Is there a point where you should give up on the dream? When do you decide enough is enough and throw in the towel? Are you long past due for the reality check?
Instead, I’ve discovered that faith comes in small, surprising doses. From the unexpected song playing on the radio, to the e-mail from a friend who loved a recent blog and wanted to tell me, to the supportive community on Twitter that constantly amazes me with its kindness and my friends who believe in me, when I hardly believe in myself, never doubting my abilities or future success. Not even for a one solitary second. As George Iles has said, hope truly is faith holding its hand out in the dark and when you realise you’re the recipient of such precious belief, you’re more blessed than you’d ever imagined possible.
It is always darkest just before dawn. Then the sun rises, illuminating your world from shadow into breathtaking glorious light. The moments in between are the true test. When you sit in the dark blanketed only by the promise in your heart that the Sun will rise again, just as it promised when it left. Belief can foster the same magic, taking you from the bleak darkness of no man’s land to the warmest brightest sunshine of a Santa Monica beach. So does it work? Yes, it most certainly does. I got the message I so desperately needed. The faith that trembled proved it was stronger than I was. My writing; the characters, relationships and world I created believed in me when I didn’t. A realisation that is both mind blowing and humbling.
So if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; never ever give up. Acknowledge the battle between your head and your heart and let it continue without your involvement. Believe in the whisper that reassures you that your choice to follow your chosen path will illuminate the best way forward at precisely the right time you need it. Ignore the negative doubters and choose to believe in the creations that you’ve nurtured, honed and worked on until the wee hours of the morning. Believe in the person you’ve become and the life you want to live. Believe in what others say is impossible. Believe in yourself.