Thursday, November 10, 2016

What if... I fail?

I struggled with what to write that would reach people in this time of such division. Some are hopeful, others cynical, and yet others still are angry. When I looked back over this post from one year ago, I knew if we could just put our swords down and be vulnerable about our fears instead of casting stones, we might just find we had common ground all along. This here was me being transparent about the fear of the unknown. Rest in knowing we are never without hope. In fact, we are in very good hands. <3

Whenever something is closely tied to your heart it has power over you. No matter how tight the threads of those big, beautiful dreams are woven in, they are still suspended over this vulnerable space where they cling with more fortitude than the delicate wisp should realistically have.

Despite the strength and determination behind them, dreams are fragile things. In most cases working towards the fulfillment, daunting and disheartening as it may be, is considerably less scary than reaching the summit. Once you're there it may look different than you imagined, or perhaps the view simply exposes how very far down you have to fall.

There's no going back. You're there. You've poured your heart and all those expectations out. You've bled and cried and stumbled and picked yourself back up for the uphill battle and then... you've made it. The point of no return where you will either lift off and soar to fulfilling those dreams or you'll struggle against the wind until you realize your wings don't quite cut it at that altitude. And then what?

It was so much safer on the ground, wasn't it? And even on the climb you still had your feet firmly on the ground, working your muscles at your own pace, taking a breather when you felt the strain.

Personally, I've always placed high expectations on myself. And each dream got my all, even when it eventually withered away and opened my heart to a new adventure. But right here, standing on the precipice of my very first book release, the excitement and anticipation are warring for the top seat, but there's also that worry that nips at their heels. And we all know that worry is just a prettied up name for the real culprit.

Fear.

Fear of failure. Fear of having to start again. Fear of seeing your dream plummet, taking all the hope and heart you invested back to the bottom to begin the arduous journey all over again.

Because let's face it, not all writers are going to become published authors. Not all published authors succeed. And even once successful authors can lose their clout. We can't all be the #1 Bestseller. And even the top dog will be knocked off his pedestal eventually, right?

Man, this is sounding pretty depressing, isn't it? Why dream at all? Why put yourself out there and risk the fall?

Ah, but you see, in the oddest way that is the beauty of it. The mystery. Nothing worth having comes easy. And very often the struggle makes the reward that much sweeter. Your "what if"... would be one of regret. Of never knowing because you never tried.

So to keep things in perspective I want to ask you this... What does failure look like to you? Or better yet... What is your measure of success? Because until you decide what it is you are aiming for you might decide that your summit isn't quite as scary as it seems. Maybe dreaming big doesn't have to come with all that fear. Because what I know for certain is that perfect love casts out fear. And that dream you have been nurturing... it has a purpose. That purpose may not be to make you a million dollars. That purpose might be to touch one person's life. It might be to touch yours. Without even knowing it, sometimes my own words come back and minister to my own hurts and insecurities. Sometimes I teach my self a lesson I was too stubborn to hear until I spelled it out on paper in plain English. Other times I simply love getting lost in where the story takes me, regardless of how marketable or profitable that story might be. My measure of success has more to do with doing something I love than proving to the world that I can make a living doing it. Sure, it'd be nice to have it all. But sink or swim, I'm where I want to be.

So you see... here I am at the summit. I'm braced for flight. Passion blazing in my heart so fierce it could launch me to space. And yet I'm still praying through the doubts that swamp me with every peek over that steep edge. Still making sure I've got my emergency landing gear on standby. The first aid kit at the ready to patch up for the next stretch if need be. But no matter where I land, I know that the journey has been more than worth it. Because I LOVE this. Not the doubts. But the story. Even mine, walking up that mountain. I'd walk it all over again, and maybe I will. But I'm not gonna let the "what if" ruin the exhilaration of catching air for the first time. Because what if I keep on flying. Stretch your wings. Enjoy the rush. And let tomorrow worry about itself.

Happy flying!


<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Amy Leigh Simpson is the completely exhausted stay-at-home mama to the two wild-child, tow-headed toddler boys, one pretty little princess baby, and the incredibly blessed wife of her hunky hubby.
She writes Romantic Suspense chalked full of grace that is equally inspiring, nail-biting, and hilarious. And a little saucy! Okay fine, a lot saucy. :) She is a member of ACFW, and now uses her Sports Medicine degree to patch up daily boo-boos. Her greatest ambitions are to create stories that inspire hope, raise up her children to be mighty warriors for Christ, invent an all-dessert diet that works, and make up for years of sleep deprivation. 
Look for her debut novel WHEN FALL FADES out NEXT FRIDAY October 30th with WildBlue Press!
 

9 comments:

kaybee said...

Amy,
This was a good post for me today. I had a request for a partial from an agent who judged me in a contest, and it's ready to go. And I'm scared. It's like sending your child to kindergarten. At the last moment you want to keep them with you, keep them safe. Part of me wants to keep my book with me, if that makes any sense, and keep it from the cruel world. But that's not why God gives us stories, is it? I shall send my proposal -- after all, she ASKED for it -- and go on to the next thing.
Best wishes on your new novel:
Kathy Bailey

Mary Vee said...

So heartfelt.
So our heartfelt for our own pursuits.
Thanks, Ames.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Kathy, that is so great! Cheering you on!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love you, Mare!

Bean Harts Ten said...

Like Kathy, this is such a timely post for me. After countless rejections, failures in contests, and countless rewrites, I recently received an invitation to submit to a publisher (hence the anonymous posting name, so there is no undue influence). Happy dance completed, I ran through edits "one more time" before I hit the send button. Once it was away, knowing full well that a submission does NOT mean a contract, the tiny voice nagged me: "What if it doesn't happen?"

"Nothing worth having comes easy."

Exactly. We've been called to run the race, not the sprints. Just because the Lord plants a seed, a story, doesn't mean we automatically get the easy button (although I WISH that were true).

Thank you for the timely reminder, Amy. Maybe one day, I'll have a little blurb like you do: "Look for her debut novel NEXT FRIDAY!"

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Thank you for sharing! Made my day! :)

Jamie Burch said...

Really needed to read these words today. Thank you! :)

Pepper said...

Fear is such a powerful enemy. Self-doubt is too!!! I'm so glad that we can combat this with perfect love and the awareness of being created for a divine purpose! Thanks, Ames!

Gail Helgeson said...

I once heard these words in the movie, Letters to Juliet...

WHAT IF?

"These two words put together have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life..."

I keep this phrase in front of my desk so I see it daily.

What if I epic fail that writing contest?
What if I stare at that blinker on the computer screen for hours?
What if I never finish writing this book?

What if.....

THANK YOU for this blog. So helpful today.

Blessings and congrats on your debut!