In the past two years, I’ve taken several leaps of faith with my career and with my personal life. Unfortunately, I ended up like a certain cartoon character, pinwheeling my legs in midair and crashing to the ground in a heap of dust.
Just call me Pancake.
Cartoon physics aside, every risk I took turned into a nightmare, leaving me gun shy of dreaming big dreams or taking even small leaps of faith. Disheartened, I stayed at the bottom of the mountains. I stopped trying to fly.
The characters in my stories often face similar situations. They struggle to take leaps of faith because they can’t even begin to climb the mountain they dream about, much less make it to the top and jump off. In the course of the story, they learn how to let go of past disappointments and make decisions based on love (and the possibility for a happily ever after) rather than fear. They learn to trust in themselves and go for their dreams.
All these years of putting facts into my fiction, I’m now doing the opposite and living by the HEA credo. In the past month or so, I’ve embraced picking mountains I want to climb, not have to climb. Mountains that excite me. I’ve learned to stop taking leaps of faith because I’m scared not to, but stepping off the cliff because it’s something I want to do so badly I’m like Wile E. chasing Road Runner. I’m hungry for it and I’ll use my super genius powers and ACME gadgets to get it.
Leaps of faith can lead to leaps of joy. I queried four publishing houses recently, figuring I didn’t have a chance in Hades of selling anything to them, but to my surprise, two responded. I sold the fourth Super Agent book, The Blood Code, to Entangled Publishing after a two-year climb up a steep mountain. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that book would ever be published, but it will be. Finally. Because I took a leap of faith.
I also received word last week from a major editor at Random House that she’s looking at a short story of mine for their Loveswept line. It’s only a request for the full manuscript, but what a jolt of motivation. I’ve wanted to work with her for years and I may finally have the chance. Beep, beep!
It’s important to dream, to take risks, to climb the mountains and then jump off those mountain tops…and maybe it’s just as important to land in a flattened pancake at the bottom. Failure is not final unless we allow it to be – a lesson I’ve learned from my characters. As opposed to cartoon physics, this is HEA physics. True living means picking ourselves up, dusting off our hearts and egos, and searching for that next mountain, that next leap of faith, the next promise of love. A payoff is bound to happen.
Staying motivated and inspired is not for the faint-hearted. I like Isaiah Hankel and his blog Generating Enjoyment and Influence. It’s like boot camp for your mind. Watch his Like A Lion video. I dare you not to feel inspired.
Odds are I’ll be a pancake more times than not this year, but that’s okay. I’ll be taking those flying leaps of faith with more style this time around. Maybe a graceful swan dive instead of the Wile E. Coyote air dance. And I’ll use my real life experiences to make my fictional characters more believable and their HEAs more rewarding.
Do you have a mountain you’d love to climb this year? A leap of faith you want to take? How will you tackle it?