Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Facing the Giant

Many of us know the story of a young David facing the giant, Goliath with only three things in his arsenal: a slingshot, a stone and faith. And before he stepped out on that field of battle he said something very important: He'd killed the bear and the lion, surely he would have victory over this giant!

As writers we face our giants every day. They wear different names and faces. Fear. Discipline. Failure. Success. But, they all seem to be bigger and more powerful than us. Their very presense seems to taunt us , paralyzing our actions and thoughts, undermining our beliefs. Our giants become like that monster in the closet of our childhood. Soon, we're not even able to approach it without a pounding heart and a dry mouth. Simply put, they are terrifying.

But, as I've been told, courage isn't the absence of fear, but the resolve to do what you're afraid to do. I can't believe that David didn't experience at least some trepidation when he stood across from Goliath. He was human. But, David had a confidence born of faith. And he rehearsed it. He'd defeated the bear. He'd defeated the lion. He would have victory over this giant.

It's the same for us. I may fear rejection as I submit my manuscript to an editor. But, I can look back and declare with confidence that I've labored over my work with diligance. I've submitted to contests, blogs and newsletters. I'm not stating the editor will offer me a contract, but what I am saying is I faced my giant. I conquered the fear of rejection by not allowing it to hold me back from trying and pursuing a dream. A published author may have a fear of being a one-hit wonder. But, she too, can rehearse what she knows. She's submitted a manuscript to an editor. She's sold a book! Surely, she can submit another manuscript and sell again. And again. By acting in spite of her fear, she already has the victory regardless of the outcome.

Whether it's with a slingshot or a pen, the common element is faith. Faith will not only help you face your giant, but it will leave you the last one standing on your field of battle, your fist raised in victory.


Christine said...

Naima, I needed this post tonight! I just had a ladies night out and met someone new... who, upon finding out I was a "writer" wondered if I'd "written a book?" and when I responded "yes, three..." she asked, "why aren't you published??? aren't you marketing yourself???" I truly wanted to show her all my rejection letters... LOL, but how does one explain this industry??? Anyway, the funny side note is that I sent off for my PRO pin and I had to call the RWA offices to aske which rejection letter was sufficient and in my babbling, I said, "I can't believe I lost the really good one from Silhouette!"

Too funny... anyway... keep facing the giants and demons and keep writing!

JoAnn said...

Great post, as usual, Naima. Like Christine, I needed this too.

(It was great seeing you Saturday -- love the new haircut!)

Christy Reece said...

Naima, as always, you blow me away with your eloqence and insight. And I needed this post too, more than I can say.

I don't think the fear ever goes away, and as much as I hate it sometimes, I glad it doesn't. Fear sharpens you and makes you strive for greater things. I think the key is to find the balance so fear doesn't freeze you into immobility but spurs you on.

Thanks for the great post, Naima!

Naima said...

Christine, that is too funny!! "I can't believe I lost the really good one..." That is hilarious! The cool part is if we can joke and laugh about it, we're in a really good place! Just think how you're going to be instructing a workshop one day at a conference and you get to include this in your speech to other writers. If that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is! I'm seeing it! I'm seeing it!

Naima said...

Thank you, JoAnn! I felt like I hadn't seen you in forever! Oh, and thanks about the haircut! *blushing and grinning widely at the same time*

Naima said...

Hi, Christy!
You're absolutely right, and I don't think I thought of that. Especially in this industry if you ever get to the point where you believe you have it down and can't get better, it's time to find something else to do.

I for one think you have found--and continue to find--that balance and you're an inspiration to a lot of us in the chapter. So, thank you for facing your giants!

M.V.Freeman said...

I like this "facing the Giant"...
What an appropriate analogy!

Thanks Naima!

Christine said...

Oh, thanks! I appreciate the workshop thought. One day, eh? I think it's just so in my blood right now, that regardless of circumstance, I will write. I have to write. I love it and all the agony that goes with it. And most of all, I love other writers. They/you are all wonderful and spirited and make my day!