Monday, April 16, 2012

Even If I Fail a Thousand Times

Flickr Creative Commons - Henrique Pinto

This past weekend I attended my first local writer's group meeting in person. After attending She Speaks last summer, I have numerous writer friends and relationships online, but locally, not so much. I love that we are able to transcend state boundaries and miles of highway and form relationships with the help of the Internet, but I also know the importance of face to face time. (And I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of all the lovely new faces I met!)

I know we go through various seasons in our lives, some more lonely than others. I have been there. And all those seasons are necessary. But I am thankful also for those times God connects us with people and partners and soul sisters.

There is something about being surrounded by others who share your passion.

It feels like community. It feels like home. And it feels nice.

But it's also scary.

It requires vulnerability and transparency and willingness to receive correction. And of course, there is always the possibility of rejection.

But what would life be like if we never took chances?

If we never risked being hurt for the chance to be loved? If we never risked failing for the chance to succeed? If we never opened ourselves up to correction in order to grow?

Just like relationships, the very calling on our lives can be (and usually feels) risky.

For me, putting my words out there for all to see and judge and criticize can welcome anxiety if I think about it too much (and sometimes I do). Writing a book seems overwhelming at times, and has actually caused me to lay the whole project down a time or two (or three).  Once published, there is no taking words back.

I could just sit home and socialize via facebook and email. And I could keep my words hidden in my journals and private files on my computer. (Some days this is definitely my reality)

But I've decided I don't want to miss out on all the good God has planned, even when there's some yuck mixed in (because you know, there is always some yuck).

Flickr Creative Commons - Abi Skipp

I've decided the chance for success and the hope of fulfilling my purpose is worth the risk of failure.

Even if I fail a thousand times.

(Remind me of this every so often, okay?)

All dreams and goals and big plans require risk on some level.

What is your response when faced with something that feels a little scary?

Linking with:

Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

Michelle at Graceful

Shanda at A Pause on the Path

15 friends had this to say:

Amy Sullivan said...

Good job, you!

I remember when I went to my first local writers' group...would they think I was worthy enough to be there or would they laugh me out the door?

A good experience, a good community.

You will have to let us know how it goes.

Jean Wise said...

Inspirational and well said. I have felt the tug to take more risks this year. yes very scary and you used the right word: vulnerable. Yet that is how we grow too. Your thoughts today are helping me decide some upcoming opportunities. Thanks.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Good for you, Shelly! I LOVED my first writer's conference, and I too found it amazing to find others who shared the same passion. I too decided I was going to step out and take a risk.

Keep writing! I always enjoy reading your words.

Mari said...

Beautifully said. It DOES take courage to put yourself out there, because being vulnerable can be scary. Lately I have felt that I should make the effort to make those connections. Thanks for sharing!

Susan said...

This was so beautiful. So glad you got to experience the group and make new friends...

So nice to meet you.

Blessings to you♥

Shanda said...

Well said. I am just learning to take risks and put myself out there. I want to go to She Speaks so much but the price, on top of a ticket from CA is a bit much. Maybe I should try to find something close by and put my fears aside.

Angie Vik said...

"But I've decided I don't want to miss out on all the good God has planned, even when there's some yuck mixed in." - Well said. Thanks for a good reminder that it's important to take risks.

Brandee Shafer said...

What is it they say about courage not being the absence or fear, but the willingness to act in spite of fear? Good for you!

Jen Ferguson said...

Oh -- it's so hard to be confronted with the prospect of failure. But you are so right -- if we do not brave the unknown, we will miss out on the blessings.

Denise said...

You go girl, be blessed.

Alicia said...

I remember my first writer's conference well.. I cried nearly the whole way there- all four hours of the drive. The fear of failure was HUGE and the enemy's taunting even bigger. But what grace awaited me there. You're right there's no substitute for face to face time with others who share our passion and understand our dreams. Hooray for your courage and your commitment. I'm cheering you on from Iowa :)

Laura said...

I'll remind you if you remind me :). I love, love, love this post, Shelly. It challenges me on so many levels, and I like that. I'm really thinking hard about how I handle this kind of call--the call to be vulnerable and brave. Thank you for that.

Denise J. Hughes said...

I would love to be a part of a local writers' group. If only I knew of one!

You're writing a book!?!? That is so awesome. I am so happy to support you on this journey, and I look forward to the day when I can read the words that come from your beautiful heart.

AmyAlves said...

Shelly, this is wonderful! Way to step out of your comfort zone girl! Keep it up, you're a blessing! ~ Blessings sister, Amy

Chris said...

Hi Shelly, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris