If you do it once, you’ll wanna do it again…
You know how skydivers say if you do it once, you’ll want to do it again? Honestly, I’ve never understood this statement. I could never talk myself into thinking even once was a good idea, so why would it be a good idea twice? Doesn’t that actually up the odds against me? Make the chances of the plane crashing, or my parachute not opening, a fraction stronger against me surviving?
But this past weekend, I finally understood…
I mustered all the courage I had, prayed a lot, and got into my car all by myself to head inside the perimeter of Atlanta at 8am, so that I could attend the Atlanta Writing Workshop. I found parking, walked inside, checked in, got my name tag, and sat down all by myself. The whole time I was smiling, but was secretly about to throw up what little breakfast I’d been able to get down.
I was terrified because I KNEW I was going to show up, and be found a fraud. By just attending this workshop, you’re admitting that you take writing, whether novels of fiction, non-fiction, or children’s books, seriously.
I am seriously trying to write novels, but does that count? Am I qualified to sit amongst the other writers at the workshop?
God answered that question for me very quickly, because pretty soon, a woman sat down next to me who was just like me! She was taking a leap of faith. Ready to learn about the publishing world, social media platforms for writers, and what the agents want to see from their authors. And once the workshop got started, and people began asking the same questions I had, and pitching their stories to agents, it became more and more clear…
I do fit here. I am not a fraud. I am serious.
And once that fear, that crippling fear, was gone, I was able to have fun. I made a new friend, and learned some great stuff. I met some agents and realized even more how much I envy their job, (cause I’m a book nerd) but also that they’re real, and actually really approachable. I had nothing to fear the whole time and I wasted all that energy!
I left feeling invigorated, and then I remembered back to 2011 (I think!) when I was in full-time ministry. My pastor wanted to send me to probably the biggest Children’s Pastors Conference (In fact, I think that’s what it’s called, haha!) on the planet. They do them in a couple different places each year, and he wanted me to fly out to San Diego by myself to attend the one there. Of course, I said yes, but I flew out there thinking I had lost my mind! I was going to be lonely all week, AND people will realize I’m a fraud. I hadn’t been doing my job for very long, and was still “getting my feet wet”. I just KNEW everyone there would see me for what I was.
But guess what? I quickly found out there were a lot of newbies attending to learn. And there were also lots of tenured attendees, who opened their brains for the pickin’ with us newbies. I came home refreshed and invigorated.
All this to say, I do get that statement now. I probably won’t ever go skydiving, but I understand that when something sets such passion inside, you do want to do it again. I’m gonna sign up for another writer’s conference, maybe even one far away, and this time I’m pushing away the fear to allow the fun to happen sooner!
What is it that you fear right now, that if you took a leap of faith could end up being addictive? Invigorating? Even fun? Don’t close yourself off because of fear, because most likely you’re just closing yourself off to the growth and fun that could be taking place.
Who knows? If you do it once, it might surprise you, and you’ll want to do it again..