My fingers danced across the keys of my laptop making that infamous tapping sound. My heart pounded at the thought of writing a non-fiction story for a compilation of true stories. Excitement, guarded by hesitation and doubt, seeped through the corridors of my mind as I pressed forward with every word.
Is it possible? Am I being presumptuous to think I could possibly submit a story for publication? Is it feasible for someone like me to assume such an accomplishment? Can I? How? No one knows me? Who would even care?
The room fell silent. My fingers shook. I re-read every word, then deleted the entire document. I set my laptop aside and paced the floor. A battle raged within. My heart shouted, “Do it, you won’t know unless you try.”
I grabbed a cup of coffee and turned to face my laptop. “I can do this. I can do this.” I took slow, precise steps as though I was about to dive into water from a high-dive. Breathless, I began to type. The pages filled with my story. I edited, deleted, typed, edited, deleted, typed. I froze in place. Doubt tried to convince me to trash the whole thing.
My finger hovered over the email “send” button. My eyes blurred and a tear dropped to my cheek. The fear of rejection, of making a fool of myself caused overwhelming fear to grip my stomach, and yet, a strange sense of accomplishment sent a smile across my face. Do I dare to believe in myself?
Click…it was gone.
Within an hour I received an email from the editor, “Amazing story.”
I stared at her words, squinting. Was it sent to me by mistake?. It had only been an hour. That’s impossible. I nervously sent a return email to see if there had been an error, but no, a response arrived within a few minutes. What does this mean?
Submitting this first story was a huge step toward believing in myself. Putting myself out there for everyone to see was a risk, but in the end it showed me that my mother was right. She’d always told me and my sisters that we could do anything we set our minds to. I wanted to submit a story, I wanted to try, but I struggled with the confidence necessary to pull it off. When I took that leap of faith and dared to believe is when my eyes were opened to a world of writing possibilities.
Yes, my story was published. I’ve since had several short stories published. I completed a four year writing course through Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild to learn how to write better. I have now jumped into deeper water by writing my first novel, Alley Sweeper, a Christian Romantic Suspense. I’m now searching for an agent and working on the sequel. Presumptuous? Maybe, but it sure feels good to know I dared to believe I could…and I did…359 pages wrapped with 90,823 words.
I’ve shared my story in hopes of encouraging you, especially those of you who struggle with doubt. Regardless of what your dreams are, dare to believe in yourself. Do what it takes to improve that dream and press in. There will be bumps along the way, but that sense of accomplishment will do wonders for your faith and change your life.