Tomorrow, my debut novel launches.
I’ll be honest, a cocktail of emotions are brewing at the moment. A hearty mixture of excitement, nervousness, and outright fear of failure. It feels rather like I’m about to fling my heart out into the world hopeful it won’t get flattened. It’s always that way when trying something new, don’t you think? Maybe even more so with creative pursuits because a part of you is sewn right in with it.
Yet, where would we be without the kind of courage creating requires? Without those brave first strokes of ink or paint, our bookshelves would be barren and our walls unadorned of colourful masterpieces. There would be no music to make us merry. No architecture to take our breath away. No sculpture to stop us in our tracks. No gardens to still our souls. No chocolate—I go too far! Our beings would be bereft of nourishment without people answering the creative call.
I admire the courage of creators, those who bring life to their ideas despite the naysayers and critics. I applaud those who keep creating, keep trying, and keep overcoming obstacles to do both what they love and what gives them life. I’m inspired by the ones who continue to show up and don’t give up even when their inner critic won’t shut up. I’m grateful to those who pursue their gift as a gift to others.
But it’s not easy.
As a recovering control freak, unknowns make me uneasy. The blank page—that sacred inhalation of breath before beginning—is crowded with both possibility and nightmarish uncertainty. And right now, I’m on a new precipice of uncertainty and in desperate need of exhaling.
But there’s hope. I’m considering reframing my concept of unknowns. Instead of attaching fear to them, I’m thinking of renaming these unknowns “new firsts” and viewing them as dynamic opportunities to explore something new.
So let’s say it together: An unknown is a dynamic opportunity to explore something new.
Feel better? I do… for now. Ask me tomorrow when I’m standing at the book launch trying to wax eloquent about my book! I’m slowly easing into my “new first” by only inviting family and friends to the launch. I’m going to take that nervousness I feel toward introducing my book to the world, and all that goes with it, and view it as a dynamic opportunity to explore something new.
I wonder, do extroverts require this much reflective self-talk? And at what age did I begin to be unsure of creative pursuits? But that’s another blog.
What it always comes down to is a conscious effort to hand over control. It’s not a one time fix. It’s a trust thing, and for me, there’s only one who can be entrusted with it—God. The unknowns, ahem, I mean the dynamic opportunities to explore something new are also an exciting chance to grow closer in my trust journey with my Creator.
So let me expand my definition: An unknown is a dynamic opportunity to explore something new and trust God more fully.
Boom. There it is!
I hope you’ll join me on this trust journey. Let’s do this!
- Do you have a fear of the unknown?
- What creative pursuit have you been putting off for fear of failure?
- Breath in, breath out, and begin that sacred journey trusting God every step.
Available September 17th, 2019
Print Availability: Chapters/Indigo, Amazon, Word Alive Press, and wherever fine Christian books are sold.
eBook Availability: Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, and in Adobe PDF format for additional vendors.
4 Replies to “Unknowns, Courage, and Creativity”
I love your redefined view of the unknown. I don’t know of any new idea I’ve had that didn’t come with a side of a little fear. Those times I’ve moved through fear to go for it have been worth it – even if the result wasn’t what I wanted. Somehow the process of moving through it developed something in me and I learned something new, while expanding my faith walk.
I’m excited to read your book & celebrate it’s launch tomorrow! Blessings!
Thanks Sheila! Always worth stepping through the unknowns. 😊
Amazing. Congratulations to you Melanie. It is no small thing that you are doing and you are doing it with courage and in faith. All great works of God start there. Here’s to a world blessed by your life’s insightfulness and gifts.
Shane, thanks for these kind and encouraging words. So appreciated.