You Gotta Believe

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It’s All On You

Whether writing, art, music–extending a word or a hand–the world can knock us for a loop when we venture to put ourselves out there in the jumble. Not that we won’t get the occasional coddle, petting, or sweet whispers, but not in a way we might deem as dependable. The wind changes, a door closes, sand shifts…and you’re left standing on your own, conflicted, confused, uncertain where you go from here.

Who’s In Your Corner

For me, all things begin and end with God. I firmly believe He gives us our gifts, securely plants them in our hearts, waters and fertilizes, fills our tank with mojo, and sets us off and running…

WOAH! Not So Fast

Did you forget something? I’m referring to that essential ingredient which makes your bread rise. The one you need to fold into the dough yourself. Without it you’re at severe risk of injury, failure, or all out doom. Which is to say, You Gotta Believe. In yourself. In what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. It’s not a maybe, or a someday, or an eventually. It’s a now and forever after.

High, Low–Maybe Higher

–or lower than low, in the tar pits low. And if your faith isn’t firmly held and deeply planted, it is this weak point in the dam where  angst and despair can most effectively seep in to crumble your foundation.

Not To Be Confused With the Bright Candy Coating That Melts In Your Mouth

You may be so blessed as to have a loyal entourage of enthusiastic and energetic cheerleaders who never fail to vie for a seat at your pep rally; who support your dreams, struggles, and successes. They boost you over the speed bumps, applaud and cajole with true admiration and dedication. But even then, these champions of your endeavors can’t be tuned into your channel 24/7. They too have dreams to feed and nurture. Sometimes it’s only you. Sometimes it’s been only you all along. In either case, how you push forward, stay afloat, or reach out to lasso the moon, has everything to do with how deeply you believe in what it is you’re doing. Want to do. Will do.

There Will Be Days,

when your heart will swell to bursting as you come across something wildly shining and beautiful with your name on it:

“…one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure to read…her writing style brings to mind such authors as Harper Lee and John Steinbeck…”

Then just as quickly shrivel into raisins on the vine as you stumble blind and stupefied over this:

“This is really awful. Stupid story, stupid people. Couldn’t care less about any of the characters. I’m sorry I spent any of my hard earned money on this horrible book.”


But Whether Good, Bad, Or Hideously Ugly,

your belief in yourself and what it is you’ve set out to do, MUST run deeper than any pile of poo dropped onto the surface of your gleaming hopes and expectations. Because although your confidence can certainly be ruffled, trounced, bitch slapped, and bloodied, it can’t be hijacked without your consent.

Some assaults prove more of a challenge than others. Sometimes we’ve been pummeled so violently we temporarily lose all reason and sanity lock and load baby, mentally smacking ourselves repeatedly for ever thinking we’d be allowed to join THE CLUB.

And while there are times when weeping and wallowing feel necessary for releasing the buildup of toxins caused by critical assaults, it must only be temporary. Long enough for a cleansing wallow, but brief enough to recall that the opinions of others cannot injure your truths or shake loose your passionate belief in the gifts you’ve been given. They belong to you as long as you care to feed and nurture them.

And really, truly, it is my hope and prayer for you that you do.


What ya thinking? How difficult is it for you to maintain your armor when the going gets tough? Have there been times when you’ve been tempted to surrender, only to find your faith renewed in the eleventh hour? The floor is yours!






3 thoughts on “You Gotta Believe

  1. A timely, and much needed, post for me, Barbara. My doubts rise up when I’m tired. And I worked myself pretty close to exhaustion over the last several years on the novel I submitted this past fall. I received a fairly high rate of full requests, but no takers. In the end, I realized the story wasn’t *uniuqe* enough for a debut novel.

    Intellectually, I know I got close and should be excited to charge through the next project that has a much better chance to break in for a debut author. But I was so exhausted after that long haul, I couldn’t bring myself to write. The doubts rose up.

    So thank you for this “…your confidence can certainly be ruffled, trounced, bitch slapped, and bloodied, it can’t be hijacked without your consent.” I am taking my confidence back, as of now, bitch slapping those doubts back to beyond where they came from. 🙂

    • It’s definitely experiences like this when the test becomes a good deal more difficult–the stretch to reclaim the dangling threads from the abyss of lost hope an effort that makes our soul hurt. But we do, because the alternate is impossible. Regardless of how many times we swear “That’s it. Done. Finished. Never again,” we know deep down that such oaths can never be true. The desires of the heart cannot be so easily uprooted.

      Ugggghhh….but it so effectively fries us mentally and physically when we’ve worked so diligently, passionately, and faithfully only to fail at making the necessary connection. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the word *DEBILITATING* comes to mind. And while sometimes it’s not a quick or easy recovery, recover we will. What we “do” is too essential to who we are to surrender to something as flaky as sound reasoning 😀

      I’m so sincerely thrilled to hear you’re back in fighting mode, Elizabeth! And keep in mind as you settle into your *new debut project* that your first book (the not *unique* for a debut novel) does hold a place in your published future. Maybe to reappear as #2 novel after your debut sets the stage.

      Cheers my writing comrade *raises glass*. Best of words to you 😀

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