Leap of Faith

posted in: Writing | 0

My blog post ideas can come from many places, but this one came to me when we took our kids to see Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse a couple weeks ago. Admittedly, I’m not a comic book fan. I don’t tend to watch these kinds of movies. But my kids wanted to see it (my son, mostly inspired by the Spider-Man Sunflower song), so my husband and I obliged.

I didn’t have overly high expectations but was pleasantly surprised. I loved the diversity of this version, and it was entertaining, even for a non-comic-book-loving person like myself. Interestingly enough, one small scene really stuck with me from this movie: the part where Miles Morales asks Peter Parker, “How will I know when I’m Spider-Man?” Peter responds by saying, “You won’t. That’s all it is, Miles. A leap of faith.”

This conversation replays in Miles’ mind just before he takes a literal leap of faith off a high-rise building.

I’m sure many people connected with this scene. After all, how many times must we all take a leap of faith in life?

I think this scene spoke to me, personally, because writing often feels like one big leap of faith. Many of you know I left the teaching profession in 2010 after the birth of my daughter. My plan was to go back after a year’s leave of absence, but we then decided it might be better for me to stay home with my young kids for a few years. A few has turned into nearly nine. And though my kids are in school full-time now, I’ve stayed home to continue focusing on writing. It’s funny because I thought teaching was about the lowest paying professional job you could have. Turns out, it’s actually writing!

But within this larger leap of faith, I just recently took another, smaller leap. For the past six years, I’ve been prioritizing my blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. I started out writing two posts per week and then went to one post per week after a year or two. I’ve faithfully maintained this level of blogging up until very recently, and it’s been a part-time job, in and of itself. Horse blogging and writing for other equine companies/publications is the bread and butter of my freelance work.

But as we approached 2019, I felt it was time to let go of something. For me, the most sensible thing to cut was the amount of time I spent on that blog. Ultimately, I don’t want to be a freelance writer/blogger; I want to be a novelist (probably no surprise to anyone reading this). But to my nearly fourteen thousand TNHH followers, it probably was a surprise. Last month, I laid out my plans in a post, letting them know I would be cutting back to writing once per month.

While it may not sound like a big deal, it was scary making this change. I had to tell all my blog sponsors, knowing full well I may lose them. And though I did lose one sponsor, I’ve been amazed by the others. Even knowing that blog traffic would likely decrease, they wanted to stay with me.

I was honest with everyone: I told them I was cutting back in order to focus on getting a literary agent this year, saying I felt I was very close to making this happen but needed to make it a priority. In all honesty, I hesitated to say this at all. It felt much too presumptuous, and I didn’t want to come off as overconfident. But I’ve also learned that you have to have faith in yourself and your journey. So I shucked aside my fear that I’d inherently be jinxing myself by saying such a thing, and forged ahead.

Of course, I’m still freelancing, but my main focus for 2019 will be getting an agent, whether it be with the book I’m currently querying or with my work-in-progress. By taking this most recent leap of faith, I’ve created more space for that to happen. And while I’m fairly confident I won’t transform into Spider-Woman, I am fully intent on becoming Book Writer-Woman. (corny, but I couldn’t resist. . .) 🙂

What leap of faith have you taken recently? I’d love to hear all about it.