Reaching for the Holy Grail

Remember the scene in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade where Indy is at the edge of the cliff and there is an abyss between him and where he needs to be? He keeps repeating to himself “Only the penitent man shall pass,” knowing he has to walk across air to get to the other side, but trying desperately to muster the faith to believe that somehow, someway, he’ll make it across. . . in spite of what his eyes tell him.

Writing’s a little like that (but without the whip and fedora). The very act of putting words on paper means you believe at some level that what you’re writing is worth reading. It’s an act of faith. It’s driven by passion and belief but at the end of the day, you don’t have proof that your words will resonate. But you believe. Even when the rejections come. You rewrite, you keep striving to get better and you keep believing the words and the story will move people and make them forget that they’re reading just words and be magically transported (as only good writing can) into the world of the story where everything else falls away.

It’s a great feeling, both as a reader and writer.

Writing’s not just about usage, sentence structure and that dangling participle. It’s about faith. And belief.

And the joy of acting on that belief.

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