by Kathy Harris
Please allow me to interrupt the post I’d originally planned for today to journey into the land of “what if.” After all, we’re an organization of “what if” writers, and it’s imagination that inspires our stories.
I recently interviewed Chris Fabry for my personal blog, and reading about Chris’ new book Under a Cloudless Sky reminded me of my favorite Chris Fabry novel, Almost Heaven. In it, Chris creates some of the best, most believable scenes from an angel’s point-of-view that I’ve ever read. I’m still marveling at his work tonight as I think about writing this post, while watching a football game.
Yes. I’m multi-tasking, which is, you know, akin to plotting.
It’s all about tying the threads together. And as I’m watching the game and the underdog seems poised for a victory, the synapses in my brain make an odd connection. My mind drifts from football to writers, and then heavenward, and I wonder, ‘Do angels ever choose sides in football games?’
It’s a silly question, I know. But it stirs another thought. One that inspires me as I’m reminded of the pre-published authors—and those published writers who, like me, have been sidetracked for a while—who might be reading this post and need encouragement.
As I’m imagining heavenly cheerleaders, I contemplate a personal version of Malachi (the guardian angel in Chris Fabry’s story) cheering for us every time we fight with the words on the page. Do celestial creatures sent from God perform their own version of Dynamite or D-Fence when we’re trying to make our mark in an industry of already established writers? Do they scoff or do they quake at the odds against us?
If you close your eyes, you can almost envision them cheering us on. And why not? Down through the ages, we’ve all pulled for the underdog. It’s a truth as old as David vs. Goliath, as relatable as Cinderella vs. her stepsisters, and as contemporary as the SEC vs. the NEC.
The New York Times calls it “the eternal appeal of the underdog.” Poet Shane Koyczan says, “We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them.”
Whether we’re David approaching a giant, the Tennessee Titans taking on the New York Giants, or the unpublished writer trying to win the attention of agent or editorial giants in our business, being an underdog can bring out the best in us, just as it has for the athletes—and writers—before us.
We must believe before we can do. We must have faith to move the mountain. And we must stay strong in the knowledge that—conjecture about guardian angels aside—our Heavenly Father is, in fact, cheering us on. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our talents, our strengths, and our ability to stay the course. He even knows the passion in our hearts. He has confidence in us. Yes, He has confidence in us. Even when we doubt ourselves.
Sociologist Anna Akbari aptly wrote in her 2013 article entitled Five Reasons Underdogs Win in the Workplace, “So much of how we understand ourselves is shaped by our losses and hardships, even more so than our victories. But as uncomfortable as they are, these personal roadblocks make us stronger and better than our more privileged selves.”
“Being an underdog isn’t a plea for sympathy,” she continues. “It’s an invitation to triumph.”
Wow! Will you triumph in your writing this year? Will you persevere?
I can almost hear the angels cheering you on right now!Do the angels cheer for underdogs? Staying motivated when the odds are against you. #amwriting #ACFW Click To Tweet
Kathy Harris loves playing with imaginary characters—especially those that inspire us. She is an author by way of a divine detour into the Nashville music business and is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Connect with Kathy on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.