Skydiving – Shifting Our Writer Expectations

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, Fear/Doubt, Friends of ACFW, writing 1 Comment

by Deborah Clack

My stomach dropped, but my feet were still on the ground.

Staring at a man who was four inches shorter than my five feet nine, all I could think to myself was, “This is not who I thought I would be jumping out of an airplane with.”

When I initially decided to do the insane and go skydiving, I was relieved to learn that tandem jumps were required for first-time jumpers. In other words, someone who knew what they were doing would be strapped to the back of me while I fell from the sky.


I pictured a tall, built man, who would make me feel safe. At the time I was unmarried, so if he was a single gentleman who loved Jesus and was enamored with my beauty, that would be a bonus. The instructor’s physique was important to me. I needed the false security that someone bigger could, in fact, save me if something went wrong during this free fall.

What can I say? I volunteered to hurl myself out of a fully functioning plane. Logic wasn’t my strong suit.

Which is why I had no words to greet the shorter man in front of me.

He had kind eyes. A disarming smile. Handling the equipment with ease and expertise, he worked with an air of confidence.

But all I could picture was completely crushing the nice man during the landing portion of this adventure.

I gulped. He was not what I expected.

Finding courage is complicated. In life, I can decide to take a huge risk. Awesome! But sometimes my bravery hides under the guise of a well-developed Deborah Plan.

Ouch. I type those words and grimace.

Fail safes aren’t always bad. Accomplishing something daring developed in solid planning and wisdom can still be considered noble.

But when a plan doesn’t go my way, I can almost hear the gears shifting in my brain to embrace the new reality. Metal painfully scrapes through the old rusty Deborah Ideas to get to a better cog.

I have to let go and trust God’s plan.

  • His best for me.
  • His sovereignty for everyone else involved.
  • His love for each of us.
  • His fulfilled purpose and desired outcome.

I have a Deborah View. Full of man-made goals, timelines, and a safety net.

God has a sky’s view. Full of unlimited blessing, life-giving free fall, and boundary-less glory.

There is no comparison.

Which begs the question, why would I even try to control it in the first place?

What plans do you need to pry out of your writer’s hands? Did an agent or publishing house go a different direction? Is your blog tougher to maintain than you imagined? Has the story you’re writing lost it’s way? Do you stare at a blank computer screen and wonder if this was really God’s purpose for you?

Contrary to my failed expectations, I did jump out of the plane that day with an expert strapped to me. He pushed us out of the aircraft, laughed with me during the free fall, yanked the parachute cord when it was time, spun me around until I couldn’t stand it anymore, and safely landed us. Sans broken bones.

He was exactly the person God intended for me on that particular adventure.

My days of skydiving are over. I fasten my seatbelt and wait for my peanuts with the rest of the crowd.

Now I jump out of the proverbial airplane for writers. It can take the same amount of courage to pitch a book. Network with complete strangers. Post a blog. Show my work to a critique group. Enter a contest.

Only now I am intentional to let go of my expectations, dig deep, and trust how God wants me to take my next leap. I don’t know the flight plan, have no clue where the landing zone is, and the ride is guaranteed to be bumpy. But I know that my trustworthy God wants me to soar with Him.

Anyone else want to come with me? A boarding pass with your name on it awaits.

Finding courage is complicated. @deborah_clack #ACFWBlogs #writing #writetips Click To Tweet

Deborah Clack is a native Texan, non-recovering chocolate addict, and contemporary romance author. Her work received First Place in the BRMCWC Foundations Contest and was an ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray. You can find her at




Comments 1

  1. I’ve been a madman all my years,
    and hey, there, no ifs ands or buts
    it’s not a case of late-night fears
    but to me, skydiving’s really nuts.
    I’ve hung below a helicopter,
    coming out of hell on strings
    because there was no better offer,
    didn’t think I could grow quick wings.
    The locals were quite irritated,
    mad at a nice guy like me,
    which they quickly demonstrated
    with rifles and an RPG.
    Still, wouldn’t jump for a million bucks;
    the ground is hard, and gravity sucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *