Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping the Faith (with the help of Russell Crowe)

Recently, I watched the Russell Crowe movie, The Next Three Days. Have any of you seen it? I'd heard mixed reviews about it but I think Mr. Crowe is quite the actor and I'll often see a movie just because he's in it. Without giving anything away, the film chronicles his character's efforts to break his wife out of prison. She was accused of murder and the couple runs out of legal options to set her free. As often happens in life, I found that one of the themes of the movie collided with something I've been thinking a lot about recently: instincts and your gut.

In the film, Russell's character is 100% sure that his wife did not commit the crime she was found guilty of. Regardless of evidence, the sway of family opinion and time, he knows in his heart that she is innocent. His stronghold on his belief becomes an issue in the film and he's often left having to defend his opinion. His gut told him that his wife was not capable of the crime.

Now, I know a movie is a movie and real life is real life, but I found the tenacity with which the character held on to his instincts to be quite inspirational. How can you hold steady to your gut even when the people around you waver? How can you trust yourself? So often in life, we're asked to take a leap of faith - in our careers, in love, in friendship - but that leap of faith has to come from somewhere. It has to come from your gut. And you have to trust it in order to fully invest in your decision.

Not long ago, I wrote a novel entitled, The Breakup Face. Through a wonderfully supportive friend, I met a literary agent who read the book and loved it. He quickly took me on as a client and began sending the book out. In my gut I felt that this book would be published. I could see it. That was a number of months ago and a publisher has yet to take the novel on. I'm told by every writer I know that this is par for the course and to stick with it and keep the faith. Yet, all I can think about are ways to change the book. So now I put it out to all of you smart women: how can I prevent myself from losing steam? My confidence in the book is waning and the clarity of what I saw is growing foggy. How do I get that knowing feeling back? When your instincts tell you one thing and reality is telling you another, how can I get my Russell Crowe on and keep the faith?

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