I am a rebelutionary.
What does that mean? You’ve seen me describe myself as that and probably wondered if I made the word up.
It is made up. Just not by me.
Years ago, two brothers named Alex and Brett Harris started blogging about young people rebelling against low expectations. That’s what a rebelutionary is: a young person who goes above and beyond what is expected for the glory of God.
I don’t label myself as this to brag. It’s become such a big part of who I am and my writing. Today, I’m going to share that story with you.
|(Pictures from Pinterest)(No, that’s not me :P)
I used to be a dancer, an aspiring ballerina with some big dreams. Dancing was my life. Literally. I didn’t have time to do much else. Writing? Maybe a half-hour a day. If I was lucky. Every waking hour (and sometimes sleeping) was spent stretching or dreaming or rehearsing or practicing or dancing. My future was set: I was going to get into a ballet company one way or another.
During the summer, this past summer, I went off to an intensive. If you’ve never heard of a ballet intensive before, they’re like a summer camp, weeks long, every hour of the day spent dancing. Mine was intense. Mine was stressful. It made me wonder how I would take being a professional one day.
God sowed that seed of doubt for a reason.
Long story short, my hips and knees, which had been bothering me for awhile, finally declared that they couldn’t support high leg extensions and extreme turn-out anymore. Not if I wanted to make it to twenty-five without a hip replacement *shudder*
I had to stop dancing.
It’s the strangest feeling when you suddenly stop something you’ve spent every day of the the past year doing. Ballet had been my life, and now I couldn’t shift my hips without a sound of some sort. I wasn’t as devastated as I could have been. I was just shocked that my so-secure future had suddenly vanished. I felt empty. What was I going to do with my life now?
The uncertainty scared me. Everything was slipping, I couldn’t find a balance, an anchor, anything to grab on to.
Then I found the Rebelution.
|(Pictures from Pinterest)
I’d been idly writing, mildly considering publishing my trilogy when I remembered that my mom had enrolled me in Do Hard Things University, a program for young people taught by one of the Rebelution founders, Brett Harris. Since I had nothing but time on my hands, I went and started watching the videos I was shocked and amazed by how much God was part of every moment.
That afternoon, I picked up my Bible for the first time, and started reading it.
I was caught up in Do Hard Things. This was the answer to my questions. God was my Constant. I could finally find satisfaction and meaning in my life by doing something hard to do for Him. What could it be?
Brett announced a Young Writers Workshop, where he would interview Christian authors. I’d been delving into Bryan Davis’ Dragons in Our Midst for the past year, so I was excited. The interviews were interesting, but the links to query letters made my head spin. I tried writing some mock ones, and realized publishing Dareas Trilogy was going to be a lot harder than I’d thought.
While I had this in mind, I suddenly saw that Brett had interviewed a Christian fantasy author, Jaye L. Knight. I literally punched the air. Finally: a fantasy author interviewed! During the video, Jaye explained how she published independently, and Brett commented on what a wonderful community she’d created.
“Why don’t you write for God?”
“Sure,” I’d answered. “Just let me get my trilogy published, and then I’ll write something for God.”
(Obviously, I was completely oblivious about the publishing process back then *chuckles*)
While I was on vacation before school began, I started trying out some ideas, but none felt right. I just loved my trilogy characters too much, despite the fact that I was sick of them at the moment. Bored, I randomly remembered that Jaye L. Knight’s books were said to be good. So I started reading Resistance, book one of Ilyon Chronicles.
And I didn’t put it down for another 48 hours until I finished it.
I’d never read a book like this before. The words were so smooth and descriptive that I stopped seeing them and saw images instead. I could see what the characters saw, feel what they felt. I was awestruck.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there was a moment with a main character that made me put down my Kindle and ask myself if I was serving God like I should be. I wanted to.
I wanted to write like this.
I went back home, more determined than ever to come up with a Christian fantasy story. “Why don’t you just…rewrite Dareas Trilogy?” part of me asked.
I wouldn’t do it. It would be too hard, too difficult, it would never work. I had to find something new, something good….
One night, I laid awake in bed, keeping myself up brainstorming. It hit me so hard I wanted to kick myself. “Just do it,” the voice said. “Rewrite the books for God.”
And that’s what I’m doing.
|(Pictures from Pinterest)
Do Hard Things
Now, I think it’s the most amazing thing in the world to write stories for God. When my words stop, He keeps them flowing, and I can’t think of anything more beautiful.
My goal is to move someone toward God like Jaye’s book moved me. When the going gets rough, that memory keeps me writing.
Independent publishing came as an idea as I explored Jaye’s websites. It seemed like a perfect option. Let me tell you one more story about that really quick:
This past week, I had a doctor’s appointment. The doctor was an amazingly energetic and positive woman. I started talking about my writing. The woman paused, and asked me, “Where do you want to go with that?”
I hesitated. “I’m thinking of doing it on the side, maybe with some sort of science career. But I think I’m going to try and start my own imprint publishing name….” I trailed off, feeling pretty stupid, and expected her to politely say that was a nice dream for when I was older.
The woman stopped completely and looked me in the eye. “Let me tell you something: You can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.“
She went on to tell me about how she’d become the first female doctor at the clinic we were in. That was over thirty years ago. And here she was, telling me that I could do whatever I wanted. I took that beyond what she said. It doesn’t matter if I’m still in high school or am not old enough to get my driving permit. I can publish a book independently.
It will be hard, but that’s okay.
I’m a rebelutionary.
I do hard things.
Sorry for that long post that took up a chunk of your Saturday morning 😛 I really felt like I needed to get this story out there.
Here’s a bunch of links:
Alex and Brett Harris
About the Rebelution
And there’s a book too. Read it. I’m telling you, it changed my life.
Let’s go do hard things, no matter what our age 😉
– Audrey Caylin
Have you ever heard of the Rebelution? Check it out and let me know what you think!