Thursday, October 15, 2009
How do you know when it's time to move on
How do you know when it's time to do something else? How can you tell when what you're doing isn't working for you anymore?
My week has been full of these questions.
It connects to writing but also to every other phase of our lives. When do you give up on a relationship? When do you decide you've tried as hard as you can to make a job work for you?
Sometimes you don't have any choice. Sometimes whatever it is comes up and kicks YOU out the door. The job you were thinking about leaving suddenly lays you off. The person you were beginning to think you could live without decides to leave you.
No matter what, when you leave something behind, there is a certain melancholy, even when it's something good for you. We too often look at the end rather than the beginning.
We are creatures of habit and want to continue doing what we're used to doing. But sometimes, we have to move out, move forward.
As writers, we sometimes find ourselves feeling trapped in what we're writing. An agent wants us to write mysteries but we yearn to write fantasy. We seem to be very good at writing nonfiction, but we want to write romance.
It is a trap of our own making, especially if you are successful, even moderately successful. What if we do something different and no one wants to read what we've written? What if we are dumped by our publisher or agent and left to manage alone?
Sometimes, we just have to let go and let ourselves move forward. We might be afraid. Maybe we'd rather keep things the same despite our yearnings. But if we want to grow, we have to step forward. We have to be willing to take chances.
Am I willing to take those chances?