We've put off redecorating our kitchen for too long. We've discussed it, thought about, and kept putting it off. Last week, the project got started when a painter came to remove the wallpaper which started on one wall in the dining area, then continued through the kitchen and laundry area. After three days of scraping and mumbling about the people who had put the paper on years ago without sizing the walls, Mike painted all the now-bare walls the same color as our living room and dining room. The area is very open and it seemed the right thing to run the same color throughout. Decision #1 made and accomplished.
But now, Decison #2 is upon us. We want to change the countertops which sounds easy enough, until you look at the material options available and the dozens of color choices. How do we decide from a tiny sample piece what a whole sea of the color/design will look in our kitchen? It's just plain stressful. We've looked several times, and yesterday we finally began to get it narrowed down to only a few. Soon, the final decision will have to be made. And then we must also decide on a new sink and cooktop. More decisions! The one thing I know is this: I will have to live with whatever decision we make. You don't change major things like countertops over and over again.
Writers have decisions to make, too. When plotting a novel or a short story, there are plenty of decisions to be made. But there, the changes can be made up to the time a submission is sent to an agent or editor. A writer needs to decide the kind of publication she wants her work to be seen in. Do I send to any and all, or do I narrow the field to a select few with the risk of fewer publishing successes? Do I write only the easy things or do I tackle a tough research project? Do I contact the editor who's had my submission for six months and never answered, or do I write it off as a rejection? What to do?
My advice is to weigh the pros and cons and make up your mind in a reasonable amount of time, then go with it. Don't agonize and play the What if? game with yourself once you've decided what to do. I'm going to live with whatever countertops I finally do select. No regrets. No playing What if? You can live with your writing decisions, too. Make your choice and move on to the next thing.