Monday, July 18, 2011

How Do You Deal With Opportunity?

When a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade!

A bank in our town puts memorable, witty sayings on their marquee. The one above reached out and grabbed me. What good advice that is, I thought as I drove by the sign.

Only weeks ago, I attended my 50 year college class reunion. The picture posted here today was taken there. Carol was my college roommate, and we've remained friends all these years. We live 8 hours apart and rarely see one another. When the letter arrived in early spring detailing the two day reunion, I could have pulled the shade on that little opportunity. It's  too far away. I have other things to do in mid-June. I'm not sure I want to see how classmates have aged. All those reasons for staying home. But I didn't pull the shade down. I made plans to attend and was ever so glad that I'd done so.

Carol and I spent a full day together catching up and recalling old times. After about thirty seconds together, it was as if we'd never been apart those fifty years. Taking advantage of the opportunity to go to the reunion turned out to be very satisfying. We both look like we are having a good time, don't we?

We often run across writing opportunities, too. They appear out of the blue. It might be a contest to enter, or a new anthology call for submissions. It could be an editor who contacts us to come up with an article on a particular subject. It may be a conference for writers that is only two hours from home. So, what do you do?

You can pull the shade because there are too many reasons that you don't want to pursue the opportunity. Or you can list the pros and cons of following or not following the chance to publish or grow as a writer. I have a feeling that, in most cases, answering the opportunity positively will be the choice you select when looking objectively at the pro and con list.

Writing opportunities appear, but it's up to us to pursue them. Sure, you might have a few doubts. You might be too busy and stressed-out, you could be afraid to tackle a major writing project. There will always be obstacles of one kind or another. Move on and meet the challenge instead of pulling down the shade.

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