Writers face decisions every day.
- What is the best market for my latest story?
- Which editor is going to be the most receptive to what I've written?
- Should I kill this character or just maim him?
- Should I attend a writer's conference even if I can't really afford it?
- Do I leave all the cliches in my latest writing or replace them?
- Should I take a writing workshop online?
- Do I begin a major project or keep on with smaller ones?
- How much time should I spend reading about writing?
- Should I give up writing or continue?
- Should I join a critique group?
- Should I self-publish or make the rounds of publishing houses?
The list above cites merely a few of the everyday decisions a writer must make. Our poster quote today points out that even small decisions can change our lives. That's true. It's also true that many writers agonize over the daily decisions they are called on to make.
The pain involved is not worth it. Some decisions can be made rather quickly while others take longer. The big ones deserve the time to make a wise choice. An old method that is worthwhile is to make a list of the pros and cons. Which side is heaviest? Are there items in the con list that might be harmful or hurt the feelings of someone? Does the pro side show you that your decision might have a positive effect on your writing life? Don't just write the pros and cons--evaluate them.
While some decisions can change your life forever, you have no way of knowing how things will turn out when you choose one way or another. We must make many of our writing world decisions on blind faith. Sometimes we hit it right and others we fail miserably. It's a rare person who will make all decisions correctly. Not many 100% papers on this. If you make a decision that turns out wrong, don't beat yourself up over it. Move on!
The main thing is to give some careful thought to your decisions. Don't be too hasty. You can play the What if...? game when making up your mind as to what direction you will follow. What will the consequences be if this thing or that does not work out? Is it worth taking a chance?
You and you alone can decide what path to take, even if you discuss the situation with someone else or several someones. It's still your call in the end. It's every writer's hope that he/she can look back later and say I'm glad I did that.