Thursday, August 27, 2009

Forks of Opportunity

By Nichole Giles
Every once in a while, you get to one of life’s roadblocks—wait, no, let’s not call them roadblocks. Let’s call them…roads of opportunity. Yes, so you’re standing at a fork in the road of opportunity. And both roads look good from your viewpoint. They both have some rough-looking spots, but also some smooth paving that’s appealing. And no matter how hard you look, you can’t see the end in either direction.

And as you stand there, you meet other people, some who take one road, and some who take the other—and all seem to be happy with their decision. It shouldn’t be such a tough choice. Yet, you keep standing, waiting, hoping that somehow the selection will be made for you—or taken from you—anything to avoid making the wrong decision on your own. How do you know which road to take? (And no, the answer is not the road less traveled, because they’re both equally traversed in my vision.)

This issue sometimes comes up as we go through the process of both writing and submitting. Right now I find myself in one of these places. Both roads look equally appealing for different reasons, and I know both choices are good, but I’m struggling to decide which one’s right for me. The road on my right hand is looking more and more appealing each day, but I can’t decide if I feel that way because it’s what I want or because it’s really the right thing to do. And what if…

Well, see, now that’s where being a writer stops me short. I could play the what-if game for days—no weeks—or even months. And people, I don’t know how long I have to choose. (But that might be just me feeling rushed.)
The other day, I mentioned my dilemma to a group of friends. That’s when Josh said something about his own fork in the road, and his words made me think. He said, “Well, I suppose there’s no way of knowing the right decision right now. I guess I’ll have to pray really hard for the answer.”

Here’s the funny thing. My first thought was, well, I hope the guy upstairs posts a billboard—cuz I’ve been doing that and still have no clue what to do. But then it occurred to me that maybe I’ve been asking the wrong questions. Have I really been asking for help in making the right decision? Or have I been begging to have the decision made for me?
My bad. I should know better than that.

Here’s the truth. Writing as a profession is an exercise in extreme faith. Most of us will never have success and fortune handed to us—we’ll have to work our tails off for it. But we can have it if we’re only willing to put forth the effort. And when we come upon a fork, sometimes the best thing to do is to close our eyes, spin in a circle, and walk forward with renewed faith that a higher power is leading us in the right direction.


Keith Fisher said...

great graphics. good blog. thanks

Carolyn V. said...

How funny that I should be struggling with choosing between two things, too. Thanks for the post! (great timing Nichole!)

Cheri Chesley said...

I love that picture. And it is a perfectly timed post.

Nichole Giles said...

Isn't it funny how so many of us tend to go through similar things at the same time?

I'm just glad to help. And just so you know, you all--yes, you, my readers--are a tremendous help to me as well. You're awesome.

Good luck with choosing the right opportunity.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Wow, Nichole - I've been struggling with some difficult writing choices these last few weeks as well. It's all come to a head with me spinning around, lost, and trying to figure out which way to go. Thank you for your post.

Nichole Giles said...

You're very welcome, Danyelle. I hope you figure it out!


Terresa said...

Great post. Reaffirming our faith in ourselves and in God. The pictures were a nice touch, too.

Heather Justesen said...

Seriously, don't we all end up in that place sometimes? I often find myself wondering which direction I should go, and I argue with myself that just because one looks easier and perfectly okay doesn't make it right.

So what is right? Time for more prayer.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Terresa and Heather. I guess this is the hazard of free agency, huh?

What to do, what to do?

(You all know the answer, right? Heather posted it in her comment.)