Opportunities versus Non-Opportunities

Sometimes to be a happy writer, you have to be an unhappy writer—at least temporarily. You have to allow yourself to experience the frustration that comes from walking away from non-opportunities that are disguised as opportunities, imposter opportunities that are conspiring to lead you off course from your true path as a writer.

Let me explain by giving an example of something that happened in my own life last week.

I was approached with an opportunity to do some spokesperson work for a major brand. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And it would have been great if I had been able to feel good about that brand. But, the thing is, I didn’t feel great about that brand. I don’t feel great about that brand. In fact, I have a long history of not feeling great about that brand.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew what I had to do.  I had to turn down that particular non-opportunity in order to stay true to myself as a person and a writer.  After all, not walking away would have proven even more difficult and more painful over time. I had a vision in my head of the conversations I would have to have with readers and with family members—the lengths I would have had to go to in order to justify my decision to work with this particular brand.

In the end, I decided it simply wasn’t worth it. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night or feel good about myself during the day if I agreed to work with this brand. And so I decided to walk away—to free myself up to pursue other opportunities that were a much better fit: opportunities that would allow me to continue to pursue my mission as a writer and a person: making the world a better place (not a worse place) for families and communities.

Knowing who I am and what I stand for allowed me to make the best decision in this situation. I chose the path that will ultimately result in a much happier writer and a much happier me.