I read an article a few weeks ago that took my breath away. Within the first paragraph it literally made my breathing halt and my jaw drop: it was that good.
I'd read maybe a hundred or more pieces that week, in magazines, newspapers and online, and I'd read many with interest or amusement. But it was just one that made me stop and really absorb the words.
For a writer, the term 'regular work' is exciting. It's like the Golden Ticket, but instead of a lifetime supply of chocolate you win a regular supply of income.
Turns out there are times I'd prefer the chocolate option.
I was offered work recently that sounded perfect for me: travel writing about local sights, to be a sort of inhouse writer based from home. It all sounded great - a wonderful opportunity.
But over the next week, something lingered in my mind. A niggling doubt that I finally put a voice to.
This work is stuff I could do with my eyes closed - a reflection of the standard of the challenge rather than me having a big head about my writing ability - but it would take up most of the time I have in my days for writing. If not all, and then some.
So then what? No time left to pitch to other publications, let alone write for them. No time left to blog or write those books that are currently sitting in my head and in various notebooks. Most importantly, no time left to challenge myself.
Here I was at an intersection, with the choice of going down Easy Road or Uncertainty Road. I'm pretty familiar with the former; I've spent most of my life there and I'm pretty sick of it. I'll have plenty of chances to follow that road once again, too, if I need to.
For me, being a writer is about trying things, taking risks, finding things that work for me. And to do that, I have to think long-term: eyes on the prize, be brave.
So, I listened to the niggling voice and I let my instinct rule. I'm following the road that gives me the chance to be that one in the sea of a hundred or more.
(Or maybe to win a lifetime supply of chocolate? Please?)