- Write or join the Air Force.
- Write or open a business.
- Write or get a paying job (money is nice).
- Write or have kids.
And with the exception of the last one, I chose wrong. I never gave myself "permission" to write, even though it was my life longing, and the longer I waited, the more I wanted, and the less I followed that road. In fact, the longer I waited, the more I built barricades to keep myself off that road. That road was for "the future."
And then, a lovely woman, a PhD, a highly intelligent, intuitive graduate instructor said to me, "what's stopping you from publication?"
I'd like to blame an unjust system, lay it off on the vagaries of the traditional publishing system and overworked editors and the good-ole-boy program, and while those obstacles exist, they are not my obstacles. The obstacle I'm facing is ....
The last few months, as I've finished up one of my most powerful graduate courses, I've been thinking about the road not taken, in my past, and I see that I am at another spot in life with two roads before me. One road is stable, socially acceptable even, and the other is writing. Not the writing that stays on the hard drive, but all the way down that road with no obstacles, especially not myself.
Robert Frost was right
The road less taken is darker, less defined, and most likely more dangerous. You have to have an adventurous spirit (and thick skin) to take that overgrown road, with fewer roadsigns and less stability. Am I rebellious enough to take that road?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost)