One of my favorite Authors Community stories in progress is the tale of a little rabbit, who, when tempted by juicy cabbages, playful friends AND a rabbitcycle in the driveway, manages to make the right choice every time.
So, who does that? Not me, sorry to say. But the story—with its kindergartner-style inner conflict and happy ending—reminds us that it IS possible to get it right, and it’s worth it.
That got me thinking about some of the times I’ve said yes or no—and been glad I did.
*An opportunity: A company to which I was contracted (editing and proofreading) had an offer for me. Help promote a product to potential sponsors on spec, and I would get a cut of the profits they made through the sponsorships. I didn’t have a great feeling about their offer, and asked my husband, Bob, what he thought. You don’t hire a guy to fix your roof and tell him you’ll pay him if the house sells. If they want you to work, let them pay you, was his take.
I said no thanks, and the company went ahead on their own. Sponsorship was obtained, but through the developer’s own efforts; the company made nothing on the considerable time they spent seeking sponsors.
*A real deal: I had sought out a vanity press by another, much nicer, name. It was expensive, but the promises were great. I hesitated. Then the salesperson called with a steal of a deal—two books for the price of one! I was half persuaded till Bob asked me one question: “How many books would you get for that?”
Whew! I politely refused the offer, and went on to self-publish in the true sense of the word.
*Common sense—An author fired her editor (who was also my friend), and both parties were hurt and angry. Would I take over, the author asked. Worried that my editor friend would feel betrayed, I asked Bob what he thought.
He had two simple questions.
“Does she need help?”
“Can you help her?”
“Then help her.”
It was fun, interesting and profitable working for that author. She and I became friends, and the editor and I were able to work together on future projects.
*More common sense—After the English as a Second Language program at our local college closed down, I began a fascinating and varied career freelance writing and editing. Then our program restarted, and I had the opportunity to return … but I was having so much fun outside the classroom!
Here’s where a wise friend counselled me. She knew I had loved working at the college, and it would be a steady income. I could write and edit on the side. I took her advice and enjoyed several more years of teaching (writing and editing on the side) until the program closed down for good. Those last years at the college were delightful; I’m glad I didn’t miss them.
There’s a common thread here: I sought advice. I absolutely believe there are times when God guides us directly (Proverbs 3: 5-6, Isaiah 30:21) and have experienced this many times. However, I also believe He uses other people.
What about choices you’ve made? Was it the still, small Voice alone, or were other people also involved?
Margaret Welwood wrote freelance articles for over 30 publications, and edited a business magazine and a Writer’s Digest award winning book. Then the arrival of charming grandchildren catapulted her into Children’s Storyland. She now happily resides among storytelling rabbits, invading Slicers and Dicers, and seafaring sheepdogs, writing and editing picture books for children. Margaret still, however, makes frequent forays into the sensible world of adult non-fiction.