The Romance Writers of America conference was in Atlanta last week—it’s always great to catch up with old friends and find out what everyone is doing. I’ve always treated the conference as my career yardstick—I measure where I am now against where I was and what I was doing at conference time the previous year. And while I’m excited to talk with other writers, every year there are a couple of acquaintances I’ve known for years who want to have a drink “to discuss their next career move.” If I have time, I don’t mind because, hey—I like drinks. And it’s an easy conversation for me…why? Because it’s the same one we had last year…and the year before. They say the same things: They’re unhappy with their publisher/agent/sales, I say the same things: change it, change it, change it. We hug and go our separate ways. And I’m pretty sure we’ll be having that same conversation next year.
Something is stopping them from doing what they know they need to do. (When people want to “talk” to someone, it usually means they want someone to sit and nod and confirm what they already know.) What’s stopping them?
I wish I knew.
The repetitive encounters have gotten me thinking about what things in my life I’m churning over…the things I’m over-thinking…the things I’m procrastinating doing…the decisions I’ve never gotten around to making. So I posed a set of questions to myself:
Are you still mulling the same questions you were mulling a year ago?
Are you still hanging out with the same nonproductive people, or trying to extract yourself from a draining relationship?
Are you still working on the same handful of unfinished projects?
Do you set the same self-improvement goals for yourself every year and never make any progress?
If YOU answer yes to any of these questions, there’s only one additional question to ask yourself when you reach the measuring mark of your year: What’s stopping you from moving toward your goals?
Q: What do you think are the top excuses everyone makes to maintain the status quo even if they’re not happy/fulfilled?