I’m a big believer in giving back. Especially to the writing community. I like helping other writers and seeing them succeed. That’s why I’ve been a contest coordinator since 2006. But all good things must come to an end. I felt pressure from myself to continue to do the contest this year but I knew if I did that, then I my writing would be non-existent. I knew I had to say no.
Initially I said yes. Despite having written a full Policy & Procedure Manual. I figured it would be the final time I said yes. Then things happened: I got a day job, I sold a book with an option clause, I was very close to finishing the first book of a new trilogy. I’ve got some good momentum going and to stop mid-stream seemed a detriment. So I changed my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love volunteering and being a part of something that gets authors published. But I had to take a step back and look at where I am and where I’m trying to go. I had to make that decision to sacrifice the volunteering for the writing. Because the end goal, for me, is more published books, more backlist. If I’m ever going to make this career the success I want it be, I have to say no. I know it’s disappointing for folks. I’m disappointed, too. But I cannot continue to allow my writing time–which is now very precious with the new day job–to be commandeered by other activities. I need to keep my eye on the goal. The end game. And volunteering simply isn’t going to get me there. I have four books to write in the next six months and that’s four books that I can no longer put on the back burner.
It’s been a good run. I’ve loved doing it but now I have to take on different challenges to get where I want to go. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been down this road before. So why do I feel so guilty?