“I’m looking forward to looking back on all this.”
Life is all about transitions. As soon as we get comfortable in our current position, something changes. We don’t like change. We like our comfort zones. But there is something we like even less than change.
Hallways are those dis-comfort zones between where we are and where we’re next going. We get tossed into them, or stumble into them, and we have no idea how long we’re going to flounder around, looking for the doorway out. It could be we’ll walk right to it. It could be we’ll spend months or even years searching for it. There’s no way to really know.
What we do know is that we’re not going to find it whining about being stuck in the hallway. Actually, whining and complaining are only going to assure that we stay stuck in the hallway. Why?
Because what has our focus and attention is what we’ve got. That is our reality. When we spend fifteen minutes whining to someone about our situation, that’s fifteen minutes more that we’re focused on the hallway rather than getting out of it.
When transitions strike and we find we’re in the hallway, we need to determine what got us there, of course. But once that determination is made and we’ve grasped the good that can come from understanding, it’s time to look forward not back. Only in looking forward can we move forward deliberately–and hopefully avoid a side-trip that delays our forward momentum and lands us in yet another hallway.
It helps to remember too that while we don’t like hallways and we certainly don’t look forward to them, we can’t move ahead without them. These transitional phases are truly the pits, but if we can get past the uncertainty of them and harness the opportunity in them we’ll not only be healthier and happier, we’ll be seizing the chance given to us in them to progress.
Let me share an example. I was writing single title for Signature and Bombshell novels. It’s no secret that HER PERFECT LIFE (Signature) is a very, very special book to me and that I absolutely loved the smart, savvy women in the Bombshells. (Blondes with brains and the ability to use them–what’s not to love???)
Signature ceased publication about two months before the novel was released. Months later, Bombshell ceased publication. I went from writing two very different types of books for essentially two publishers (though both were with the same house) within a matter of six months. That’s one huge hallway.
While I was saddened–I loved these books–and not eager to be in yet another hallway, I also saw the opportunity in it. Mmm, what do I want to write now? It was a great time to really think about what I wanted to be my focus. What I was passionate and enthused about–enough that I’d be at my computer in the middle of the night because waiting until morning was just not possible.
Before and at this time, I’ve written in a lot of different genres and in books that were genre-benders and in no genre. But what would I love most? Suspense, mystery and a light romantic element. That’s been true and was still true. So on which element did I want to seriously focus? Suspense. And something with a twist–another genre-bender.
I wrote a suspense novel. Not the synopsis or proposal, the book. (Two reasons. 1. Taking care of my infant granddaughter while her mom taught school. No deadlines. 2. I loved the story and I wanted to see how it worked out. I didn’t want to wait.) DEAD GAME was born and is now with my agent. I’m so glad I did the book because I totally love it. I worked and reworked and reworked and reworked it until all of it felt just right. I think it’s some of my strongest work. We’ll see what others think shortly. Regardless, this was a terrific move for me, focusing on the suspense.
I also created a series of genre-benders. These, I’ve done all the prep work and synopses on several of the books. It’s paranormal, but not. Supernatural I call them. To skip to the chase, without the hallway, I wouldn’t have ventured into this area. Because I did, there’s now an offer on the table from a publisher interested in buying the whole series.
Hallways do have perks. But we have to be willing to get past the annoyance and concerns that come with being in them and use them and seize the opportunities that can be found in them–inside us, in taking the opportunity to evaluate and decide what we want–and outside us, in seeing opportunities we otherwise might not have noticed.
Hallways are seldom fun. They bring out concerns and fears and uneasiness in us all. But if we can find a way to be content in them long enough to evaluate, we can progress in ways we couldn’t without them.
That said, two things remain true:
1. We will likely always hate being in hallways.
2. We will likely always look forward to looking back on them.
©2007, Vicki Hinze