As adults, we often have to track our own way. This becomes harder when if, for some of us, we have been told what to decide–or, if a lot of what we did was decided for us when we were younger. Or, we might be used to finding our path–but currently find ourselves in uncharted territory. Regardless, this often forces us to figure out which paths and opportunities will lead to what we want (and sometimes we’re afraid of making the wrong choices too). A lot of this also involves figuring out what matters, and what doesn’t.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a path has to be either/or. I’m guilty of this too. We often think, “Well, I’m already doing this, therefore I can’t do that.” That isn’t true. What we tell ourselves is often the determiner of what ultimately limits us.

The trick is though, I think, not necessarily finding the “right” opportunities, but finding the purpose each opportunity has. Here are some examples:

Writing sprints, or the Club 100 (Yahoo Groups): These are there to motivate me to write every day, even when my words and ideas are stymied. Sometimes I barely crank that 100 out. Other days, I can write in the thousands, and don’t need the motivator as much. The truth is, I’m writing what I can, when I can. And that is enough.

NaNo WriMo: I often use these “novel writing” sessions in November, April, and July to revise. (NaNo purists will probably tar and feather me for this. But that’s okay.) Since I’m still honing my revision process, I’ll often measure my progress in hours instead of word count. I was able to finish the second draft of my fifth novel this way.

Querying: This has ultimately helped me trust myself as a writer–something that many writers, published or not, struggle with. Querying and receiving feedback has forced me to look at what I want from my own story, rather than rely on input from others. Frankly, it’s partially the motivation for this post.

So, I implore you all: find the path that works for you, despite what the self-help books are saying, despite the hard truths, or sound advice you might be hearing. Because it’s your path. You get to make your own story. It’s frightening, yes. But also freeing.

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