I wanted, for many many years, to be a mystery writer. Finally I wrote a mystery novel. I got a best-selling novelist to be my mentor and help me with the rewrite. I got an agent. They sent the book out. And sent it out. And sent it out. And it went nowhere.
I tried writing another book, and my mentor told me to dump it and start a third book. I did, but couldn’t get into the idea and the book never materialized.
Which is all okay, because today I’m a life coach, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and which allows me time to write if I want to, and I never would have gotten here if that book had been published.
You see, I can write part-time while I coach as a profession, but if that first book had been published, I would have seen myself as a mystery writer and nothing else. That’s the mindset I had at the time—“I’m going to be a mystery writer full-time.”
Now, having failed at something important to me, I realize that I don’t have to do only one thing. I don’t even have to do anything for the rest of my life. I may coach for five years and say, “I’m done.”
What my failure as a mystery writer taught me is that I have choices about what I do, and I’m never locked into any one thing. That was a gift I could never pay for or find anywhere else.