Sliding doors and ‘what if’ moments

Do you ever think about the opportunities you turned down? I’m not really one for regrets but I definitely ponder those Sliding Doors moments more as I get older.

About 5 years back, I was offered the opportunity to write a Doctor Who story featuring Bernice Summerfield. I’m a massive, massive fan, so this should have been a no-brainer. 

I said no.

I think about this a lot. A LOT. What was wrong with me? Why did I say no?

Firstly – and honestly – there was definitely a fear factor. What if I did a terrible job? What if I failed at writing for something I love so much? I might never come back from the kick in the confidence.

It was more than that, though. I’m not usually one to let fear stop me doing anything.

At the time, my first novel Beat The Rain had only recently been published and I was working on my second. 

Business was struggling at the time, I had two young children (and I was at home with them as primary carer). I was struggling to keep my head above water as it was. 

I knew if I took it on, it would be that thing too far. The focus and energy it would take to write it would have damaged the other areas of my life and might well have pushed me over the edge.

I don’t regret it per se because it was definitely right to say no at that time… but it doesn’t mean I don’t look back and wonder ‘what if’ and wish I’d been able to.

For most of us, writing is always a balancing act needing to be juggled with other life priorities.

Do you have any of your own ‘what if’ moments?

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