Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom #11 - Opportunities

Tux can hear a dog bark a block away outside the park we walk in. He immediately goes into his intrepid hunter’s 3-point stance. All the while that’s going on, there’s a Robin not three feet away calmly watching, and, if I’m not mistaken, laughing.

Opportunities Passed By

While Tux seldom passes up an opportunity to eat, he often passes on other opportunities. These days, he’s not so much into chasing after things he knows he can’t catch - like Robins or rabbits. However, he hasn’t yet figured out that he can’t catch a squirrel even though he’s been chasing them for 11 years. He’s particularly interested in those squirrels who run along the top of the fence, a fence, I might add, that is nearly six feet fall. It hasn’t occurred to him that of all the things he no longer chases, the fence squirrels should be at the top of his list, but aren’t.

Passing Up Opportunities

Humans are very much like that, too. We pass up opportunities to engage with other people, perhaps become life-long friends, because the other person is too old, too heavy, so not with it, etc., etc., ad nauseum. We will never know how much the rejected person might have enriched our lives had we simply paused and looked beyond the outer shell.

Writers often pass up opportunities, too. How many times have you declined to enter a contest because you say to yourself, “I can’t possibly win that contest?” Or, have you ever not discussed your book(s) because you think no one is really interested? Both of these scenarios are great opportunities for you as a writer. Or, easier perhaps than tooting your own horn, how many times have you decided not to set up a Twitter account because it is too this or too that? It’s simple and easy to set the account up just as it is simple and easy to start following people, like agents and editors and publishers. You don’t have to post a hundred times a day, in fact, you don’t want to post that often. But now is the time to start working on your name recognition. Don’t pass up this opportunity to do at least that.

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