Not only had I worked my butt off for five years to get to that point (and let me clarify that I really wasn't that far--but I did have my foot in the door), but I also had more than a few friends who thought I was crazy to walk away--and told me so. Not to mention there were quite a few annoying people who saw it as a sign of failure when I left LA and returned to my hometown. (Yeah, there was a lot of "well look who came crawling back...")
It was scary and hard and I lost a lot of sleep during that time. But I got through it by reminding myself of one of my favorite movie quotes ever, from You've Got Mail.
When Meg Ryan's character **SPOILER ALERT** announces that she's going to close her bookstore because it's losing money, her friend Birdie tells her that closing the store is the brave thing to do. And when Meg Ryan agues that it isn't, Birdie tells her this:
"You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life."
I have clung to those words because they are so true. Changing your mind can feel like failure--but it's not. It's being brave enough to admit that you want to have a different life than the one you'd been working toward.
In my case, I'd realized that I just didn't belong in Hollywood. That I'd never be happy there. The cowardly thing really would've been staying there and being miserable, just because I was too afraid of what people would think. So I dared to imagine that I could have a different life. I figured out what it was I loved (writing) and I went after it.
Do some people think I'm crazy? Probably. Especially since I still don't have a book on the shelves with my name on it. But I'm okay with my choice. And hopefully someday I'll reach the dream I've been chasing.
I'm not entirely sure why I've been thinking about this--I walked away from Hollywood almost seven years ago. But I had that quote on my mind and I thought I would share it--along with how it has helped me--because I wonder if some of you have felt the same way at some point.
Maybe some of the people in your life think you're crazy for writing a book. Maybe you feel bad that writing takes time away from other things. Maybe you're querying or subbing and dealing with the heartache of rejection and wondering how to keep going. Whatever it is, I wanted you to know how brave you are.
You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.
Be proud of yourself for being brave enough to do it. You should be! And someday it will pay off and you'll be so glad you did it.
What about you guys? Any quotes from books or movies help you through a difficult time? (Or is that just me?) If nothing else, anyone a fan of You've Got Mail? I swear I could watch that movie a thousand times and not get tired of it. :)