Mistake #124 Not Following Your Heart

I'm a fairly regular reader to the blog What Not To Do As a Writer written by the ever talented and sailor-mouthed Lisa Kilian. On her blog she lists all of the possible mistakes a writer can/could/will make, some of which we've all learned by experience. Lisa's blog has been one of the few voices on the internet to speak to other writers and admit that on some days: it all sucks, and on other days: you suck.

This week she posted that she's "going rogue" and no longer going to update her site anymore, although nothing will be taken down. Her life and dreams are leading her in another direction and I think I'd like to tip my hat to her and say, in tribute, that Mistake #124 should be Not Following Your Heart.

There's no unwritten rule that says she must continue a blog into eternity and her heart is pulling her in a new blog direction. While there are unwritten rules which suggest turning your back on social media and blogging about writing will kill you as an author, I think Lisa is making the right decision. If she's not feeling it anymore, then why put herself through blogging constantly about something she's no longer driven to write about. None of us want to read the blogs of people who have lost the enthusiasm to blog. That's like eating pie the baker says is "good enough."

A mistake any writer or person can make is to turn their back on themselves while leaving everyone else satisfied.

I'd rather have someone flip me their middle finger and look to their own new and ever changing passions than continue nodding and saying yes about something they don't care about or care to write about anymore. What if JK Rowling decided around book four that she didn't care about wizards anymore but continued anyway? Wouldn't the story have suffered? And wouldn't we all call her out on it and say to our friends, "Yeah, read the first three books, but you don't need to know how it ends."

If you're not passionate about whatever you're doing anymore, then you need to get your ass off this train without worrying what everyone else thinks.

"Everyone else," the group, the cult, the fam, the friends: They don't matter as much as the person inside of you that needs to feel recharged rather than burnt out. It doesn't matter what I think about you moving to Nepal to study a third type of elephant, or what I think if you're wanting to start a jazzercize club for pregnant women over 50, and it doesn't matter what I think if you want to go to beauty school. What do you want?

What do you (as the only person in your skin and in your mind) want your footprint in the sand to leave behind? Do you even want your foot in the sand? I congratulate Lisa on her choice to shut down this beautiful running train and decide to step off. I hope we all have the courage to follow our hearts and not make a big mistake.

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