Friday, November 1, 2013

Life Lessons—Walk Through the Open Door

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

There are times when youhave your career all planned out. You know each step you are going to take and have it strategically planned down to the nano-second.

Then right in the middle of your best laid plan when you are least expecting it, a door opens right in front of you. It could be taking you in a different direction than you thought you’d go.

So what’s a writer to do? Stay put, or walk through the open door? It’s not always an easy decision to make. Here are some things that will help you determine which you should do:

  • 1. Is it a good opportunity that will keep your writing career moving forward? If so, consider walking through that door.
  • 2. If it is a good opportunity, why are you questioning whether you should walk through the door? Is it image? A diversion from your neatly mapped out plan for success? Getting to the root of your hesitation will shed a lot of light on what decision you should make.
  • 3. What if you walk through and it bombs? What’s the worse that can happen? Will you be worse off than if you stayed put and you became stagnant in your career?
  • 4. If you did walk through the open door, would the topic, offer, gig, or opportunity tarnish your reputation? For example, if you are a Christian women’s fiction author and you were given the opportunity to write erotica, that’s a no brainer.
  • 5. If the open door took you in a much different course, would you be happy in that new place if you were successful at it? 

This is always a challenge to work through and determine the best course of action for your career. And, it’s not even something you can follow someone else’s example. Each open door is unique because YOU are unique.

While you should never throw caution to the wind and run through just any open door, neither should you discount it just because it wasn’t exactly what you were expecting.

I promise you, there isn’t a writer out there who’s career followed the exact same path they envisioned, yet they are very happy and fulfilled in them. You can be, too.

If you feel you should walk through it, you’ll find the courage. You—and the world—will be better off for it!

Have you been faced with an open door recently? Struggling with what to do? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @MagellanCoach.


  1. This was so perfect for me. I recently took on a 2nd job which I let go of after only being there three days. I couldn't do it. It drained me from writing, which is my passion and God's calling. I thought it was a door to go through but God revealed through several circumstances in those three days that it was NOT a move for me. Beth

    1. So glad you found your way, Beth. It's amazing how twists and turns in your life move you to where you are supposed to be. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Going through doors I had no intention of going through has literally saved my life on several occasions. I usually pray before making decisions, especially important ones, Sometimes there is no time to pray, especially when driving. In those instances I have found there is a small, still inner voice that urges me one way or another. I have found following that voice is almost always the right decision. John 3:8 makes clear we need to be willing to go and be where God needs us to be. Also sometimes it requires us to say things we would rather not say. That becomes clear the more you read the Bible and really get to know God. It has taken me well over half a century to learn that. You will find the voice gets stronger and easier to hear the more time you spend in the Word.

  3. God is always taking me through doors I didn't expect. I'm loving the ride!

  4. Good questions to ask ourselves, Reba. I just had a door open (nothing to do with writing), but these apply to help make my decision. Thanks.