Are you at a crossroads?
During the past few months, I’ve been thinking about why I can’t bring myself to write consistently as I did years ago. In my pondering, I discovered several reasons like fear, insecurities, and lack of systems (or habits or discipline). But these past few weeks, I realized that there are two main reasons.
First, I wrote mainly for money and to attain a certain lifestyle of working whenever and wherever I want. Since 2016, I’ve been working from home. I’ve been earning money doing things I like (at least on most days) and I’ve also been working whenever and wherever I wanted. Even though I’m not earning much from writing, I have reached my monetary and lifestyle goals through my day job. Thus, I lost my main reason for writing and I’ve been struggling to find a more purposeful reason.
Second, I enjoyed web development and coding. On some days when I want to go back to writing, I am ambivalent because I feel I can use the time to develop my coding skills. But, I always end up not studying, writing, nor developing any skill.
Now, my role in the company I’m working with has changed so much from coding to managing. Yes, I’ve been promoted, I’m earning more, but I realized how much I missed coding and having more predictability in my day job. Now, almost 80–90% of my tasks are about managing over 20 clients at a time and our team. And the rest of my tasks is about doing actual work.
I’m at a crossroads again because I’m considering leaving my day job and I don’t know what to do next. I can’t just quit my day job because of my financial responsibility as a father of two, I also have very limited time after work and after our kids are asleep. Thus, with my free time, do I improve my coding skills during my free time so I can apply to other companies as a developer? There are at least two to three languages and/or frameworks that I need to study so I can apply as a front-end developer. Or do I improve my writing skills with the hope that I can make it a career in the future?
Last night, I finally made a decision to devote my free time to writing. And I wish to share with you two things that helped me make a decision.
1. Pray about your decision
After trying to discern things on my own, I finally surrendered my decision through prayer.
We studied the book of Exodus some weeks ago. And while praying last night, I remembered a verse from Exodus:
Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God answered: I will be with you.
Exodus 3:11–12A NAB
I’m a segurista. I want to be 100% sure of a decision before I actually make a decision. I’m afraid to make wrong decisions and I almost always end up making no decision and doing nothing.
But during my prayer time last night, I realized that no matter what my decision will be (as long as it conforms to the commandments and the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church), God will be with me. Whether I pursue coding or writing, I must not be afraid because I will not be alone no matter what road I take.
Sometimes, we just can’t make a decision because of the fear of failure or the fear of making a wrong decision. But I realized that no matter what I choose, I will not make a wrong decision if God is with me.
2. What would you do if money were not an issue?
Last night, I finally rediscovered why I started to write in the first place. I wanted to make a contribution through writing. Like how authors and writers helped me especially during the times when I battled depression, I also wanted to help at least one person through writing, to help him sort things out in his life, to show him that there is hope and that God is present, and to make his day even a little lighter.
If money or career were not an issue, I would still prefer to write.
Coding would be faster to learn for me because it’s objective. It’s precise. Developers are in demand and I already have a list of companies where I can apply as a developer. On the other hand, writing is subjective. An article can go in many different directions. I’m still finding my voice. The career isn’t as straightforward. It may take years for me to have a career in writing. The uncertainty actually scares me.
But in my heart, I’ve always wanted to write. And the desire to write and to make a contribution through writing drowns my fears.
Commit to the path you have chosen
Now that I have made a decision, it’s important to stop looking back or at the road not taken. Otherwise, I would remain ambivalent about and unsure of my decision.
I now have to commit to my decision by showing up every single day, by creating systems that will support my decision, by developing my habits, and by actually writing.
The decision still scares me. But, it goes back to trusting that God is with me in this path that I have chosen.
How about you? Are you at a crossroads? I hope this helps or contributes to your decision.
P.S. And when I have more time, I think I’ll still study coding just for the fun of it.