If you are a fan of one of the greatest shows of all time, “Friends”, then there’s a good chance the following image enters your mind whenever you hear/read the word ‘pivot’. I know it does for me.
But for the purposes of this blog post I’m going to ask you to think about the word pivot in more of the basketball sense. If you are not familiar with basketball let me help you visualize this move that a player uses multiple times over the course of one game. To pivot, a player’s foot (Foot A) maintains contact with the floor while the other foot (Foot B) is used to rotate the body as many times as needed. The purpose of the pivot is to avoid the defensive player and find an opening to take a shot or pass the ball. It’s a simple maneuver that creates great opportunity.
I’m sure the question you are asking right now is, “What does any of this have to do with writing?” I’m getting to that, I promise. Please stick with me. If you are like me, then you’ve spent the past several weeks at home feeling scattered, scared, sad, angry, lonely, and overwhelmed with all that is going on in our world. One moment you’re feeling grateful for what you have and the next you’re bawling over the ruined tacos you were supposed to have for dinner. How can anyone possibly find a crevice of creative space in their brain to write for children during these times? The answer: we have to pivot.
Pivot away from the heavy, negative thoughts that suffocate your mind. Pivot away from worry and fear. Pivot toward new possibilities and the opportunities you weren’t able to see before because you had both feet stuck to the ground. Pivot.
Has this thought been plaguing your passion?
“I can’t write anything new.”
*Use this time to polish your craft by watching webinars of authors/illustrators that you admire.
*Use this time to help others with their writing by offering to critique their work.
*Use this time to work on building/revamping your author website so when things have improved, you will emerge ready to present yourself as a professional.
*Use this time to read in the genre that you write to gain knowledge of today’s market so when you’re ready, you can create something magnificent and marketable.
Changing your mindset can be hard at first. Someone once told me that sometimes we need to borrow others’ beliefs in our ability until we are strong enough to believe in ourselves. Maybe that’s true for you. Well, here you go: I believe in you. You are amazing. You are strong. You are worthy. You can do hard things.
Please don’t choose to stay stuck. The world needs the stories only you can tell. You can’t control what is happening in the world, not now, not ever. But you can control what you choose to do with this moment. You can control the attitude you choose to bring to your work everyday. You can control the pivot.
Ball’s in your court.