The Shadowy Road Not Taken #IWSG #Amwriting


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are: Julie Flanders,Shannon Lawrence,Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂


The best way I know to end 2017, is with a famous poem by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost (1874-1963). Thank you Wikisource, for posting it so that I could share the inspiring words, too.

The Road Not Taken  (1916)
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost deserves all the praise he received and continues to receive for his literary genius. He summarized a common human question eloquently in the above poem.

Which path do I take, right or left, shadowed or sunshine, less or more work?

Then at the end of the beautiful piece, he reflects on his decision, did I pick the right one?

Looking back at 2017, I  set my goals and picked my road. Not that I can say I picked The Road Not Taken, but I did make huge decisions and proceeded to act on them. I obtained many of the goals I set. Some of them slipped right through my fingers. My life has most definitely changed because of each and every one, and I too, sigh, now that I face another new year.

My list in a nutshell:

  • I am honored to have a short story selected and published by this amazing IWSG group and Dancing Lemur Press LLC. The decision came at just the right time for me. I needed a push. It was a beautiful and amazing push I’ll always be grateful for and honored.
  • I attended a writing workshop in KC and met more than a few talented and inspiring authors. I spoke with three agents and drew the attention of two.
  • Where I fell short is the execution. I think I rushed my submission because I didn’t believe when I pitched my story, one of them would actually want to read the whole entire thing—right then. I guess I didn’t believe in myself.

So what’s next for me?

Frost states it perfectly:

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

This month’s IWSG question asks, “As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?”

  • Could I have done something different?
  • Should I have done something different?
  • What am I not doing, and need to do?

We can all say we would have done something different or would have made a better choice if we had a chance.

The truth? We can’t go back. Experience shines the light on our mistakes. All we can do is dust our hands off and be the person or the writer or the dreamer we aim to be.

Happy IWSG Day! I can’t promise the shadows will fade, but I can say if you love it, keep going.

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on December 6, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. I have to keep that in mind. Keep moving forward.

  2. Insightful stuff. I’m second-guessing so many of my decisions right now, and it’s holding me back from something big. I just don’t know how to get over this hump.

    • Is it the decision that’s tough? I get overwhelmed with choices and then sometimes I find a friend and play Rock Paper Scissors or flip a coin…lol I am terrible with choices 🙂

  3. We can’t worry about the path we didn’t take, only the one we’re on.
    Glad you submitted to the IWSG anthology last year!

  4. As long as we are moving forward. Although sometimes I feel I’m still looking for the path.

  5. You’re absolutely right. We can’t go back. Here’s to going forward and writing all the words!

  6. Believing in ourselves is often the biggest challenge, isn’t it? Not believing in ourselves can be among our biggest mistakes. Alas, you are a member of a large group.

  7. That is the perfect poem. Reading that, so many years ago, started me on a path of not regretting decisions, knowing there was a purpose even if I didn’t see it.

  8. Another thought-provoking post as usual 🙂 Looking back is helpful but only if you don’t get bogged down in regretting the choices you made.

  9. Hi, I’m new to IWSG and happy to meet you! I have always loved the Robert Frost poem.

    And I like a quote by Thoreau about dancing to the tune of a different drummer, which is similar.

    But I always wondered how Frost knew that the road he’d taken had truly made all the difference. I would love for him to have written a poem to explain or define the differences!

  10. I love that poem. It applies to so much of life. I wonder how long it took him to get it perfect? I always assume the great writers got it right on the first draft, but have learned that’s just silly. We keep working. We keep learning and trying. I’m with you, try not to regret…learn from the mistakes and move forward. May whatever goals you didn’t hit this year be the first struck off your list next year.

  11. tyreanmartinson

    Yes, let’s keep going! I have some regrets from this year, but I have some peace, too. I found myself on a drafting path – one that is going to meander for a while, and I’ve decided that’s okay.

  12. I’m glad your acceptable for the IWSG anthology came at the time you needed it. Good for you for making huge decisions and for acting on them. 🙂

  13. Congratulations on the short story! It’s so nice when something positive happens just when you need it.

  14. Wonderful poem! All of us tend to wonder: did we choose the right path? But I think all the paths are the right ones. Whatever way we opt to go is the right direction at that moment. I wish you all the best on your chosen path, Erika, for the next year and many more years ahead.

  15. Congratulations on your story being selected for the anthology. That is a big boost. Now about your poem. I first read the The Road Not Taken as I was in my senior year in High School. Needless to say, that poem latched onto my heart and it has been there ever since. I know this poem by memory and every time I need a boost, The Road Not Taken rises in my heart.
    Wishing you a lovely December and a safe crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    • Thank you so much Pat. I really appreciate your kind words and your affinity for Frost’s poem. I am not sure how he squeezed the breadth of a novel into such a short piece but it’s perfect. Have a lovely December too 🙂

  16. It’s good to see you looking forward. When I look back at my year, I’m not sure there’s anything within my control that I would have changed. Everything that wasn’t within my control, though? Well, I certainly would’ve opted for far less illness and injury! 🙂

  17. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished! I love the lessons you’ve pulled from the year; sometimes, I think I spend so much time looking back that I forget I can’t go back. I can only go forward, do better, and keep on aiming for the next thing.

    Thanks for this post! And for commenting on my blog. 🙂


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