The creative life may be one of saying “yes,” but it necessarily also is one of saying “no.” To say “yes” to one thing is to say “no” to another thing. Both answers are frightening; the one incurs risk, and the other closes doors.
At least, “no” seems to close doors. It does in the sense that a person stops pursuing a particular aim – if only for a while. The person may be able to revisit that door at some point and to go through it. Then again, the door may remain closed, but many other doors will open as a result of saying “no” to that one door.
Choosing to say “no” is difficult, especially for some people. It’s hard to turn away opportunities when one is struggling to make ends meet. It’s tempting to accept an opportunity that seems almost too good to be true except for the niggling sense of doubt or uncertainty that accompanies it. It can be problematic to say “no” when presented with opportunities from friends who are trying to help.
Perhaps the only way to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” is to take a closer look at one’s creative aims. Where does one want to go? How will one get there? What risks should be taken, should be told “yes,” and which opportunities – doors – should be closed or told “no”?