A Life Lesson From Robert Frost


On the Robert Frost Trail

There is something about a walk in the forest to calm my senses. My mind is always whirling with what I’ve written and what I want to write as well as the regular family business, you know, the worries about children and grandchildren.

On our recent trip through New England, Robert and I came upon the Robert Frost Wayside Trail by the town of Middlebury,Vermont. It’s a wonderful walk through the woods that the poet loved, the woods he captured in his poems.

The Road Not Taken

Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken is the one I recall from my childhood. His poem resonates as who amongst us has not thought about the road not taken. Not that the one we’re on is fraught with difficulty, but rather we ask ‘what if we had taken the other road?’ How would our life be different?

What takes us down one path and not the other? Sometimes, it’s because the other seems too hard, too unfathomable. Or maybe it’s too easy to take the one that we think others want us to take, rather than the one our own spirit is yearning to travel. Or maybe, as in Frost’s poem, they both look roughly the same and we choose blindly, unsure of the outcome.

For awhile now, I’ve been traveling the path that leads to traditional publishing. Though I’ve had agents in the past for my screenplays, and have one for my acting, an agent for my novel has eluded me, even though several well-known NY agents expressed some interest. But in the end, my story wasn’t one they wanted to champion, even though I’ve been told it’s intriguing and written well. It’s just not their cup of tea.

It’s discouraging to get rejections but I know I’m not alone as most established authors have experienced rejections in their writing journey. It’s the nature of the business.

Robert Frost

Beaver Pond on Robert Frost Trail

And so, I’ve decided to take the other road, and self-publish my novel in the fall of 2014 (so exciting). I am encouraged in this as many authors have blazed this trail ahead of me. At this time, I don’t expect it to be a better road. There are pros and cons for both. It’s just a different road with its own rewards.

How about you? Are there paths out there you haven’t taken? To go out on one’s own is daunting. Are you thinking of trying a new direction? Whether it’s a move to an exotic land, a gamble in business, writing about something forbidden, we all have those impulses. But fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of the unknown keeps us locked in the same pattern, afraid to take a step on the road not taken.

My inner voice tells me it’s time to try the other path. What is your inner voice telling you? I’d love to hear from you.


4 thoughts on “A Life Lesson From Robert Frost

  1. Karen Dodd

    Ah, Diana, I’m glad you have decided to go the “indie” route to get your message out to the world. And who knows? You might end up taking BOTH roads. I have often heard of Authors who did well on Amazon and were then offered contracts. Just be open to magical outcomes (I know you are:)
    Karen Dodd recently posted…The (book) Baby is Almost Birthed!My Profile

  2. Marylin Warner

    Diana, “The Road Not Taken” is one of my favorite, most often referred to poems. In my h.s. English classes, each years sophomores had to choose a poem or essay and commit it to memory. They recited their choices–and explained the importance of choosing it–in a presentation to the class. Of all the possible choices, “The Road Not Taken” was certainly one of the most popular.
    It does remind us of our paths, our choices, and consequences.
    Marylin Warner recently posted…GEORGE, ROSEY AND MARYMy Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      So much wisdom there. I’m in awe of poets like Robert Frost who have a way with words that leave us with a-has. It was so wonderful walking the trail in his neck of the woods and reading all his inspirational poems. He was so in touch with nature, which is for me, one of life’s great teachers.

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