On top of some more rigorous reading, I’m working through Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors right now. It’s more of a coffee table book, almost, and it’s nice to flip through a few pages every morning. The book is a collection of perspectives on life and career successes, and Ferriss begins with chef and writer Samin Nosrat.
Nosrat offers some compelling anecdotes about how her career has developed, and she includes this line that really got me thinking: “I’ve learned to envision the ideal end to any project before I begin it now — even the best gigs don’t last forever. Nor should they.”
I didn’t plan to end my work at Scene after five years. (I actually had something closer to two years in mind when I started.) But it’s a neatly tied ending to my story there, and, especially as 2017 went along, I definitely kept my impending exit in mind. I put a colossal amount of energy into what became my final feature for the magazine, and I secured the hundreds of contacts that I had made during my time. I even set up a few side projects that I’ll be able to pursue in 2018, which will link directly back to my alt-weekly gig. It’s over now, and it fits perfectly into my burgeoning career.
But, no, I didn’t envision such a fine ending when I started the Scene job in 2012. I didn’t have a clear Point B — a defined sense of closure that I could slide into my career when all was said and done. It’s worth thinking about, though.
Every opportunity is stepping stone in a writer’s life.