Janus and a Writer’s Endless Possibilities

Greetings, readers and writers! Today I am going to give you an exclusive glimpse into the chaos which is my mind. Namely, I’m going to walk you through one of my random tangents in which I connect two seemingly-unrelated subjects: the Roman god Janus and the endless possibilities available to writers.

First, a brief mythology lesson. Janus is the Roman god of beginnings, endings, doorways, passages, gates, time, and duality. He is depicted with two faces, one looking to the past and one looking to the future. Janus is an uniquely Roman god, meaning that the ancient Greeks had no equivalent.

Before you ask, no, the month of January was not named after Janus. Many people attribute the month to him–and it would make perfect sense–but ancient Roman farmer’s almanacs claim that it’s named for Juno.

Image retrieved from Wikipedia

Now that you know more about Janus, you probably have a rough idea as to why I’ve connected him with all the opportunities available for a writer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about choices lately, especially choices I’m having to make regarding my career and education. I’m busy, overly tired, and have way too much to do. It forces me to prioritize and make tough decisions. I’m even having to decide how to use my writing skills. These sorts of decisions are common among writers.

Everyone faces numerous choices on a daily basis, and this is especially true for writers when handling their career and craft. Some of the most basic choices writers have to make include:

Prose or poetry?

Fiction or non-fiction?

Short story or novel?

Traditional publishing or self-publishing?

Maintain a conventional job while writing or become a full-time writer?

This list just barely scratches the surface. We have to decide what to write, when to write, how to publish our writing, how to market it, the choices we have to make just go on and on. Janus really has his hands full with us.

Just as there exists a duality to Janus, so there is also a duality to having all these choices. On the one hand, having to make so many decisions is draining. Sometimes it feels like we will never reach the end of the tunnel–or worse, we’ll make the wrong decision and throw our careers entirely off track and force ourselves to start all over. On the other hand, so many opportunities means that when one door closes, another one opens. Even when we feel like we have no other option, we can find another way if we just look.

Janus is the god of beginnings and ends. The two concepts are virtually inseparable; everything that begins must come to an end, and everything that ends once had a beginning. That’s why choices are so overwhelming, but it’s also why they are so good for us. We end a chapter with each decision we make, but we also begin a new one. The possibilities are endless, and so are the paths we can take in order to fulfill our writing ambitions.

That’s my mind for you: a little bit random, a little bit pointless, and way more complicated than it needs to be.


Designed by Stephanie Hoogstad circa 2011

One thought on “Janus and a Writer’s Endless Possibilities”

  1. here’s an easy way out: Go with what you like 😉
    if you can do what you like for a living, great! 😀
    If you can’t, then do something for a living, and do what you like at your free time O:)

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