Welcome, Insecure Writer's Support Group peeps!
Recently, I was with my sixteen-year-old son and two of his friends. We were breaking a teeny tiny little rule. I swear it was small. But still, breaking this little rule made me very nervous. One of my son's friends asked, "Mrs. Musil, did you ever get in trouble in high school?"
My honest answer? No. There were plenty of things I did wrong--I even broke some minor rules--but trouble? Definitely not.
I realized then that I've always played it safe and stayed out of trouble. I have a strong aversion to risk. I'll never be a Steve Jobs, who took huge risks with big failures and grand successes. I've taken small risks with small failures and successes.
In the publishing world, aversion to risk can hurt a writer. And different choices carry different risks: traditional, small pub, indie. Are play-it-safe writers destined to fail?
Here's the way I see it: even if you're not taking gravity-defying leaps, you're likely taking huge risks for you.
- Do you write and let other people see your words? HUGE leap.
- Are you creating new material and revising previous manuscripts, despite setbacks and rejections? HUGE leap.
- Do you send work out, despite the stomach-clenching fear? HUGE leap.
If you're like me--afraid to take risks--do it anyway. Even if the risks are small. Need inspiration? Check out these cool quotes I came across while writing this post.
"When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap." -- Cynthia Heimel, Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics
"Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at." -- Author Unknown
"Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking." -- Tim McMahon
"I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" -- Frank Scully
Do you boldly take risks, or do you play it safe? If you've taken publishing risks, was it difficult to step out of your comfort zone?
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