Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Living vicariously...through YOU? #IWSG


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Do you embark on dangerous missions? Do you wield a sword or rob banks? Me neither. We writers usually leave that sort of thing to the pros...our characters.

On the other hand, my hubby is a risk-taker. He does barrel rolls on his Sky Ski, and jumps triples off the diving board. For his recent birthday, he did a tandem jump out of an airplane.

People may assume I live vicariously through him, but I don't. I have no desire to do those things. Not even a little. My bucket list includes tamer options, like visiting Alaska and Mount Rushmore.

As I watched my hubby hurtle toward the ocean at 120 miles per hour, an idea hit me: some writers may live vicariously through other people, and even through their characters. But what if other people are living vicariously through you, the writer?

Yes, you.

Imagine all the folks out there who want to write down their thoughts, but don't. Or wish they could share stories, but think they can't.

If you're putting words on the page, or on the screen, or in a blog post, you're doing what other people wished they would do. If you've gathered the courage to submit your work, or if you've taken the leap into indie publishing, you're putting your heart and soul out there for others to read and offer judgement. That takes a parachute full of courage.

The next time you feel as if you don't have guts, or that everyone else is wild and adventurous, remember this: others are watching you. They may even be inspired by you. And maybe, just maybe, someone is living vicariously through you.

(Here's my hubby on his tandem jump)

Are you a risk taker? Do you live vicariously through someone else? Or do you feel like someone else lives vicariously through you? Have you ever jumped out of an airplane? Is it on your bucket list?

46 comments:

  1. Interesting post, Julie. Bit of both really, I use others' adventures, experiences for my books, but I have also lived that kind of life, sometimes wish I was less steam rollered!! :0)

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    1. Carole, it seems to be part of our nature, doesn't it? But you've done so much with writing, and have captured the imagination of so many kids. I'm sure others look upon you with admiration.

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  2. in some parts of my life I'm not a risk taker at all and live like a lil' scared mouse :), but there are other fields in which people say I'm fearless.... Risk takers definitely know how to live,because we do live once so why not live it fully

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    1. Dez, I definitely see you as fearless. You're "out there" and tackle fun subjects.

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  3. Intriguing thoughts! I'm not a huge risk taker - no jumping out of planes for me - although I did sign up for one when I was in college. Head cold kept me out and I never tried again! No desire to do it now! :)

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    1. Jemi, your comment reminds me of parasailing. Hubby and I were going to do it on our honeymoon but the timing didn't work out. Now I know for sure I'll never, ever do it!

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  4. Good point! We might be the example for others.
    I'm with you - not a risk taker at all. And I don't live through my characters.

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    1. Alex, we IWSG members definitely look to you as an example! Thanks for being a fearless leader :)

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  5. I used to dream of skydiving, but after 26 years as an air traffic controller, I've realized I'd rather not jump from a perfectly good airplane. These days, writing is scary enough for me.

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    1. LOL! Dean, I don't blame you at all. Those tandem guys did it ALL day. I don't know how they do it. But then again, my sons don't understand how I can read a book ALL day.

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  6. Yeah, sometimes I think I write because it allows me to experience things that I otherwise wouldn't be able to--either because they're too dangerous or because they're not real. Either way, it's fun to be in another world for a while.

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    1. Ken, I'm the same way when it comes to reading. I feel like I've lived through all kinds of adventures through the books I've read!

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  7. I never really think about myself as being a risk taker, but I guess I am. I am very aware of the people in my life watching me jump out of the proverbial plane by publishing my books, marketing my work, and talking to people. I'm not sure if they are living vicariously through me or hoping my shoot doesn't open.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

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    1. Elizabeth, if you're doing all that, you're definitely a risk-taker! I agree...let's hope our chutes open :)

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  8. I am told I am a risk taker, but it doesn't feel that way. I don't jump out of airplanes but I have moved across country twice with no knowledge of what awaited me. I did start my own business with a typewriter and $800. So yeah, I guess I am.

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    1. Karen, I'm blown away that you moved across country twice without knowing what awaited you. That took a lot of courage!

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  9. Thanks, Julie, for the uplifting post. I never thought of myself as an inspiration to others. I've always looked up to others. Huh. Sort of daunting. Like you, I'll leave the risk-taking--like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes for others like your hubby. And I'll live vicariously through my characters. :)

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    1. Diane, I have a feeling you're definitely an inspiration to others!

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  10. Oh I never thought about it that way! Adds a bit more to the pressure lol :)
    How brave your husband is! I could neverrrr

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    1. Karla, cool perspective, right? No pressure. Just keep being you :)

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  11. I like this post. It's kind of inspirational/motivational.

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  12. Nice message, Julie! I like it. :) My husband is like that, too...funny how opposites attract! I used to be more adventurous when I was younger...but much, much younger!

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    1. Elizabeth, I see you as being totally brave and adventurous when it comes to publishing. You take risks and teach the rest of us what to do!

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  13. It's funny that you say that. I just received the same comment from my niece. She thought I was very brave to put my work out there. It never occurred to my that I was brave. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Wow, that's so cool! It's nice that your niece was perceptive enough to notice.

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  14. Great point. For every writer who has written a novel or short story, even in rough draft, there are probably a hundred who think about it but don't do it. Visiting Alaska is on my bucket list, too.

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    1. I absolutely agree about those numbers...I thought about it for a long time before actually doing it!

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  15. I think every artist who creates something with pieces of their soul and then puts it "out there" is a super hero.

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    1. Leslie, I absolutely agree! That means we're super heroes :)

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  16. Great post. I'm definitely not a risk taker when it comes to doing things like your husband does. And I have no desire to do things like that.

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  17. Oh great point! I'm not a risk-taker but you're right, it takes courage and that is inspiring to others. :)

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  18. I love this idea. I'm not a risk taker either, but I've been pretty open with my kids about writing and its challenges. I want them to grow up knowing they can do hard things.

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  19. You never know who your actions inspire. It isn't just the daredevils who inspire admiration. Great point!

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  20. Definitely not a risk taker. The idea of others living vicariously on account of my writing is intriguing.
    lucindawhitney.com

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  21. I'm not really a risk-taker... and it's best to leave the extreme sports to the adrenalin-junkies!
    But you never know who may be inspired by your "go-getter" attitude... good point!

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  22. Interesting, Julie. I've never thought about things from that perspective. I need to widen the angle of the lens through which I view the world.

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  23. I've thought about sky diving or bungee jumping, but lately, it doesn't sound like something I have to do at least once in my life. I'm fine with milder things. Maybe I'll have a character do it and can 'experience' it that way.

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  24. I'm not a risk taker, but I do love adrenaline in my stories ... I'd love to have your husbands experiences... vicariously, that is, so that others can relive them vicariously through my stories, I think that's a great analogy you made here :-)

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  25. Awesome post, and kudos to your hubby for taking the plunge. I have considered sky diving, but I'm scared of heights and speed, so I haven't gone for it ~ yet! Bush #1 gives me hope that I still have time! I loved what you said: "... you're putting your heart and soul out there for others to read and offer judgement." There is nothing riskier in my estimation! Take care!

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  26. Some say I'm a risk taker. I do love to challenge myself on class V rivers in small rafts, but I wouldn't jump out of a plane unless I had no alternative. Water I can deal with. A lot of air from high up. . .not so much.

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  27. You get inspiration from others and, in return, they live vicariously through you, too. Lovely! What a beautiful connection!

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