I don't like to quote extensively from other writer's blogs, but I had to share this. Sometimes it's hard, lonely, going the indie route but Joe's right. Being a writer is risky, but if a person never takes risks then ... well, I won't say it's impossible to get a reward, but I think it's less likely.
In any case, I needed this pep talk so I'm sharing it.
I started this blog seven years ago, and I've long preached that is important to take chances, to experiment, to try new things. I'm also a believer in going all-in. This isn't a Newbie's Guide to Leading a Balanced and Happy Life. It's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. If you want to get lucky, you have to gamble first.The article started out as a guest post, but Tom brought up the topic of risk and Joe caught the ball and ran with it. Go Joe!
Gambling in this case means devoting time and effort to something that may never pay off. It means devoting your energy to something beyond what the world says you should be doing.
This isn't simply following your dream. It's chasing after it, full speed, until you catch it.
We're all, to a certain degree, risk-averse. It's scary to fail. Failure can mean a loss of time and money. It can mean bad feelings and disappointing others.
But if you aren't failing, you aren't trying hard enough. You aren't taking enough chances.
A lot of people dislike me. They dislike my tone and attitude. They dislike my opinions. They dislike my writing. They dislike my blog.
I. Don't. Care.
We could all benefit from caring less about the opinions of strangers. Especially since, let's face it, there are so many pinheads in the world.
That's a learned behavior, as we all grow up seeking approval.
Taking risks can also be learned.
It'll be difficult, because it is unnatural and uncomfortable. It requires unlearning many of the coping mechanisms you've learned. It requires failure, and in many cases ridicule, monetary loss, and depression.
But no one ever became successful without taking chances. If you think about it, many of the important things in your life--the things that you're proudest of and that define you--are all about taking risks. Things as ordinary as asking or agreeing to a date that ends up in a long term relationship. Going to that job interview. Making an offer on that house.
Self-publishing that novel.
Risks are risky. True. But they can also be rewarding.
So what chances have you taken today?
- Guest post by Tom Schreck
I tweeted the link to Joe's post yesterday, but I found this section of it very moving and thought it well worth sharing again.
Photo credit: A Newbie's Guide To Publishing