Sunday, January 08, 2012

What Risks Are There in Writing?

Risk is not the first thing we think of when we hear the word “writer.”  More likely, the vision of a person safely tucked away in an office somewhere, bent over a typewriter comes to mind.

There are risks within the writing life, though.

Photo Courtesy of digitalart
 “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

While writing, there may be the temptation to stick with what we know, or not to push past our boundaries of what is comfortable.  When we do so, we end up with the ordinary.  We must write “brave and free.”  We have to continually be on the lookout for the unusual, and sometimes the uncomfortable.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

We risk exposing our inner selves to the world through our writing, thereby exposing ourselves to rejection.  We know that “it’s not personal,” but sometimes it is difficult to separate the person from the writer.  However, there can be greater pain in not finding our own voices, but in trying to play it safe, hiding our voice, and writing for other people’s approval.

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” TS Eliot.

We risk our sense of security every time we stretch ourselves and reach for our dreams.  When over seventy-five percent of the nation has stated they dream of being a writer, the odds can look pretty small that any one person will make it far enough to be called a success.

If we don’t stretch ourselves, though, we can never know if we could have been in the small percentage that did make it.  It would always be a question in the back of our minds, an itch we couldn't scrath.

While writing can be very risky to our stability and sense of self-worth, what are the risks of not being a writer?  Which risk do you choose?


  1. I suppose I'm a risk taker, lol. Because I would take all of these and more to keep writing. :)

  2. I would rather risk being a writer. I honestly don't know any other way to be. That means the occasional sore wrist is worth it. :)

  3. That's what I decided too, Cassie and David. All of those risks are what make writing a challenge. Not being a writer is a very bleak concept.

  4. Hi Lara,

    I gave up a solid job in dodgy nuclear waste disposal to become a writer and at least when it's late night my wife can still find me as I glow in the dark while jotting down notes:)

    PS... Thanks for the kind words... I appreciate them :)

  5. This is one of my favorite posts EVER! Some of those quotes are my very favorite of all time!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! Very inspirational. We all need these reminders!

  6. You're welcome Mark. It's always a pleasure to read your blog :)

    Thanks so much, Leigh. When I found those quotes, I had to find a way to use all of them. They are great - I find them inspirational, too!

  7. I will always choose the risk of being a writer. For me, the risk to my sanity if I opted NOT to write is scary. I'm pretty sure giving up something I often feel I need like air would turn me into that woman in the neighborhood that everyone points and whispers about when she walks by ... : )

  8. I agree, Pam. I think it would be very difficult to stop writing, now. At one time I could have walked away, but now, I'm not so sure.

  9. This post really hit home. You are so right, hat no matter what genre, there are risks writers take in putting thmeselves out there. It took me a while to crawl out from behind my anaonymous blog, but I feel so liberated now. Glad I found your blog!

    1. Welcome to being out of the closet! It does make it all a little more real to be known as a writer, but that only helps (me, at least) to continue on!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments below.


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