Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Play It Safe? Or Take A Chance?

Take a chance. Because you never know how absolutely perfect something could turn out to be.

Are you a risk taker? Or do you always play it safe? Where would we be today if myriad numbers of men and women had not taken a chance? With an invention or starting a business or producing a play for the theater any number of things? 

Taking a chance means weighing all options, swallowing a mammoth dose of hope, and diving in headfirst. We can fail miserably but it could also turn out absolutely perfect as the quote above states. How will you know if you don't take that chance? What about those who always play it safe? Don't you think they might always wonder what if....? If you do take a chance and it doesn't work out, you're back at square one and can move on from there. If your opportunity involved money, you might take a little longer to move on, but you will do so eventually in most cases.

What about writers? Are you willing to take a chance with a publisher who doesn't respond in a short time? Would you rather see your work published quickly for no-pay or a few cents per word, or would you consider taking a chance with the longer wait in hopes of hitting a prestigious market that pays well? I've done it both ways, and believe me, the publication after a lengthy wait turned out to be far more satisfying as well as being a better clip for my resume. 

What about stepping outside your comfort zone in the kind of writing you do? Most writers find a niche and tend to stay within its parameters. That's fine, but throw caution to the wind once in awhile and write in a completely different genre. The keynote speaker at our Kansas Authors state convention next month is the present poet laureate of Kansas. So, we think we know that poetry is her specialty. But guess what? She has a brand new novel just published. I'm looking forward to meeting her and learning how the poet laureate came to write a novel.

I've run across more than one writer who quit their secure job to become a full-time writer. Taking a chance? For sure! Does it work? For some, it does, but others get discouraged when the assignments and acceptances don't come rolling in the door. At least, they've all given it a try and they found out if it will work for them or if maybe they need to start searching for a job with a secure income. Even those people will probably continue to write in their off-hours. 

If you have a decision to make about trying something new, weigh all the options, take a deep breath and go with your gut feeling. Even with all the facts on the table, I find that my gut tells me a whole lot of good stuff! One note of caution--if you're the kind of person who becomes physically ill worrying after trying something risky, maybe you're better off playing it safe. Your health isn't worth it.

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