When I talk about taking risks, I’m not talking about doing what daredevils do. I’m not talking about the climber who tackles the untried rock face sans safety lines and gear; or the gambler who puts everything down on his favorite number as the wheel spins; or the successful woman who sheds her worldly goods and walks away from her un-lived life. Nor am I talking about the heroes—the first responder who runs toward danger or the brave soldier who refuses to leave anyone behind.
I’m talking about the not so dramatic but nevertheless scary risks we all have to take as creatives—as artists, actors, authors, poets—every time we put our works out there for the world to see and judge. Or worse, … ignore.
And once out in the world, we still must take those risks when it’s time to shepherd our works along to a wider audience. When we have to ask for help. When we know our work is being well received and still have to ask.
Living with our hearts open, our soft spots exposed, our tender feelings vulnerable to rejection is daunting. It keeps many a creative from sharing their gifts with the waiting world. The risks involved make us feel that it would be easier to keep our imaginations in check and our stories to ourselves. But we know, underneath it all, that that’s not true.
If you’re sitting on a dream, take the risk. Then take the next. And so on until your heart swells with the joy of being your own champion, your own version of a dare devil, your own best self.
Here’s my latest risk straight from my discomfort zone: I’m asking all my readers who have enjoyed, liked, loved, or been moved by Other Wise to consider posting a review online.
A simple honest sentence or two and some stars—yes, the stars do matter—will help potential new readers find the book. It’s necessary to continue the work of book-shepherd to Margaret’s story even as I work on the second in the series. (It doesn’t matter that you didn’t buy the book from Amazon, only that you have an account. You can go there and post a review. You don’t even have to give your name.)
And then, since I’m asking, maybe you could tell two friends, or five, or …
I won’t know whether you respond or not, so do what feels comfortable. Maybe it will feel like taking a little risk. Maybe it will nudge you into sending your own gems out. Maybe it will just feel good.
[Please leave a comment (it won’t show up immediately) and let us know how you’re doing and what you think.]