Risk with the letter R

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I’m not a risk-taker. At least, I don’t think of myself as one. I would never jump off of or out of…anything, unless, possibly, it was on fire. I don’t gamble because I don’t see the fun in handing my money over to a faded, glitzy place with an all-you-can-eat shrimp and coronary buffet.

But those risks aren’t the only ones in life.

Writing, itself, is a risk. Whenever you write, you are putting a piece of yourself out into the world, leaving it exposed to the elements, even if you are the only one to see it. When you share that piece, you allow people to ooh and ah over your babies. But you also give them the chance to call them ugly and make mean memes about them. (The internet is a weird place).

Exposing your inner workings is really the core of any art form. If art says nothing about humanity — especially the artist’s humanity — it’s usually tough to connect to it. But sharing that is difficult.

It’s risky.

So even if we have no desire to skirt a mountain (or not quite skirt a mountain) in a wingsuit, or drive a race car at 300 miles an hour, or eat a long expired yogurt, we are all risk takers. Just being brave enough to share our view on our corner of the world is, itself, a risk.

And one well worth taking.

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21 thoughts on “Risk with the letter R

  1. I agree with you. Sharing the details of your life + the way in which you think are a risk that most people won’t even try for fear of mockery, or worse. Yet personal bloggers do it all the time, without expectation of applause or understanding. We’re a quietly intrepid lot, aren’t we?

  2. Hence, my blog is anonymous. I had a blog ages ago (before facebook was around) and a) none of my friends saw fit to comment, whether they visited or not, b) my mom told me she popped in, read one post which happened to be about a wild party, and decided never to return.
    Stay away from my thoughts, friends and family!

    …although, I have jumped out of things – bungee-jumping, so far, and I would go sky-diving if allowed.

    • You are FAR FAR more adventurous than I. There’s definitely a certain freedom to anonymity. It’s always been tough for me to feel anonymous, as I have such an unusual name.

      I have a few friends who visit my blog, but mainly it’s my internet friends anyway, so I can get away with a lot 😉 Not that I do. I’m pretty g-rated.

  3. So true! I find it much harder to put my writing out there than I do to engage in what others would call “risky” behavior. The latter is a lot less personal, and therefore when it goes wrong, it means a lot more (though I suppose if a parachute didn’t open, that would mean a lot to me – I was thinking more along the lines of not engaging in the risky behavior in the first place).

  4. It’s a paradox – as writers, we are both risk takers and risk avoiders. It is our unique voice that compels us to write, a bit of arrogance that we feel we have something that others need to hear, a bit of compulsion to drives us to take the risk, a bit of insanity to expose our innermost thoughts, and a good portion of fear that ultimately, someone will figure out that we are indeed mad and propagators of lies and fantasy. Because after all, isn’t that what fiction is in the end?

    • Absolutely!! Fiction is one hundred percent taking the strangeness in your brain, letting it ferment and then seeing what comes out!

      But the most amazing thing about fiction is that nestled in among the lies, there’s usually a lot of truth. And that’s what we have to be willing to share.

      It’s not always our personal truth, not when we write fiction, but it is a human truth, and some of them are tough to face.

  5. It took a *long* time before I told anyone I knew about this blog. I had to publicise my life coaching blog and so spent huge amounts of time agonising over every word there … I’m getting braver, but it’s mostly people I “know” from the internet who will read my words – and I’m OK with that. For now, anyway.

    PS: hope that migraine is behind you now.

    Debs Carey
    http://www.bunnyandthebloke.com
    @debscaringcoach
    http://www.caringcoaching.co.uk

  6. Well said. I was actually quite surprised at how nervous I was when I pushed the Publish button on my first ever blog post. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, almost no one was ever going to read it, but still incredibly nerve wracking.

  7. You are right. For me writing is like jumping out of a plane every time I post something. I won’t jump out of a plane so why do I continue to take such risks?? Hope you have a good answer to that one. 🙂

    • Hmm. I do not! Though at least we know when we write something, there’s no risk of the ground coming at us too fast.

      Honestly, I think for people who write, it’s a compulsion. Either the thoughts jumbled and grow tangled in the junk drawers in our heads, or we get them out!

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