Monday, September 21, 2015

You Have To Take Risks To Succeed

I am reading this great book about the leadership strategies and skills you can get from studying Disney. In one of the chapters, the author mentioned 5 reasons "why people are too afraid to take the risk necessary for living at their next level." In this case, he is getting his information from THE CREATIVE HABIT by Twyla Tharp. Regardless, I do think these are things authors might need to consider if they too wish to advance to the next level.

How many of these have you said?

  1. People will laugh at me If you haven't told people you are an author, you are missing out on building one of the greatest fan bases ever. Too many people keep it a secret that they write stories. They believe that people will laugh or even make fun of them. They also believe that others will simply call this a waste of time. Authors who write romance really do this because they have heard so many people say, "Oh, you write romance? {insert smirk} Well I write fiction {as if this is somehow better}. We see this too with the number of people who use pseudonyms because they don't want the people in their church or neighborhood to know they write. Give me a break! There are far more people out there who are amazed that you have the persistence and the drive to write what you did. And as for the people who are worried what the people at church would say? Guess what? Many of these people who come across as all prim and proper do indeed read novels much like your novel at home.
  2. Someone has done it before "I could never come up with an original story" is such a lame excuse. Writing stories is about the human experience {Hint: This is why it is taught in the humanities departments in college.} If you are a human, you have human experiences. You have emotions, feelings, stories all inside of you. Sure, some people may have told similar stories, but they haven't told YOUR story.
  3. I have nothing to say Generally this is followed up by either A)...that people would care about; or B) I could never write that much. I hate to say it, but until you put it on a piece of paper and share it, you will never know. Quit making excuses, pick up that pen and start writing.
  4. I will upset someone I love What would they be upset about if you finished a novel? Are you telling me someone you love would hate that you are taking up a hobby that might actually lead to making money? Are you telling me someone will be upset if you have some personal time to pursue a dream? I doubt it! But here is the bigger thing to consider. If you are keeping yourself from writing your stories, you are indeed upsetting someone - YOU! When the time has passed and you never wrote that story, the only person who can be blamed is you for making that decision. Don't get to the point of regretting that decision.
  5. Once executed, the ideas will never be as good as it is in my mind. Yes, this is a big one! Our brains do like to over exaggerate things and make our stories seem so much stronger and powerful in our heads. This is what drives us to what we do. But, in reality, one of the only reasons authors feel the story is not that good once they wrote it all out is the fact that they are tired. They have put everything into that story and now just want to get to the THE END. All writers face this. One of my writers here at Greyhaus Literary Agency always has this moment at Chapter 10. The story is good! You have to trust yourself. You also have to trust those around you who told you they loved the story. Quit the self doubt stuff!
The point is, writing does involve exposing yourself as who you are. It is about risking something to put your feelings and emotions on a piece of paper and sharing those thoughts with others. So, quit hiding, take a risk and get back to writing. You know you can and you know you want to.


  1. Thanks for such a good post. I'm at chapter 23 in a rewrite and am fighting that "I just want to get to THE END" feeling. (I can tell Ch. 23 isn't as lively as chapters up to that point - sigh.) Time to slow down again and take the trouble. Your post really revved up my enthusiasm again.

  2. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. It helps if you create "your reader" in your mind and just keep writing.