Risk-taking. The very word itself induces a fair bit of anxiety for me. By nature, I’m not a risk-taker. I’ve lived a life of planned, well thought out, and smoothly executed decisions. But then the summer of 2020 happened amidst a global pandemic, and I did something that I never thought I’d do.
I wrote a novel.
That’s right. Thanks to Burning Soul Press, I challenged myself to step well beyond my comfort zone and I authored a 60,000-word contemporary romance novel in about three months. Not only was the journey a rollercoaster ride of gratification, but it was also a stomach-dropping plunge of discomfort. I learned throughout the process that to be an author, means you have to be a risk-taker too.
What can I do?
If you’re an (aspiring) author…
- Step off the cliff. Literally. If you’re going to author a book, you’ve got to let go. Let go of what you think you know and be ready to open your mind to new ways of writing, new ways of thinking, and new ways of learning.
- Don’t hold back. Dive in headfirst and when you surface for air, stand proud and tall. I’ve never held my breath longer than when I handed over my manuscript to a beta reader. Sharing your baby with the world is no easy feat. But if you’ve put in the work and done it right, don’t short-change yourself. The world needs your story.
- Be okay with the learning process. You may think you know how to write a novel. How hard can it be, right? Until a blank page stares back at you and you’re left with paralyzing fear and confusion. Trust me. Your first draft will suck, but you’ll think it’s gold. Learn from the process. Learn from other writers. And keep humility in your back pocket as you progress.
My favorite quote is by Kevin Trudeau: “If you continue to think the way you always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.” And truly – is there a better perspective to have in this world? Take the risk. I’m sure glad I did.