Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guiding Principle the First

TAKE RISKS.

For people who want to write, the biggest risk (often) is sending something out. But here's the deal. No one's gonna come hammering on your door, BEGGING you to see that manuscript you're too afraid to share. So put it out there. And while you're at it, put yourself out there.

I am not a natural born networker. I was grotesquely shy when I was younger. And now I'm just (kinda) fat and (thoroughly) lazy. But I do like to remind myself of that time when I forced myself to go to a party where I knew absolutely NO ONE and met the editor of Utah Holiday who (upon discovering that I was from that wasteland, aka in his world as "Utah County") told me to find out about a Junior Great Books controversy brewing in Lehi and write something about it for him.

Which I did.

When I showed up at his office a week later, he was surprised I'd followed through, which was instructive in and of itself. How many of us don't follow up on opportunities? He published the piece, and for a few years thereafter I often had a feature article in the magazine.

Anyhoo. Take risks.

Amen.

10 comments:

radagast said...

Of course, they're only risks if there's a good chance that something could go wrong. Any examples of risk-taking gone awry? Can you give me some kind of ratio, good outcomes to bad, before I RSVP to that party next weekend?

Lisa B. said...

oh, yes. (and radagast--for me, sending poems out is pretty much a guarantee that I won't get what I want, so the risk is how bad am I gonna feel about it?)(p.s., I made a resolution to go to readings this year for this very reason. I feel you, my sister.)

Louise Plummer said...

Nothing ever gets published sitting in a desk drawer. It's a sure thing.

Tiffany said...

Thank you. Taking notes furiously.

Emily said...

I needed this! Thank you.

ilima said...

great post! *must take more risks*

Ann said...

Oh, Radagast. I could write books about risks gone awry. BOOKS, I tell you.

Joseph Ramirez said...

(Head nodding in response to the post) Yes. This is true doctrine. :)

Erin said...

So true. In order to achieve any goal, risks have to be taken. Is this the point that you started being a journalist?

link2literacy said...

Had to note that Ann responded to a comment!!! A rarity! Not that she doesn't respond to her readers in other ways, but I was wondering who this Ann person was who responded to radagast.

Hugs