Wednesday, April 7, 2021

IWSG~Do You Dare?

Welcome to another spotlight of our Insecure Writer's Support Group community! This week, we're asking the question: 

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work? 


To address this question, I need to define what I believe the term risk-taker means. 
According to Merriam-Webster, a risk-taker is:
a person who is willing to do things that involve danger or risk in order to achieve a goal

Hmm . . . danger is not my forte; however, I am open to stretching my current skills to make them grow.

In my research, I found some common characteristics that risk-takers possess.
  • Constant learners
  • Trust their gut
  • Embrace change
  • Accept defeat & learn from it
  • Set high goals
  • *somewhat of a gambler
I believe that my evolution as a writer is where any risk-taking has come into play. When I first began writing, I had zero idea who to write. I had zero idea how to structure a paragraph or chapter let alone an entire story. But I wanted to learn. (That covers setting high goals element. And yes, it was a high goal at first. LOL) 
And I love continuing to learn. (That covers Constant learner.) 
Embracing change and Accepting defeat/learning from it was the hardest risk-taker characteristic for me to take. And I did so, at first, with my head hung low, my heart in my gut. It was when I separated from my first agent. I was down, but soon realized I wasn't out. So I eventually sold both my manuscripts on my own.(Here's where I embraced my inner gambler.)  
And with things going so well . . . they soon fell apart, again, with the closing of my middle grade publisher. That was my true defeat. But only until I accepted it, brushed myself off, and learned to read myself better. Which brings me to the final point. (Trusting my gut.)
I'd say trusting my gut has been the element I've most recently embraced. I might not know the future or the outcome of my decisions, but I do know my-writer-self much better - what I'm willing to do or compromise, what I'm willing to wait for, and what I'm willing to risk. 

What about you? Do you trust your gut?
Thank you goes out to the awesome co-hosts for this posting: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton! You all RAWK!


  1. I absolutely LOVE your answer (s) to the question this month. I too, feel picking myself back up and stepping back into the ring is my biggest risk/threat/challenge/learning moment.

    1. Haha! I love how you incorporated risk into all the other 'factor' words. So very true. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it.

  2. Enjoyed your post. I think everyone has a different definition of "risk." However, I do trust my gut a lot, and I'm a situational-aware person when I'm out and about, so I don't have to take any personal risks. In my writing, my characters do take risks for reader intrigue.

    1. That's a great point about your characters being risk-takers. I guess our stories - as well as our lives - would be pretty boring otherwise. :) Really appreciate you stopping by.

  3. Yes I do. Not much of a gambler though. But you'd be really stuck if you weren't.

  4. You rolled the dice and found the best path for your books. Good stuff. I take those risks. Although sometimes it's an impatient leap of faith.

  5. Risk taking has so many levels - taking defeat and learning from it, moving on, that's a writer's risk. and these days, writing from the heart can be a risk in itself with so many judgy-judgers out there... but we do what me must!
    Miss you too! Thanks for stopping by.
    And I plan to start a new group chat this summer. I'll let you know!

    Tara Tyler Talks

  6. I loved how you used the definition of a risk taker to look at your own journey. And good for you on still being that person who never gives up. It's certainly paid off!
    What a great post!

  7. Loved your answer. I'm a constant learner too.

  8. Last fall, I took a risk and decided to invest in doing hardcover editions of my books. I really thought I'd take a loss, but I didn't. I'm so happy I took the risk because sales have been good in that format. That's not to say all the risks I've taken have worked out this way, but the only way to find out what does work is to try.

  9. I wish when my publisher closed their doors I got off my @$$ and did something immediately. Don't let that horse walk away. You're strong and you can do this. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  10. Great answer! From all of those...for me...learning to trust my gut was the most surprising lesson. The gut is very often right. (Plus, I love your writing.)

  11. You've shown a lot of resilience in this risky business called writing. I hear you loud and clear: the separation from your agent, the closing of the publishing house...been there, too. But you didn't stop, and I know you won't in the future. Keep trusting that instinct!

  12. Love this post - you are the very definition of resilience!
    It took me the better part of a decade to get to the point where I was ready to put my work out there. I took a decade to learn the craft, decide on genre/niche/pov/setting/style... I'm loving writing in the small town romantic suspense niche for now!
    Keep following that gut - you're such a talented writer!

  13. I actually think that being open to learning new things and trusting your gut are the two most important traits of a good writer.

  14. Hi Sheri - life is so interesting isn't it ... I join in and read about all IWSGers' trials and tribulations, as well as successes, re writing ... and admire each and everyone of you - and how you cope through loss of publishers etc. But it's life too ... so much goes on - some we can brush off, others we need time out to adjust. Good luck as the future pans ahead - Hilary

    1. Lots of truth in your comment. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your encouragement.

  15. Love your list of characteristics of a risk-taker. Lifelong learning is so important. Keeping our brains active. Enjoy the risk-taking.

  16. I think I trust my gut in writing, most of the time. I struggle with doubt, but I keep going. I've made mistakes. I keep learning. And, I keep on writing.
    Happy writing, SA!


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