Saturday, July 1, 2017

Why It Pays to Take Risks With Your Writing


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When it comes to writing books, regardless of whether you choose to self-publish 
or try to win a traditional publishing deal, the competition has never been fiercer.

Readers are overwhelmed with choice, and writers often find trying to make their book 
stand out from the crowd a daunting and seemingly impossible task.

It can be easy to play it safe with your writing, to try to stick to the rules of a genre,
to regurgitate a tried and tested story that seems to appeal to a mass audience.
But if you do so, your book is more than likely to simply become an echo 
of something already out there, written by someone with more experience,
 whose popularity has already been established.

If you choose to take risks, however, while the stakes may be higher, it is arguable
that you stand a far greater chance of making your book more discoverable, 
distinguishable and desirable than those that don’t.

But why is that?

Taking risks shows you are willing to put your neck on the line

A risk taker is someone who is brave, they are willing to take a chance, a leap into
the unknown - someone who is willing to commit all the time and energy it takes
to write a book, knowing that it does not pander to the masses. This is
undeniably impressive and demonstrates a commitment to the craft that 
others writers who are simply copycat versions of each other do not show.

Taking risks will make your work stand out

In an overcrowded marketplace, writers need to do anything they can to make 
their books stand out.If you are able to write a book which appeals to a more 
niche audience, or one that grabs readers attention and they might be willing 
to take a chance on, your book is more likely to be seen, and therefore more
 likely to sell.

Taking risks may not always work, but when they do the payoff is greater

Of course, a risk is a risk and therefore the chance of failure is greater. If you
 write something too obscure, too niche, too complicated, it will be harder to 
find a publisher who is willing to take a chance on you or find an audience
who resonates with your work. However, if you do, the rewards are huge.

Taking risks wins you respect

By taking risks in your writing you often end up exposing yourself. Being 
vulnerable can be frightening, but readers will appreciate the fact that 
you have done so. This will make them empathize with 
you and respect you for your bravery.

At the end of the day no one can write a book that will appeal to everyone,
and trying to do so is a waste of time. Don’t let all your time and effort go 
to waste and consider taking more risks with your writing. Be brave, 
have confidence and stay true to yourself - you won’t regret it if you do.

I guess I was taking some risks when I chose to write a memoir.   I was afraid of
using real names, and took the suggestion not to do so. I would later learn that
many memoir writers have taken this step as well.  But all this time I have
been wondering if the people I am referencing will be able to tell that I am in 
fact referencing them.  

There have been some events and incidents I have tried to decide whether to include 
not.  Some I originally did not mention, but decided to do so later.  And there still
more I'm deciding on.  And what chapter to incorporate these things into.
This takes a lot of consideration.  

There have been so many thing I did not want to risk, like taking a dive as shown
in the photo above.  But no matter, what you do, there is going be some sort of
risk involved.  And now I can see how I have taken some risks.


  1. I am glad - and look forward (in the fullness of time) to reading your memoir.

  2. You are so right, there are always risks involved.
    Kudos on tucking in there and continuing, Jamie.

  3. Yes, some risks need to be taken because we'll never know if something will work unless we try.

  4. Hope your day has been productive and pleasant.