On a scale of 1-10, what’s your tolerance for taking risks?
I’m pretty risk averse: I hate adrenaline-based sports and would never mortgage my house to start a cupcake shop. Yet, ten years ago I sold my (little) London flat to move to the exotic climes of California. I’ve hitch-hiked twice, once because waiting for the next bus just seemed too boring. And, now I come to think of it, I’ve quit jobs without my next source of income lined up, not once, not twice, but three times. Oops: Oscar Wilde would probably say that reeks of carelessness.
But while taking risks is scary, I feel the alternative – never trying new things and being too afraid to fail to even try – is far worse.
Photo thanks: Lamassar
Writing and publishing fiction is a gamble. Everything from family mockery to public humiliation can rain down on those of us who dare share our stories with the world. My second novel, Secrets in the Sky, definitely takes more risks than the first. I know some readers may object to the underlying secret, and others will question whether the main character should behave as she does. And while I’m currently trying to minimise the risk of public derision by looking carefully at every piece of feedback from a wonderful crew of beta readers, some significant risks will remain.
So, I’m planning to take those risks, because the alternative would be bland, predictable fiction. And I feel that’s a poor outcome for both you as readers and me as the author.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Which authors do you enjoy who take large – or small – risks?