Are You a Risk-taker When Writing? Try Something Different in Style/POV? Add Controversial Topics to Your Work? Insecure Writers Want to Know

Who me? A risk taker? I’m a big chicken, remember? But you know, if we really dive deep into this question. Aren’t all writers risk takers?  

http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com/

We risk sending out our tender new stories—our babies—to strangers in order to be published. To see if gatekeepers feel our stories are good enough to be out in the world. We send them to agents or editors, small presses and publishers.

Or –

We risk publishing them ourselves to see if others feel our stories are good. We take on the personal responsibilities of editing and revising them, laying the stories out, spending our hard-earned capital for book covers and publishing methods. 

So maybe the answer is yes, I’m a risk taker of sorts, when it comes to my stories. To getting published. To getting out there in the world with my voice, my themes, my morals. No matter which publishing method I try.  

As for trying something radically different in style or POV or adding controversial topics to my work, no. I haven’t tried any of this in my creative writing. Not yet! How about you? 

It will be interesting to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. It’s wonderful having a topic to share our thoughts on each month. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors in this writing and publishing journey.

A small update about my college memoir:

·       It’s about 60,000 words.

·       My current title choice is The Courage to Believe – One Mother’s Journey Through College.

·       This is a story about a mother who learns to believe in herself and her dream of college after someone tries to rip the same dream away from her daughter.

·       How many beta readers do you usually have?

Please feel free to offer any insight on this.

Thanks again for visiting! Be sure to stop by Adventures in Writing again. 

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  I’d like to thank our co-hosts for April: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton. Please visit them if you can. 

Our group posts on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  

43 thoughts on “Are You a Risk-taker When Writing? Try Something Different in Style/POV? Add Controversial Topics to Your Work? Insecure Writers Want to Know”

  1. Thank you. You've helped me realize it's not courageous to take risks in what I write if I never put it out there. If I write about controversial things or in a unconventional way, I haven't really taken a risk until I show it to someone. Good luck writing about your nontraditional college endeavors.

    Reply
  2. You are totally right that writing and putting your words out there for everyone to see is a huge risk.

    In terms of beta readers, I had maybe eight or nine for my first book. Now, I have a smaller group, primarily because my turnaround times are so tight between getting a beta draft ready and needing it to get it to the editor. But I'll be starting a new series soon and will be seeking out a similarly sized group.

    Reply
  3. I agree that writing itself is a risk. I don't intentionally set out to be controversial in my work, but we can't please everyone.

    At the moment, my group of beta readers is three and I am so grateful for them! Best to you on your memoir!

    Reply
  4. So so true! Just the simple fact of letting others read our words is a risk. I remember my first bad review–I was devastated. yay for you and your memoir!!

    Reply
  5. I agree, just putting your words out there is a risk in itself. I think it's very brave, but I can't quite bring myself to put any of my work out there beyond my blog just yet. Is there ever a right time?

    Reply
  6. I was terrified the first time I let someone else read my fiction, so yes, we writers are risk-takers by definition. We put little pieces of our souls out in the world, where other people critique them. *shudder*

    Reply
  7. Thank you for expanding that definition of 'risk' for we all are courageous as we pursue our stories and their publication, regardless of which path we seek! As someone who worked her way through college, I was intrigued by your memoir blurb, which sounds like it could very well be inspirational for many. And, re betas, I've also called on 3 of my writing and reading people who I trust. May the coming month be one of a little less risk for us all.

    Reply
  8. You are so very right. It does take a big risk to commit to writing our stories and then sending them out into the world. You've made me feel better, reading this!

    Reply
  9. Thank you so much, Hilary, for your good wishes. I certainly need them. So glad you like the title!

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  10. Thank you so much for sharing this insight, Alex! It truly helps me move forward with my manuscript. Yes, I have a developmental editor who is my first reader before the story goes out to beta readers.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight with my readers here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  11. Thank you, Natalie. Titles are important to our stories. I'm so glad to know it sounds "catchy."

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  12. Absolutely, Nick! And living with regret is harder than taking a chance. And then another chance, and then another.

    Thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  13. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Laur! Readers. We all dream about having someone read our essay or story. To me it’s a measure of success to have someone reading my writing. Thank you for reading my blog post!

    And thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  14. Thank you so much for this insight, Ellen. I truly appreciate it! And good for you to have such a dedicated beta group to read your books. Bravo! Here’s hoping I can find such a group. This is my first book.

    Thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  15. No, Lee, we can't please everyone. Thank you for sharing your insight about beta readers. I hope to find my core betas, too. And thanks for your good wishes. I truly need them!

    Thank you so much for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful weekend!

    Reply
  16. Yes it is, PK! I would be devastated by a bad review, too. Of course, any bad review would make us stronger. Here's hoping!

    Thanks for your cheer about my memoir. And thanks so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  17. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Sarah! Unfortunately, putting our writing out there is a personal decision. But if we make our writing–and our posts–the strongest we can, and learn all we can about creating and writing story or memoir, then we need to take the chance so we have the opportunity to go as far as we can with our writing.

    Thanks so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  18. Absolutely, Chrys. Of course you know all about this with all your stories out there. Bravo!

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  19. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Janet! So true that our souls are in our stories or essays. Even our blog posts! And yes! I shudder to think what others may think of my writing, my life, my stories.

    Thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  20. I'm so glad, Liza! It takes a huge risk to send our newborn stories and essays out into the world, hoping for readers, hoping for publishers.

    Thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

    Reply
  21. You're absolutely right that we're all risk-takers when we write or when we submit our writing for consideration of publication and even if we self-publish. We are giving up something for something we may or may not get in return. Putting in time and/or money is part of that risk.

    Reply
  22. https://larry-mihm.com/ There's not much there right now. I keep going through overly self-conscious (embarrassed) phases and taking down my posts or even my whole website.

    Depending on your interest, I could "unveil" posts and pages to you.

    I also removed in the blog the link to the other website I started to develop, https://prayerlocker.net because, as I wrote in the post, "Declared Myself Redundant," the app I was writing already exists. However, I've been fooling around with the other app (PrayerMate) and there are some things I could do with an app of my own which would do some things in a way which might be more useful to me and others. My daughter encouraged me to not give up on the app.

    Thanks for reaching out to me. I don't know what might be wrong with the link to my blog from IWSG.

    – Larry

    Reply
  23. I like your current title, Victoria. It’s perfect! It grabs the reader and focuses on the essence of your book. 60,000 words might be on the shorter side for a memoir, but I think that’s okay. A quick read.

    For “Plunge,” I used eight beta readers, which is a lot. If I would have had a critique partner for the entire book, I might have stuck to around five beta readers. I chose them from different backgrounds, cultures, and sailing knowledge.

    Reply
  24. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Steven! Absolutely putting in time and money is definitely part of the risk to any creation.

    Thank you so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your Sunday!

    Reply
  25. I can never thank you enough for sharing all your insight here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Thank you for your kind words. I was concerned about the length, too, but I didn't want to pad the prose or repeat the same concern but in another course. Here's hoping all goes well for my college memoir. You've made a great choice to have a diverse group for beta readers. Thanks for the tip!

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your comment. Enjoy your Sunday!

    Reply
  26. Good to see you're working on your memoir. Going to college with a young family had to challenging. Hubs and I worked through college to put ourselves through. A lot easier back then.

    Reply
  27. Thank you for your kind words, Diane. Yes, it was very challenging to go to college with five young children at home. However, working to put yourselves through college has its own difficulties. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG's question for April.

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for your comment. Enjoy your Sunday!

    Reply
  28. I'm not a risk taker, but I'm laser-focused on getting a book published and more short stuff out there. I think I'd be more shy if I was younger. I hear the clock ticking, and want to make my mark. So, if the opportunity presents itself, I'll take a risk. I don't see submitting as a risk because I've been doing that and have made it a regular thing. Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  29. Good for you, Dawn, for remaining "laser-focused" on your writing. All the luck with it! I, also, hear that "clock ticking" and "want to make my mark." Here's hoping we both do!

    It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks so much for sharing your insight. Have a beautiful week!

    Reply

Leave a Comment