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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are You a Risk-Taker?

AUTHOR CELIA YEARY
IN A SECRET UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
I have read that most writers are risk-takers. I would never place myself in the category of a daredevil, which to me is the same thing as one taking a risk.

Risk-takers, to me, are extreme sportsmen, drug users, or perhaps some Olympians. Take Shaun White, the US snowboarder, for example. During one of the winter Olympics, I became very interested in this sport. I know nothing of it, except the little I've seen on TV. Shaun won the gold medal. How? By inventing a new, complicated, dangerous move, which he performed on his last trial. He pulled it off without a hitch, and while the other contestants played it safe with no errors, he took a chance with something more complicated and also pulled it off with no errors. Gold!

That same year, Evan Lysacek  also represented the United States in men's figure-skating. His performance was flawless, perfection on ice, a routine he'd practiced, literally, for years. His Russian counter-point, the medal favorite, took a chance and executed a move than no one else did. But! The judges weren't looking for extraordinary moves—they were looking for those within the guidelines, and a contestant who skated those perfectly. Who won the gold? Not the risk-taker, this time, but the one who played it safe.

Do you take risks in writing and submitting? Do you try for the agent who will take you to the top? Or do you play it safe, sticking only with the area you know best and feel somewhat confident of earning some success?
Which works best?

Me? I have taken risks, and not one person I know would believe that I did. I don't look the part, I don't act with bravado, in fact, I look like a Sunday school teacher. In my forties, I signed on to be a sponsor to take forty high school students skiing. I had never skied in my life. There were four other female sponsors, along with four male sponsors. At the mountain resort, all of us donned skis on the bunny slope and tried it out for most of one day. By the second day, all females had quit except me. I went on the second day with two men to an intermediate slope. Down we went, back and forth. On the third and last day, the men enticed me to go to the next harder slope, which I did. I had several mishaps, frightening ones, but each time I stood up and kept going. At the end of the day, I'd stayed with those men, even though I almost scooted down the slope. My poor body ached and hurt all over. I never skied again.

The same thing happened when I learned to play golf at age forty. I studied and worked, and soon I was winning money and small trophies at our local course. I couldn't have been happier during those years. Other women said, "Man, you came out here to win!" "Yes," I said, "why would I come out here to lose?"
And so, I'm a mix of risk-taker vs. play- it-safer kind of author. One day, I hope to take a really big chance and try for the gold. Right now? I'm playing it safe.

What about you? Risk-taker? Play-safer?
~*~*~*~


BLURB from the newest release, Charlotte and the Tenderfoot
~*~ While driving home in her buggy, Charlotte Dewhurst discovers a man lying by the road. William Montgomery, an attorney, was passing through the area when accosted by two hoodlums. The resulting court case keeps Will in town. His attitudes confuse Charlotte as he seeks her company, yet proclaims he will soon be moving on. But Will may be the most confused one of all.
~*~
A 99Cent Dime Novel from Western Trail Blazer
Available on Amazon, B&N, Monkey Bars







Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website

Sweethearts of the West-Blog

17 comments:

  1. Great post, Celia, \
    I am a bit of both - a risk-taker and play-safer. LOL I have taken big risks by writing in different genres and then leaping out into self-publishing. Both worked out well for me, but I usually play it safe when it comes to making "money decisions".
    Becca

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  2. I think I'd have to claim both also. After psychological tests by my previous employers, they said that I had no regard for personal safety. My family agreed and it's true. It's not that I'm brave, I just don't seem to have a warning signal in my brain. For instance - I'll walk through the worst neighborhood, in a strange town, late at night, if I want to get somewhere. In writing, I'm the same. I figure that nothing happens if you do nothing. I want things to happen. I'm also extremely competitive.

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  3. Well done, Celia. And I learned something new about you today when you told us about your ski trip adventure. I have never taken a lot of physical risks but I thrive on the challenge of mental and/or emmotional risks that require great stamina. So I guess I'm a mixed breed.

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  4. Celia,
    I used to be a risk taker, until I had children. Once they came along, all that stopped. There is just something about realizing that you are responsible, totally, for another person's well being until they can take care of themselves. Now, I think I'm out of the habit of taking risks, unless I go gambling. LOL (Yeah, a big risk for me is a $2.00 bet!) Writing-wise, I DO take risks more than with other things in life, I think. I just wrote a paranormal western short story for a Christmas collection. I have the 2nd book in my "Kane" series coming out this week, and those are written in first person, from a 10 year old boy's POV. So these are not things that a "romance" writer would normally do. But they have turned out well and I'm hopng others enjoy them, too. Great post. And I loved learning about your skiing trip. I've never been skiing and truly, have no desire to go. Especially now--maybe I would have done that when I was younger...LOL
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

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  5. Maybe we are all a bit of both. I won't take risks with money but I'll try all sorts of things as long as I'm not risking my family's well-being

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  6. Celia, great post as I'm looking forward to the Olympics this year and watching the gymnastic with my 5 year old gymnist, Joe. :) I'd like to think I'm a little bit both - risk taker and play it safe. I love watching the Ice skating. I remember when Sarah (what's her name) came from 4th place to win the gold several years ago. That was an inspiring moment!

    Smiles
    Steph

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  7. Great post, Celia.
    I'm a scaredy-cat and don't take risks. I'm happier with what I know I can do and the older I get, the more that is true. Boring huh? I did, however, have some interesting experiences on my one and only ski-ing venture, but that was when I was 18.

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  8. Rebecca--I'm not a big risk-taker, especially now at my age. Earlier, a tiny bit when I was in my 40s. That seemed to be the decade to break out.
    Now...I think long and hard about my directions and my decisions.
    Thanks so much for your generosity and help.

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  9. Sandra--now, that's interesting. No regard for personal safety? I admit I did go through a period like that..but now I think and watch very carefully to keep my personal self safe.
    I did learn also in my 40s that I was competitive. It really began in my 20s, but I did not recognize it. You know it can come in different forms.
    So glad you stopped by!

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  10. Linda--trust me...I would never do any such thing now. And after I had done that, and went home, I dreamed about skiing off a mountaintop into space, flying...I still remember that terrified feeling. Nope, for personal safety--now I'm very cautious.

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  11. Cheryl--funny, from the first when I knew you, I thought you were a real risk taker. Now that I know you and your kids, I do understand that is not the case anymore.
    Offspring can really change us, can't they?
    You're like some of the rest of us--all your risk taking is intellectually, not physically. Which can sometimes be just as hurtful.

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  12. JENNY--yes, I do understand. We do not want to risk our families' well-being at al. So, we get over that other more physical risk-taking, and think more with our hearts and our minds.

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  13. Steph--oh, I know Joe will just love the gymnastics this year. He's at the perfect age to really get into that. I know you'll watch with him. Me? I love gymnastics best of all, ice skating next, then what ever is on. As I said, one year I got really interested in the skateboarding...don't know why.

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  14. PAULA--no, not boring. Just mellowed. That's me. I just watch others trying to break their necks. Me...I might take a chance on a new publisher, but even that has lost it's appeal. Now, I try for something I firmly believe will work. At my age, I don't want to lose many chances. See you around, dear friend.....

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  15. I didn't take kids skiing (you are amazing, Celia) but can't believe now that I took 40 high school freshmen kids on a bike 35 mile trip to raise money for their class.

    Well, you know what I did recently - I queried an agent who represents best-selling romance authors. I did get a request for an exclusive read but she passed.

    Wonderful post, Celia!

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  16. I wonder what it was in your 40s that made you takes those leaps.
    Like you, I'm not much into to sports but I have taken risks for the sake of a story.
    While doing research for my 2nd novel, I needed to know something about small airplanes and what would happen to make it nose-dive. How would the pilot pull out of it. A doctor at work invited me to go with him on a flight to Ashville in a small Cessna. It took everything I have to make myself go. I felt terror and exhiliration when I did it and I learned everything I needed for that one short scene. The thing is, I felt so good about myself for taking that risk.
    Great blog, Celia.

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  17. I wonder what it was in your 40s that made you takes those leaps.
    Like you, I'm not much into to sports but I have taken risks for the sake of a story.
    While doing research for my 2nd novel, I needed to know something about small airplanes and what would happen to make it nose-dive. How would the pilot pull out of it. A doctor at work invited me to go with him on a flight to Ashville in a small Cessna. It took everything I have to make myself go. I felt terror and exhiliration when I did it and I learned everything I needed for that one short scene. The thing is, I felt so good about myself for taking that risk.
    Great blog, Celia.

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