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Taking Risks

If you are an artist of any kind, musician, singer, dancer, actor or author, you are a risk-taker. Whether you believe this or not, it is true.

I never would have labelled myself as a risk-taker, even though some might. Sure, I've driven on a race track at 130 mph, I've traveled to dangerous countries, I speak to strangers and pet strange dogs, and I am an indie author.

How is an author a risk-taker? It's quite simple, really: an author is someone who has written a story, putting their heart and soul in it, and then publishes the story for the world to read. Some readers may love the author's story, while others may not. Either way, the author is putting themselves out in the world, and will be subjected to criticizm.

Subjecting oneself to criticizm - intentionally - takes courage. No matter what anyone says, criticizm is never easy to accept, athough some people are better at masking their emotions than others. Some criticizm is definitely helpful, and that form of criticizm is a lot easier to accept than purely mean, destructive criticizm. With the advent of the social media, it is unfortunate that the latter form seems to be more prevalent than the former.

I have received all sorts of criticizm about my novels and, luckily, most has been quite positive and helpful. I know I am not perfect, and neither is my writing, so receiving helpful criticizm about how to improve my stories or my writing, is always welcome. I have also received downright nasty and generally unhelpful criticizm, and while the intellectual side of me says to laugh it off and ignore that nasty comments, the 'human' side of me cannot help but feel annoyed and even hurt at times.

This seems to be a common issue for all authors, indie or not, and I read about how these negative comments impact the author's psyche on all sorts of author message boards. An author may receive a hundred positive comments, but it only takes one negative comment to bring insecurities and self-doubt to the surface.

I would imagine the same holds true for anyone who dares to follow their dreams and put themselves "out there". With the advent of social media, just about anyone can become a critic about almost any one or any thing. In some instances this can be a good thing, but a lot of times the internet and social media just gives negative people a stage in.

While criticizm of one's work is sometimes difficult to accept, there is one thing that I can think of that is much worse: never having the courage to chase one's dream in the first place. This results in regret, and regret has to be one of the most destructive emotions to one's mental well being. There is no reward without some risk.

It has been said that the only thing worse than failure is never trying in the first place. I believe that saying is very true, so even if I fail at every becoming a writer who's stories are considered entertaining, and good, at least I will have tried.

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