I'm really not. Sometimes I run to my mailbox in my pajamas--we're talking polka dot fleece pants and a five-year-old tee. That always feels a little brave.
But I'm not generally one to crave risky stuff.
And yet, over the past few years as I've pursued my writing dream, it's become pretty stinkin' clear you can't move in the direction of your dream without taking a few risks here and there. You just can't.
(That is, unless your dream is to become an actuary. I can't think of anything risky about pursuing that career. Unless your name is Melissa Tagg and you're convinced numbers are out to get you...)
Remember that story Jesus tells in the Gospels about a wealthy man who sends his servants out with money and later comes back to see how they did? I love how The Message paraphrases this story in Luke 19 and the master's words to the servant who risked the most and doubled his money:
"He said, 'Good servant! Great work! Because you've been trustworthy in this small job, I'm making you governor of ten towns.'"That's verse 17. A few verses later, in verse 26...
"He said, 'That's what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.'"More than you ever dreamed of. That sounds pretty good to me.
Now, let's be honest. There are probably smart risks...and incredibly dumb ones. And as we get older and hopefully mature and get advice from wise people around us, we'll learn to discern good risk from bad.
Here are some of the risks I've taken in my writing journey:
- Attending my first writing retreat (MBT Storycrafters, 2009)
- Entering contests*
- Pitching to agents and editors at conferences
- Investing money on expensive conferences
- Sending proposals and manuscripts to agents and editors
But I can look back and see how each little risk has been worth the big joy of knowing I'm pursuing the call God put on my life, the dream he breathed into my heart.
So here's my question for you: What dream has God put in your heart? And what risks are you going to take to follow that dream?
*Since I mentioned contests above, I wanted to take a moment to plug the 2013 MBT Frasier Contest! This is an awesome contest for unpublished writers founded by award-winning author Susan May Warren. The feedback alone is worth the minor cost of entering. I can't possibly recommend it enough. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post on this contest next week right here AND an upcoming Frasier blog tour all over the blogosphere. More details on the contest available here.
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. Her debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House Publishers in September 2013. In addition to her nonprofit day job, she's also the marketing and events coordinator for My Book Therapy. Connect with Melissa at her website, Facebook and Twitter (@Melissa_Tagg).