Take a Risk, or Play it Safe?

            You wouldn’t think that being a writer involves much risk, but it does. Maybe not a lot of dangerous risk, unless you’re a war-correspondent for a news magazine. In general, though, fiction writers don’t encounter many physical risks. But it does involve some emotional and mental risks.

            It’s a risk every time you start a new writing project. It’s a huge time investment, with no guarantee you will ever be able to sell it. It’s a risk when you submit some of your work to an agent or publishing house; rejection carries quite a sting. It’s a risk if you actually sell something, because now you have a whole new kettle of problems to worry about: Will it sell well? Will I earn out my advance? What if my second work doesn’t live up to my first?

            So my question to you is, do you play it safe, or take the risk? Right now, I’m a very busy new mom. My son isn’t even a year and a half yet. NaNoWriMO starts in less then a week. You can’t “officially” participate unless you start a new project for the competition. My brain tells me I should play it safe, be an “unofficial participant,” and finish my work-in-progress. That would be the smart thing to do. Then I could polish it up and start submitting it. There is a reason “Play it safe” is a cliché; Sometimes, it’s true. Sometimes, it’s the right thing to do. But, my heart wants the full NaNoWriMo experience; even though I know I am almost guaranteed failure.

            The chances that I could write 1,666.6667 words a day are slim to none, as my son has an extreme aversion to me working on my laptop. All my writing moments are snatched while he sleeps. 1,666 words equals about two hours of typing for me if the writing is flowing well. If it’s not, it could potentially take much longer. That means two hours less sleep for me every night, minimum. The very thought makes me wince in pain. But the thought of “winning” NaNoWri Mo shines so brightly……

            Play it safe? Or take the risk?


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