“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how
far one can go.”
“To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken,
because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who
risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He may avoid
suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow,
live or love. Chained by his addictions, he is a slave. He has forfeited
his greatest trait, and that is his individual freedom. Only the person
who risks is free.”
Leo Buscaglia, writer and educator
When I came across Leo’s comment, it made me think of T.S. Eliot’s quote. And both of them have prompted me to think about how important it is to take risks in our writing and about the kind of risks we can and must take if we’re to grow and improve:
We can risk the displeasure of other people around us when we choose to devote time to pursuing our muse — and we can go ahead and write.
We can risk the displeasure of our inner critic whenever we sit down to write — and we can go ahead and write anyway.
We can risk the chance that what we’re writing down on the page won’t be nearly as wonderful as the ideas we have in our head — and get whatever we can down on the page anyway and then make it better.
We can risk the chance that what we have to say won’t matter to other people, but because it matters to us, we can go ahead and write anyway.
We can risk the chance that if we get out of our comfort zone and write something new and different, it won’t be any good — and we can leave our comfort zone anyway and write what we’re called to write.
We can risk the chance that what we’re called to write is out of synch with what’s selling — and go ahead and write it anyway.
Let’s remember Leo’s immortal line: “Only the person who risks is free” — and write on!