“All serious daring starts from within.” Eudora Welty
“If you risk nothing, you risk everything.” Geena Davis
Baseball fan or not, you’ve probably heard of Ty Cobb—one of the sport’s legendary players. His record for stealing bases—a risky business—stood for many seasons. The year he set that record, he stole 96 bases from under the noses of his opposing teams.
Ask most baseball fans if they know who Max Carey is, and most of them will shake their heads no. Like Cobb, Carey had lots of baseball talent. In a single season, he attempted to steal bases 53 times and succeeded 51 times—an amazing 96% success rate. To set his record of 96 stolen bases, Ty Cobb attempted steals 134 times—that’s a 71% success rate.
Yet it’s Ty Cobb whose legendary today and whose risk-taking earned him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why? Because he was bolder. He was willing to chance failure far more often than Carey, his closest base-stealing rival.
What’s the message here for us as creatives? Risk-taking may be a risky business, but it has its rewards! We risk rejection every time we submit a story to lit journals or email another query to an agent. But the more we put ourselves on the line and put our work out into the world, the better our chances of succeeding.
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run,” Babe Ruth, another baseball legend, once said. And the same goes for us. Every time we chance failure we’re bringing ourselves closer to success. Like the lottery, “You’ve got to be in it to win it.” Write on!
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