We hear this phrase all the time.
Risk vs. reward.
It means is the risk you're taking worth the reward you hope to glean? How do you measure that?
We hear "measured risk".
What you're doing has risk: the question is how much?
We hear "Return on Investment".
Will you get more from your investment than the risk you're taking?
These are questions small business people ask themselves, and if you're an author, you are a small business owner. You own you! And your product is for sale. Whether or not you're incorporated or running solo, you are the business person.
Is this the boring side of writing?
Heck, no! It's a major component of any business, my friends, it's what separates the people who make a living writing and the dabblers. Now there is nothing wrong with dabblers.
Emily Dickinson was a dabbler... little known during her life in Massachusetts. If you look at her work now, you know that she was amazing. So if you're happy in your cozy space and spending hours a day on craft isn't your thing, that's okay!!!! You're okay!
But if you view/see/consider your writing as a career, as a valid choice for gainful employment, you need to look at risk vs. reward.
Some choices you make are low risk. Writing. Working. Editing. Writing some more.
We hear so much between friends, advisories, industry professionals.
There are online classes and blogs (like this one!), professional gatherings, conferences (when there's no pandemic, right?) and loops full of professionals.
That last one can trip you up if you say too much. Remember, it's not a gathering of friends in your living room. It's a virtual group of sometimes hundreds of people, some of whom lurk, (including most editors and agents on loops) and watch and listen and learn about you.
It's good to bite your tongue. Don't over-react. Bide your time. Keep working. Remember the adage "It's better to let people think you're stupid than to open your mouth and prove them right."
There are grains of truth in that!
Social media can be your undoing... all of your time, talent and treasure can be swept under a rug if social media goes crazy on you. If you become a target of any group. Does your opinion matter?
Of course it does!
Mostly to you! :)
But when you put it out there, you may get 20 or 50 friends who jump all over you in sympathy but what about that editor or agent or publishing house? What do THEY see in your posts?
Do they see the fresh, eager, pleasant author that draws people to him/her?
Caveat: If your name is Stephen or Nora or Clive or J.K., this does not apply to you. Say what you want, because your sales are in the millions and that's not likely to change. Nor, are you generally on Facebook, so you get a pass... because your risk will not significantly affect your reward because you've already made millions of dollars.
And if you're voting blue or red or nondescript, do you want to alienate 50% of the shrinking pool of readers by being overtly political?
It's your choice, of course.
But choices have consequences. They always do. We teach our kids that every day, but sometimes we fail to see that in our adult lives.
When I write a story I see the basic mathematical equation of Newton's 3rd Law: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
When you put that into emotion and words, it becomes the back-and-forth flow of a great story. In life, it becomes the reality we immerse ourselves in.
Good or bad, negative or positive, whiny or stoic, introvert or extrovert, we are humans and we have control. How we use that control in our professional lives can make a great difference in how others perceive us and how our path is charted.
Your risks can have a definitive effect on your reward.
Your duty is to ask yourself "Is it worth it?"
And then take responsibility for whichever path you choose because you're a thinking adult. You know that actions have consequences...
Are you ready to risk your potential reward to those consequences?
That's the crux of the question.
I'm celebrating the re-release of this beautiful story "Season of Hope", book 2 of my North Country series originally my debut Love Inspired novels... and I hope you win one! Leave a comment below and I'll tuck your name into the drawing for one of two copies of this wonderful book that shares the stories of two overcomers... and how they grabbed hold of God's second chance together!
Multi-published, bestselling inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne is immersed in pumpkin life on her farm in Western New York and gets up in the wee small hours to write stories that folks love to remember... A mother and grandmother, she can often be seen with coffee or Diet Mtn. Dew, cookies, dogs and cute kids. She loves writing about small towns and faith and the kind of people we meet every day, and Ruthy actually likes people (she is not an Emily Dickinson type!) and would love to hear from you! Email her at email@example.com, visit her website ruthloganherne.com or friend her on Facebook where she shares pics of the farm and family she loves.