My son just rescued a pup from a shelter. Not a baby, but a six-month-old pup. She’s been around the block a few times.
She was found as a stray two counties over from us. That shelter couldn’t place her. So another shelter took her. A foster home test-drove her, but found her too rowdy with cats. Then came my son. He’s a calm personality with another rescue at his home.
He brought his current dog to meet the pup. No big clash there. Not that they immediately hit it off in love, but no animosity, so he dared to adopt. Using his skills learned from the first dog, he’s training the new pup . . . and making great strides. Both the established and the fresh young pup are thriving.
This is similar to taking a chance to rock the boat and shake up your life as a writer. You’ve always written this or that. You’ve only dared to show your work here or there. You’ve been a pantser for years, but never outlined. You’ve written for magazines but never dared a novel, or vice versa. You’ve written for free but never for pay, or at least pay you’d admit to.
I could write a novella listing the excuses and reasons we don’t move forward in our writing. Not that you don’t enjoy where you are . . . after all, it’s a comfortable place. But you fear shaking up the routine.
Yes, the first while will feel strange, rocky even. You might get rejected more than expected or find yourself lost writing in a foreign genre, for an unfamiliar publication, or, gasp, for a real customer.
But if you do not attempt to write differently, more diverse, or stronger, you don’t grow. If you do not attempt to write for more pay, pitch to those markets you deem out of reach, or query agents you only read about in Writer’s Digest, you don’t know if you are capable.
You also don’t know what you’re missing. New ground can mean new success, opening doors you only thought others were allowed to walk through.
This week, enter a contest you never thought you would. Pitch a press you think too good for you. Query a magazine you feel is over your head. If you constantly work with that pup, she soon becomes part of the family and fits completely in with your lifestyle.
BIO – C. Hope Clark is editor of FundsforWriters.com and author of seven mysteries. www.chopeclark.com