Risky Writing

Loggerhead sea turtle from Wild Friends http://bit.ly/ujUVEK

I follow a lot of publishing people on Twitter, and that includes several agents. On Monday, one of them tweeted about taking on clients who weren’t afraid to take risks in their writing. This is something that I struggle with. Then I came across this quote by one of my favorite (and my kids’ favorite) children’s authors:

I experienced writer enlightenment as I was writing kids’ mid-year progress reports. I realized that I couldn’t write one more “Jennifer needs to take more risks to become a better learner” until I did what I was asking them to do. I took off the next year of teaching to write. –Jon Scieszka

I thought the image of this baby loggerhead turtle emerging from its shell was appropriate. When they hatch, more than half of them don’t make it to the sea. Even when they do make it, only 1-2 out of 1,000 hatchlings make it to adulthood. The baby turtles don’t know this. Just look at the picture. This one seems filled with wild abandon.

I wonder if I can approach my writing with the same level of abandon.

Do you take risks with your writing?

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11 thoughts on “Risky Writing

  1. elizabeth says:

    Tracey – great inpsiration from your post. I am going ot keep that in mind when i sit down to write or draw,
    And what a cute turtle. wish their odds were better. elizabeth

  2. Tracey says:

    I know what you mean about their odds, Elizabeth. I double-checked that number to make sure it was right. So few make it! It’s kind of a perfect analogy for writers.

    I’m glad to provide some inspiration, Britton!

  3. Catana says:

    Funny that I was just working on a — blog post? article? — about risk. Everything I do related to my writing is a risk. As Catherine said, male protags, but also undercutting and subverting the cliches and stereotypes of the male/male genre, blending genres, writing in no recognizable genre, going my own way as far as self-promotion is concerned . . . You name it, and I’m probably somewhere out on the edge. It’s the only way to live.

  4. Tracey says:

    I’m heartened to hear that so many writers are taking risks. It’s great. You have to. I’m so timid, and I truly believe it’s holding me back. As for what the turtles would do if they knew… it’s a good thing they don’t. And as it applies to us, since we do know, we should probably go all out anyway, because it’s only in taking the risk that we get the reward.

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