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Writing and Risk Taking

Updated on January 10, 2014

Languishing in Your Comfort Zone

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.
Ray Bradbury

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Are those not beautiful quotes? So what do they have to do with writing?

It is my belief, as an observer of life and as a former teacher, that many people (not just writers) are more than happy to stay in their comfort zones and not face the risk of failure. I suppose complacency has something to do with that because let’s face it, it requires a little hard work to leave our comfort zones, and dammit, that comfort zone is….well….comfortable.

I also believe fear plays a large part in this “stay comfortable syndrome.” We don’t know what is beyond the next door, and who knows what will happen if we open that door?

However, I believe it is imperative for a writer to take risks.

Writers are an interesting group of people. We write with our imaginations and whatever talent that we have. We create fiction and write about wondrous events in far-off places. Our characters take chances and leap into fiery buildings, and our heroes are bigger than life.

All the while we are safely locked into our writer’s studio without a chance of risk overwhelming us. Many of us were the boring kids who sat off by ourselves and never rocked the establishment boat. We got decent grades while others were going downhill skiing. We read National Geographic while others were on trekking the mountains of Nepal. We paid our taxes on time and we always drove the speed limit.

Yes, we were, and are at times, boring, and that is a danger for a writer.

Some of the great writers in history believed that you have to experience life in order to write about it. I believe William Faulkner said: “A writer needs three things…..experience, observation and imagination….any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of others.”

There is an authenticity that becomes apparent when a writer has experienced that which he/she is writing about, and I believe that authenticity is crucial for a writer. I have written often about alcoholism, and I believe the fact that I am an alcoholic gives me credibility to the reader. Now that is a risk I would not suggest to others, but the fact remains that getting out of our comfort zone and taking some risks are necessary to keep us from becoming stale in our writing.

So what can you do to accomplish this task? Well read on and find out! Take what you need and leave the rest for those following you.

Freedom
Freedom | Source

Face Your Fears

Fear is an emotion that can be defeated, but it takes a willingness to accomplish that feat.

What are your fears? Are you afraid to write a novel? Are you afraid of joining a writing community like HubPages? Maybe your fears are more basic, like the fear of darkness or the fear of snakes. Whatever the fear may be, if you face it you will have opened up a new avenue on which to travel with your writing. What a great article that would be, if you were afraid of snakes and then went out and held one, or if you were afraid of entering a writing contest but then entered one. We need to extend ourselves as writers and facing fears is one way to do so.

Experience Life with a Backstage Pass

It has been said often that the world is a stage, so why not get yourself a backstage pass and experience some of life? Get out there and live life, and then write about the experiences. Travel more; take on new challenges; push yourself in areas you have never considered before.

Interview people who are risk-takers and find out what makes them tick. Go for a hike in the mountains, or start rock climbing at the local YMCA. Ride around with a cop or an ambulance driver. There are so many things you could be doing, things that will give you a seemingly unlimited pool of information to write about.

Is your writing life a placid stream?
Is your writing life a placid stream? | Source

Be Willing to Leave the Cocoon

Yes, there is safety and comfort in that cocoon, but is that really what life is all about? If safety and comfort become synonymous for stale then you really need to consider stretching your arms and breaking free of that damn cocoon.

If you are comfortable writing SEO articles for a content mill, then consider writing a novel, or consider entering writing contests. If all you have done is blogging, then consider finding another venue for your writing and then learn how to do that well. Remember that diversification is another notch in your professional belt, and the more you can do the more attractive you will be to possible employers, agents and publishers.

Or are you a bubbling cauldron?
Or are you a bubbling cauldron? | Source

Learn and Keep Learning

I have always been of the belief that you can never have too much education or experience, and knowledge can never be taken away from you.

Take an extension course and learn a new subject. Go online and enroll in some course, or go to the local library and sit in on some lectures. Keep learning! Keep expanding your knowledge! Each and every piece of information that you can gather can only help you in your writing.

The Who

Put Your Senses to Work

How much do you really use your senses? That’s not a trick question. It is estimated that the average human being only uses about 18% of the capabilities of their senses. I wonder how much you would have to write about if you were working at 75% capacity?

Go sit in the backyard, close your eyes, and allow your hearing to be your eyes. Put ear plugs in your ears and walk around deaf for a day. Go for a walk and touch everything you see. Feel the texture of a leaf and pick up the first frog you see. Walk barefoot on that walk and enjoy the sensations. Stop and smell every flower you see on a half-hour walk. Taste a snowflake and a red hot pepper, and if you have never smoked a cigar then do so. Remember that we are trying to expand our horizons as writers, and each and every experience helps us to do so.

Take the Road Less Traveled

Do not, and I repeat this emphatically….DO NOT FOLLOW THE CROWD! You are your own unique writer so act like it. Develop the writing voice that only you can have, and quit trying to write like some writer you read in Good Housekeeping.

How many writers are there in the world? Millions for sure, and what a boring world it would be if every writer tried to be like every other writer. Your style of writing is a compilation of your life and your experiences. You are unique in the world of literature, so call on that uniqueness and be the best you that you can be.

If there are trends then don’t follow them. Establish your own trend and let others follow you. Find out what nobody else is writing about and then write about it. Sheep have never known the thrill of flying with eagles, and you will never know the thrill of flight if you don’t first spread your wings.

Do you take risks as a writer or play it safe?

See results

So There You Have It

It is time for each of you to jump off that cliff and start building wings during the fall.

I have always had a fascination with speed. When I was in my early twenties I saved up my money and bought my dream car, a Porsche 911. I took it on a road trip back to North Dakota to visit my sister. On the way, on a lonely stretch of I-90 in Montana, I decided to find out just how fast that car would go. I hit the gas and started shifting….first gear, second, third, fourth….finally I was doing 130 mph and the world was a blur and yes, my heart was in my throat and I was sweating bullets. I remember thinking that all it would take is a jackrabbit to cross the road and me to hit it, and I would be airborne and then dead. You know what? I didn’t care! There was such a rush….such a mind-blowing escape in traveling that fast….that for a few minutes I was willing to risk it all to experience it.

That is what I wish for you all. I want each and every one of you to experience the thrill of writing incredible poetry or prose based on your own experiences. I want you to risk comfort and safety so that you can finally understand that quote by Ray Bradbury.

Go find your own personal cliff and then figure out how you are going to survive the jump.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Experience life with a backstage pass - I love that! As always, a really interesting hub Bill which always leaves me to more to think about than when I began it.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Love your examples. Life is about taking risks and I know so many people who never get out of their comfort zone. I have taken so many risks in life I think I wrote the book. And being an individual in writing style ...that is a daunting experience..just as long as there are no typos and huge grammar oddities. Great hub..Think I will share this around facebook and get the word out.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful sentiments and love how poetic this truly was. I must admit that I have tried more than a few different career options since I was younger. I am as you know loving writing. I have written on her, content mills, blogging and now my novel and truly feel once I opened the writing flood gates have not been able to stop. I am tired at times a you know and whenever I take even a short break, I still long to write. So that is what I am doing. I loved the way you put this and explained though. And have of course voted up and shared for others too to experience!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I just think that writers need to spread their wings and find out exactly what they are capable of. Wouldn't it be incredible to write at 75% of our potential?

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you! Taking risks is in my personal DNA. It's how I've lived most of my life and honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way. :)

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 4 years ago from UK

      Great pep talk Bill, quite timely as it happens - thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I just think that many writers are afraid to take risks with their writing for fear of failure. Quite frankly, failure is part of the business, so if we are holding back because of that we might as well get out of the business. You, my dear, are not afraid of taking risks. Anyone who knows you knows that.

      Thank you Janine!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judi, I always love to see you stop by. Thank you!

    • toys-everywhere profile image

      Rachael C. 4 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

      I really enjoyed this hub, Bill. I've never been much for comfort zones; the way I was raised left me with no real choice to have them...and at this stage in life, getting comfortable makes me uncomfortable, lol. I try to apply that to my writing if I can, but for some reason my instinct works better than my logic and I can't really analyze too much or I screw it all up. So I'm not quite certain if I take risks in my writing, but this was yet another great article! Voted up :D

      Hope you're doing well, dear friend.

      ~~Rachael

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, you made an interesting statement. You said getting comfortable makes you uncomfortable. I can so relate to that; I've been that way my entire life. I wonder where that comes from, and why more people aren't like that? I think they should be, because I think comfort breeds complacency, especially when we are talking about the Arts and creating.

      Thank you my friend.

    • toys-everywhere profile image

      Rachael C. 4 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

      I know for a fact, that my tendency to be so is due not only to the fact that it's in my nature, but also in large part to the fact that I was raised with an immediate relative who was mentally ill, and whenever something was going well they had the urge to ruin that. It made me constantly jump from being comfortable because I felt that it could not last long. Now, as an adult, I simply can't be comfortable because, as I said before, it makes me uncomfortable. It's an instinct that I think has been strengthened by reflex. This same person, however, taught me about perseverance, about how to never settle, to never stay at the level I think is best because there is always something better.

      It's my belief that the weirdies, people like you and me, are the way we are simply because we are too honest and blunt to be differently. I think too many people, they're either raised in denial or grow into it--denying their talents or their desires, or things they see as "wrong with" them when these things, in actuality, should be embraced. My brother and sister, purely by their young existence, have taught me that you can't deny what you are, you can't deny what's in your heart, in your spirit. Too many people spend all their time doing that instead of obeying what their instinct tells them. I'm sorry I just went off on a rant, but I'm a little hotheaded and I get overly impassioned about things, hehe. But thanks for the new chain of thoughts you just started in my head. :D

      ~~Rachael

    • MaryProud profile image

      MaryProud 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Thanks Bill! Getting out of the comfort zone is scary, but necessary. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the Mastery of fear.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I think it is so important for writers to branch out into new areas. It is a healthy sign of health to do so. Thank you for the visit.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      You know what, sometimes one needs a reminder about how to fly when the wings are clipped by many demotivating things. These words in the hub just reaffirm those lost old convictions and ethos.

      This is just an awesome and inspirational writing,friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, we all need that reminder from time to time. I'm happy if this helped you, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Racheal...what a great comment..."you can't deny who you are." Boy oh boy, does that say it all. I was raised to take chances by two parents who believed that we must extend ourselves to find out what we are capable of. The challenged me to take risks and I am so grateful for it. As for why I never seem to be comfortable with my present surroundings....I think it is a direct result of that. I can only take the status quo for so long and then I try to break free. My lifestyle would drive many crazy but for me it works.

      Thank you again for a great comment.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      You made a good point saying we shouldn't just follow the crowd. I can't say I'm afraid to write a novel, but I am slow, maybe because of the fear that I'm not "good" enough to write what everybody would want to read. Thanks for the motivation :)

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      billybuc, you are such a talented writer and offer great tips for all of us. I love taking risks and your words are so encouraging. I also love the illustration/analogy of the cocoon turning into a butterfly. This was a great read. Thumbs up!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      "Some of the great writers in history believed that you have to experience life in order to write about it." Boy does this hit the nail on the head for me. I travel in order to experience as much of this planet as possible. And when I get home I write about my experiences and travels. Pretty simple formula. Rest assured that we are already planning our next adventure. Great job Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vox, that would be a common fear if it is yours. Many writers fear they are not good enough. There is only one way to find out. :) Thank you so much for another view and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Careermommy, thank you my new friend. Like all writers, I question the amount of talent that I have, but I keep trying to get better, and that drive is in most of us who want to succeed. Best of luck to you and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, your experiences are invaluable as you continue to grow as a writer, and I have no doubt that you are planning the next trip. Thank you my friend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I like that you urged people to take a risk as a writer, and then gave examples! I enjoyed the quotes, and your last sentence.

      Every experience in life is enriching, and there are so many ideas to be had every day. I like the idea of going out of our comfort zone, and trying new things.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      True and well said. Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites. What you say about writers facing fears and getting out of their comfort zones goes, too, for being an active citizen who puts the freedoms to speak, assemble, petition, organize, etc., into practice. It goes, too, for growing as a person.

      My wife has hung a piece of fabric art over a doorway in our place that says NO FEAR. We'll see if that has a subliminal influence on us and on my writing and her art.

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Thought provoking, and as always a great hub. Prior to my neck injury, I had a fear of heights. My answer was to get a job climbing the steel of large bridges in New York and getting my pilots license. Flying turned out to be possibly the most enjoyable thrill of my life. Unfortunately the bridge repair occupation likely contributed to my neck but as the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. With a love for speed and alcohol a part of your life we are probably lucky to have you here writing and inspiring!

    • web923 profile image

      Bill Blackburn 4 years ago from Twentynine Palms, California

      A superb article by a master writer! When we let go all the fears and pursue that which we love, it is a metamorphosis that brings us into a whole new world of discovery. This Hub and your ability and skill to deliver the concepts that you put forth are second to none! It is not only useful and interesting; it is an awesome example of masterful writing. Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent advice, Bill. Your last line is the epitome of eloquence.

      You know, I read so many hubs lately that sound like someone else's style. That distresses me. When I read someone pick up on someone else's style or theme I stop reading. Writers are more than copycats. If you can't be unique, than perhaps you need to find a different vocation. Be a leader, not a follower. Develop your own style, as you suggest in this hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, thank you! It has made me a better writer. I'm not sure I could handle not taking risks. :)

      I hope you didn't get too much new snowfall.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, your point is well taken and quite correct. I wonder how many people are falling short of their potential because of fear? I know it is in the back of my mind from time to time, and there are tough days when I really want to succumb to it. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      David, I know I'm lucky to be here for sure. I'm not certain how I survived but I'm awfully happy I did. Glad you made it through that bridge repair phase too. :) Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      web, thank you so much! I don't feel masterful, but I do feel I'm getting better, and your words mean a great deal to me. Best wishes to you in your writing.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I think we got 5 or 6 inches. It's hard to tell, with the wind. It's not bad!

      Thanks.

      I hope you've had a wonderful weekend! It's almost over, but tomorrow is President's Day, so it doesn't feel like it. Have a good one!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I thought it was my imagination, but I have noticed the same thing. Maybe we have read too many hubs and that's why so many sound the same. :) Benefit of the doubt and all that.

      Thank you dear friend.

      love you,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, thanks for the reminder that it is a holiday tomorrow. Do writers have days off? I know my customers don't, so it will be a normal day at work. I'm glad the snow was manageable this time. Have a great week!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, this is another awesome lesson! Isn't variety the spice of life? One has to take risks to enjoy this variety.

      All the way up and sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You always give such good advice. I go out on a limb everytime i write and i catch a lot of heat, but i write what i feel and so do you. Thank's for another lifter-upper, you do this so well...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting advice. Thank you for this.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Outstanding and quite beautiful Bill. This one is another that my heart could have written but would never have done as well as you have done. It began with two of my very favorite quotes and the images were the perfect compliment too. This is such wonderful advice and should open the door for many writers wh have been fearful of true expression. Life is such a marvelous teacher and when you aren't afraid to live it will fill your head with ideas to write about. Keeping living, loving large and writing because you are a master at them all.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from USA

      Terrific advice! It took me a long time to post my first hub when I signed up. I was terrified of failure and people not liking what I wrote. Over time I have gain the confidence to post a variety of topics. (Even a few that would leave my readers scratching their heads...LOL!) I have to agree, the only way to be a great writer is taking a risk. Thanks for this helpful hub.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Bill your pep talks are worth their weight on gold. You write, motivate and get me to thinking. Writing is definitely worth taking a risk at and you know the feeling when people like what you have written is indescribable. Hey, hey, hey I found out today that I have some money coming to me from adsense. It's not much but it's my first and it means I've moved a bit up that mountain. Passing this on.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have taken many risks in writing and finally found my way to succeed thanks for the excellent tips here.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Thanks Bill, for the useful tips.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes Billy another great read and lesson .

      I've felt what it is to drag myself out of that comfort zone ; to live a new life which i turn gives me writing material that is unique for me and I think this is said of you too my friend ad so many mothers on here. I am sharing this one onto my new FB page A Brand New Dawn. Let's both go for it my friend !!!! There is not a moment to lose;life is to be lived!!!

      Have a great day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I breathe and eat variety. Love to take risks. Life is good and I want to experience it all.

      Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, catching heat is a good thing during the winter. :) When people question me I just write more and figure I must be on the right path.

      Thank you dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Martin! Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, one of my favorite expressions is livin' large and lovin' life. There is no other way.

      You are much too kind with your compliments but I'll take them gratefully. LOL

      Thank you dear friend! Have a great day at work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tipoague, good for you! Facing down the fears is necessary to becoming a good writer, and it sounds like you are well on your way. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, hooray for the little steps, which add up to be a large step. Keep writing. You add beauty to the world with your poetry and that has no price on it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I love it! I am so happy that you have taken risks and you are now succeeding. Well done!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jainismus, you are very welcome and thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you for sharing and your kind words. My life shaped me as a writer; I would be a fool not to use those experiences. Your life has turned you into a beautiful writer of beautiful poetry, and how wonderful is that?

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      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Bill,

      Sometimes we just refuse to open up and learn new things, i guess we have fear of known but when we defeat the fear and take up the risk, we become new people with more success. Voted up, useful and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dwachira, you are so right. We need to expand and grow as human beings, and in the process we will become better writers.

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      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      I always believe that the best writing advice is "write what you know." I guess that does mean learning and experiencing more so that we know more. Writing what we know lends more depth to our work. It makes us better writers. Getting out of the comfort zone to experience life also makes us better, more interesting people. Becoming a better, more interesting person is a good goal in itself, but if it makes me a better writer, that is the cherry on top of the sundae. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, I completely agree with you. Sure I can write an article about cars, but I know nothing about it and it would show. On the other hand, I know quite a bit about some other facets of life, and it shows in my writing. Great advice from you young lady.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great ideas! While I'll never hold a snake, I think I can take more risks where my writing is concerned. I'm still working on it. Bill, this hub is really inspiring. Thank you for the pick-me-up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Vicki! Good to see you. I have your new hub set aside and I'll get to it shortly. I think we all need to take risks with our writing, Vicki! I am constantly looking for new styles I have not tried before. I know of no other way to improve my craft. :)

      Thanks for stopping by my friend and I hope you are well.

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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the pep talk, Bill! I recently decided to pursue a writing opportunity that was quite a bit out of my comfort zone. When they offered me the position, I almost changed my mind. Luckily, I was able to overcome my self-doubts and decided to take the risk. Even if things don't work out as I'm hoping they will, I know it will be a great learning experience which can only help me down the road. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of continuing to challenge ourselves!

    • rosika profile image

      rosika 4 years ago

      Really inspiring hub Bill.....sometimes lack of motivation and sometimes due to fear, I have hold myself back from both writing and publishing....this article is encouraging me to take risk rather and see what happens ahead. Thanks for ideas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathy, bravo to you for taking a new risk. I agree that it can only help you in the future. Well done, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosika, I hope you do push forward. You are a good writer and you will only get better with time. Best of luck to you my friend, and thank you!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Taking risks is risky, huh? My Momma always taught me that the worst that can happen when I try something is that I don't succeed. And then, she would say, you can do it again and again...until I got better at it. One thing I have found out is that writing and rewriting improves what began perhaps as something mundane. Sometimes even after I publish an article here on HP, I will unpublish it at some point because it just was not what I had originally thought.

      Valuable suggestions....here, Bill. Learning to find ourselves, to risk a screw up, to go into the uncharted territory...it is the only way to find our voice, our way to express what lies hidden within each of us.

      This is another one that is A++.

      voted up up and away

      Sending you many many Angels tonight. :) ps

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      ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

      Great advice that is seldom given! We humans are all too afraid to venture out and be different, or take a chance. Frankly, I enjoy being different from other women my age, and flaunt it whenever I can. I'm thinking about starting a Bucket List, and your hub points out that it would be a great idea. Take a chance, dare to live before you die!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exotic, welcome back unless I'm mistaken. If my memory serves me well you were active until about six months ago, or a little longer. Anyway, it is nice to see you back, and thank you. Good luck with that bucket list.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I don't think I'm comfortable unless I am taking risks. LOL I think back to some of the gambles I have taken during my lifetime, and believe me, taking risks as a writer doesn't even come close. I love the freedom of saying "to hell with it" and going for a new experience no matter the outcome.

      Of course I'll gladly take those angels and thank you for them.

      hugs and blessings winging across America

      bill

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, a few calculated risks are essential in writing. Getting out there and really doing the hard work is the way to go!! Good words.

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      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Great motivational Hub Bill. The best thing is that you walk the talk, and in doing so inspire others. Thanks for this!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Michelle! If someone thinks they can be a writer without hard work, they are sadly mistaken.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I try to walk the talk. Thank you for confirming that.

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Well, this article is full of things I can relate to. When I think about it I have always taken risks. Travelling alone to many foreign destinations, playing sport with Epilepsy, Changing hair colors, career choices, own business, starting to write as a career and now moving to Italy to start all over again ! yes, getting out of that comfort zone is as you say comfortable, is something we all need to do and one of these days I may be brave enough to hold that snake which I am terrified of!

      Great accurate work here my friend, wise and thought provoking. I ditto all you say and as a new writer I have seen how getting out of that comfort zone has opened up a world here I never knew before and would not have missed it for the world.

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      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Wow! Very inspiring hub Bill. Going out from my comfort zone is what I should do sometime, but not holding the snake which I´m so afraid of. Maybe I have to start with looking the snake in the telly first as I always change the channel when this creature appears before my face. I bear it in my mind, "risk something Thelma. Go out from your comfort zone." Thanks for sharing.

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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Very nice hub. I feel as a writer you should always be open to taking risks and going outside of your comfort zone. Constantly, being optimistic and changing up the subjects you talk about will really help to keep your readers interested. Voted up.

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      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      billybuc, well said. I totally am with you - did the 140mph in a z28 I bought for my wife (racing a vette). Moved to Portland, OR without a home or job in line - talk about living on the edge. But in my writing, I'm usually in my comfort zone - all cozy and chummy. I plan to step out this year and put all my cards on the table! I'm taking the plunge to see if I can kick up my writing income a few notches and take down my working income a few notches. Thanks for the shot in the arm. Upvoted/interesting/following. Peace. Kawi.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you are the personification of taking risks. What a great life you have lived, and now a new adventure awaits you. Best of luck to you as you travel your new path, and thank you so much for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thelma, it is not easy, and some risks maybe shouldn't be taken, but the general point is true, that we will grow as writers if we keep expanding our opportunities and experiences. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Torrilynn, I agree completely. Thank you for another visit. I will be by your site shortly.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kawika, bravo to you in taking the next step. Obviously taking risks is nothing new for you. Now let's see what it does for you in the writing world. Thank you!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Joining hubpages was way out of my comfort range when I first started. I have only just now started letting a few family members know I do this (except my husband and daughter, they have known and helped, all along). Maybe I'll let a few friends know now too.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I am happy that you are venturing out and spreading your wings. You are a good writer and more people need to read your work.

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      Aga 4 years ago

      I conquered some of my writing fears, the first step was to join HubPages.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, that was a big step for me as well. Thank you!

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      The more that you write or have to write, the less fearful it becomes.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I believe that too. :) thanks for another visit.

    • Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

      Kierstin Gunsberg 4 years ago from Traverse City, Michigan

      Woot woot, I love this piece! Pursuing writing as more than just a hobby takes a whole lot of patience, bravery, and perseverance. Thanks for writing this = )

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kierstin, you are very welcome and thank you. I hope you are well and have a great weekend.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I need to take that walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the inspiration through nature. Thanks again for your encouraging words.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, good to hear from you. I hope you are well and you get to take that walk soon. Thank you!

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      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      Thank you Billy once again for being the inspiration for so many of us. Am going for an intereview today with someone who needs help and willing to pay a retainer. A step closer to working from home for me. Here's hoping and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyber, that is great news. Best of luck to you; I hope it works out for you.

      Thank you!

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