Dare to Take a Chance

Wednesday, July 05, 2023
Whether the heat or the holiday, I glanced at the calendar where I’d written “WOW! Blog post” and crumpled. 

Well, I didn’t literally fall to the ground in a crumpled heap of sweat. But I think my brain probably crumpled inside my head. Just collapsed into a pool of gray mush. Because not a single, solitary idea was left in the old mental file cabinet and time was a-wasting! 

Fortunately, that image of a file cabinet saved the day. I remembered that I had a file on my desk marked, “WOW! Post Ideas” and all I had to do was open the file to find… 

A whole lot of nothing. A lone sheet of paper waited, one with notes that had been struck through indicating I’d used that idea. UGH. But wait! There in the corner of the folder pocket, a scrap of newspaper. An old, torn, yet glorious scrap of an astrology column. Here is what it said: 

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). When you muster up the courage to take a chance, that’s something in and of itself. You needn’t couple your daring with the added pressure of demanding that you succeed. 

Isn’t that wonderful? You never know what amazingly accurate wisdom you’ll find in an astrology column! 

Now, I understand that life is about taking chances. Heck, sometimes, just getting out of bed in the morning is taking a chance. So this generalized horoscope was bound to hit the nail on the head with a vast majority of Libras (including me) as well as pretty much any newspaper reader. But the words resonated specifically for me that day—and why I’m sure I saved it—because I was deep into “Should I or shouldn’t I?” mode on switching the focus of my career.

But isn’t much of any writer’s life about mustering up the courage to take a chance? 

For example, when a writer spends money on a critique of a manuscript or when a writer sends out a query to the first agent. (Or the fiftieth agent.) How about when a writer pitches an article to an editor, or when a writer chooses to self-publish a book? Or even when a writer offers classes to other writers. I mean, basically, when a writer goes from thinking about to the act of doing, that takes courage of a special sort. 

But what I most love about that horoscope is the next line: 

You needn’t couple your daring with the added pressure of demanding that you succeed. 

Wow. Imagine how many writers—whether just beginning or considering something new and different—are out there right now, longing to try but stuck in a place of inertia because of fear of failure!

But here is what I wrote on the bottom of the scrap of newspaper: 

“Give yourself credit for starting. Starting is for the brave.” 

That was my takeaway point. So on this day after celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave, dare to take a chance with whatever is calling your heart. Be brave!


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

This. This right here. This is what I needed. Thank you!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm so glad, Sue! I needed it, too! There have been a few times in the last few weeks when I just couldn't get going because I felt like I'd fail. And I kinda did, when I first tried...and tried...and tried AGAIN. But then I sort of figured stuff out and I feel like Christopher Robin is talking to me: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top