This is a post from our Editor's Desk.
Risk is scary - that’s the point. At the centre of risk is exposure and danger.
Of course, as a difficult feeling or situation, risk pulls a whole swag of other difficult things along behind it - doubt, fear, and vulnerability trundle along behind risk. On the flip-side, when a risk pays off, or we dodge the threat, then risk brings with it jubilation, adrenaline, a feeling of invincibility. While the cost of risk can be large, so can the rewards.
Writing is not for the risk-averse. From the moment that writing occurs to us as a possibility, we’re putting ourselves in vulnerable positions. The riskiness of writing manifests itself in different ways for different writers, like a choose-your-own-adventure where the protagonist very rarely ends up safe, cosy and satisfied. Not to big-up the tortured artist myth - I don’t mean to imply that the riskiness of writing is unhappy. I do feel, however, that in most cases an element of risk is pretty essential.
Revealing the machinations of your mind - whether fiction or nonfiction - is risky. Writing about the personal is risky, nd writing about things you’ve made up is risky. Giving your time to creative pursuits that often necessitate at least a chunk of time alone in your head is risky. Pitching work for publication is risky, meeting new people is risky, and trying new things is risky. At any stage of this whole ‘writing’ business, there’s the possibility of rejection or failure. This is risk.
Each Monday throughout March, we’re hearing from writers about how risk has played a part in their writing. We’ll be hearing from writers who feel the slipperiness of memory, and those who have travelled to dangerous places. We’ll have stories from writers who have used personal experience in their work and risked betrayal, as well as the story of a publishing house who deal exclusively in work by women. The risk we’ll be looking at is emotional and bodily, and has resulted in varying levels of success.
At Writers Bloc, we’re all about risks. We like to try new things and see how they go - we hope that you feel safe to share your risky ideas and work within our community. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, or so the saying goes.
Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.