The Geography of Risk
I started writing a book about a young woman who takes 50 risks in 2014. The idea came to me on a very long 5-hour solo drive from Charlotte, North Carolina back to Proctorville, Ohio where I was living at the time. I had driven to Charlotte the day before for an interview at UNC-Charlotte, all the time hoping that the interview I had done the week before in Corvallis, Oregon would be the job I would get. I was at a potential crossroads, hoping to hear soon from OSU while trying to keep any option that would get me out of Ohio open. While Charlotte would have been okay, it would have been another temporary spot until I got to where I wanted to go, which was Oregon.
Life is about motion, connection, community, learning, and inevitably, risk.
This novel isn’t going to change the world. I’m not even sure anymore how good the story is. But, it was a labor of love that I finally wanted to throw out into the world. Months after that drive from Charlotte, after I had gotten a dream job and moved to the best possible place I could have landed, the story of Emily’s journey of risks unfolded. It was a lot of Saturday mornings in my apartment in Corvallis, Oregon sitting at my laptop writing and making notes in a notebook, googling locations of campgrounds or trails around the country. I had an idea of the beginning and definitely the end but wasn’t sure at all about what would happen in the middle. And then it was done. And then the process continued. It was getting back pages of edited notes from my talented writer friend and going through them page by page. It was reading it again, editing again, trying to send out queries to publishers that seemed to go to an endless void.
So, ironically, self-publishing this novel is one of the biggest risks in my life. Because sharing something that I created and spent so much time on, feels vulnerable. What if people hate it or can’t even finish it because they get bored in the middle? What if this whole book is just a book about privilege, when so many people don’t get to choose to just travel to take risks? But, as I have told myself in the past few days, if people don’t like it, they can just stop reading it. There are few books everyone likes, and very fewer that change people’s lives.
There is much to be learned with sitting with vulnerability and diving towards it with courage, in spite of fear. Risk that. If interested, the link to the Ebook is below. Thanks for reading friends.