One of my favorite T.V. Shows has always been Dr. Who and if you know anything about the Doctor you know he cannot resist a big red button. He may push it just to see what happens, but he's only a story and his problems will be solved at the end of an hour. In real life however, that 'big red button' is a scary thing.
Sometimes life brings you an opportunity and you just have to go for it. Over the past few days I've
been thinking about how sometimes you have to take a deep breath and "push the button". When I wrote my first work I was pretty much clueless as to what I was doing but there came a moment in time when I had to either get on with it or give up.
Moving forward allowed me to learn from my mistakes and begin to improve on my process. My more recent books, although not perfect, are much better and it is my deepest hope that they are becoming the work I want them to be.
Throughout this new endeavor I have done my best to tick all of the boxes, check and re-check the work and make sure that everything is just perfect. They are not perfect. However, there comes a time in the development of each book that I realize I have to either push the button or give up.
Life, just like the stories, is also this way. In each of my stories there comes a time when the hero or heroine has to make a decision and move on or forever be stuck where they are.
I hope that when opportunity knocks on your door you'll know when it is time to push the button and see where it takes you. You never know what the next big adventure will be out there, so be bold, give it your best, check all the pros and cons, and when you've done all you can go ahead: PUSH THE BUTTON!
Here are what some other authors have to say about pushing the button.
Now tell us about your button pushing moment. Have you ever had that moment where you just closed your eyes and slammed your hand down?
Today I'll push the button on a new book: The Redemption of Rachel and see where it takes me. Check it out on Amazon.
Sometimes pushing that button sends you in a different direction—a very scary direction. I’ve always written in the romance genre: western historical, fantasy, fantasy western, contemporary western. Then, three years ago Troy Smith of Western Fictioneers talked me into writing a traditional western short story. Okay, that wasn’t so scary, but the structure is definitely different, and the focus is not on the hero’s broad shoulders. That story was fun to write (will be reissued this year) and showed me that all stories don’t have to be centered around the romance. It was freeing, actually.
That pushed another button. You see, I had this idea a long time ago (August, 1998) for a female pistoleer named Honey Beaulieu. Since the series wouldn’t be a romance, I didn’t write it, but I did include a dime novel series written about her in Much Ado About Marshals and Mercy: Bride of Idaho. My critique partner asked what my next series would be and even though I knew it wasn’t marketable, I divulged my 18-year-old secret when I sent my friend the scene. That did it.
Here’s the problem—it’s western but not traditional western; it has a ghost so has paranormal elements; has some mystery but not enough to call a mystery; sports a lot of action/adventure but with a female protagonist instead of a male; it’s written in Old West vernacular in a chick lit style, and while there’s a romance element, it isn’t the central theme of the series. I’ve been calling it a genre blend but actually, Honey Beaulieu is her own genre. Period.
Marketable? Very tough. But sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and hope there’s a trampoline at the bottom. In March, Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter debuted with the first book, Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch (http://amzn.com/B01BZXYYMA) and I’m busy writing the second book, Sidetracked in Silver City. I just hope readers enjoy Honey as much as I do!
There have been numerous times when I had to make a choice to either stay the course or “push the
button” and hope for the best. As Tony Robbins said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” I wasn’t interested in getting what I’ve always gotten, which meant I had one option—to leap into the unknown.
I published my first historical western romance novel in June 2012, and at the time I was too overwhelmed with excitement to realize the enormity of what I’d just done. The shock and uncertainty hit when it came to publish the second and third books. I realized that I had stumbled into something that could get out of control (in a good way). I asked myself, do I invest my time and money, open myself up to public opinion, and make a career of writing books? Of course, I hit the button and hoped I could handle whatever came next.
Once the initial fear wore off, I continued to write, but while my guard was down another idea formulated. This one was bigger and scarier—to start my own publishing company. I’m talking about one where I publish other authors and put their book’s success in my hands. Talk about putting pressure on myself. However, I once again had that moment when I realized I wanted more, and I could either forget about it or “push the button.” I pushed.
In 2016, I decided yet again to take another leap by expanding into two new genres—contemporary and non-fiction. It was another one of those do it or languish experiences. I already had so much on my plate and I didn’t know if I could handle one more thing . . . but I “pushed the button”—again.
If I’ve learned anything by taking risks it’s that the greater risk lies in doing nothing. Giving into the fear, filling your thoughts with constant worry, wondering if you’re doing the right thing, those are the risks. Those doubts prevent us from using the incredible talents we’ve been given.
Leaping into the unknown is always scary, but I would do it again because if I don’t, how will I ever know what’s on the other side of the question mark?