Taking a risk; making a start

Climbing StairsYou know the feeling. That breathless, gasping ache for air as you force one foot ahead of the other, climbing one more step, and one more, and one more… desperate to reach the top.

It may have been a challenge, a climb, a race, a chase. Or maybe you were recovering from surgery and pushing yourself just one more step was part of your therapy.  Whatever the case, the first step had to be taken, then another. Without making a start, there was no way to reach the top.

Yesterday I came across this poster on Facebook* and was reminded of how often we don’t make progress because we never quite muster the momentum that’s needed. We never succeed because we can’t accept the risk of failure. We never finish because we don’t start.

Taking small steps

Writers face this every day. There are those who would like to write a novel but aren’t sure they can create 90,000 consecutive words. Or they have too many ideas and don’t know how to round them up into a cohesive story. Others have written their stories but aren’t able to share them with editors or agents, or even other writers, for fear they aren’t good enough. Some published authors fear their initial success is a fluke and whatever else they write won’t measure up, so they don’t try again.

I’ll bet you can think of times you’ve hesitated, turned aside from pursuing a goal or a dream for what seemed like a very legitimate reason. Did you ever return to it… eventually make the effort… or did you accept it wasn’t meant to be?

It’s never too late to try again. If the original dream is beyond reach, you can always modify the goal.

“Tip toe if you must, but take the step.”



“I don’t so much mind looking back on having lost the election,
or having been denied a role in the play, or having had my novel repeatedly rejected,
or having been turned down for a date,
or recalling laughter at my expense when I attempted some silly challenge.
Those things simply prove that I lived life.
What I do mind, however, is looking back on the lost opportunities
where imagined concerns kept me from even trying, lose or win.
I’ve learned that there is no regret in a brave attempt. Only in cowering to fear.”

Richelle E. Goodrich


“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us —
yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Psalm 90:17 – NIV


“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished
by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

Dale Carnegie
Quotes and Fantasy

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

12 thoughts on “Taking a risk; making a start

  1. This is excellent! Needed to hear this quote today, thank you for sharing it. “Tip toe if you must, but take the step.” “We never finish because we don’t start,” or because we meander instead of plodding along. Great quotes that you included at the end, too. I think Psalm 90:17 will be my new theme song. If I am asking the Lord to bless my work, then I need to do the work, with my hands. Kind of a duh, but I think you will understand, the fear keeps us back- love the thought from the Goodrich quote, “imagined concerns…” So, as you said, “It’s never to late to try again.” Today, beginning – again. Thank you!

  2. This is such a fitting post. I just finished the 3rd chapter in my collaboration with 5 other writers in a steampunk story. It felt as if I was tiptoeing backwards. What a struggle it was for me to finish that 3rd installment. I wanted to give up and bow out, but I didn’t. And you’re right, Carol, I’m glad I didn’t.

  3. Thank you for the encouraging words, Carol! I’m facing a difficult section in the second draft of my novel and it’s really tempting to do those all-important other things rather than face the terror of the blinking cursor on a white page. I just have to tip-toe through the chapter, I guess!

  4. I appreciate all your visits, thanks. I think Susan has nailed it by saying that every challenge involves some kind of risk. Tucking into the job by taking that first step at least gives us some control over our success or failure. 🙂

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