On The Edge

We’ve all seen them.  People who perform those death defying stunts with ease, with the nonchalant attitude of someone taking a stroll in their friendly neighborhood, or laying about in a chaise lounge sipping lemonade.

You’d think the idea of walking across a high wire 1,500 feet above a gorge in the Grand Canyon without a harness, or trying to escape from a coffin while being “escorted” by two sky divers from 14,500 is as far fetched and crazy as the idea of living on Mars.   Oh wait.  There are people buying one way tickets to Mars in anticipation of living in a colony up there.  Okay, well, there you go.  Another death defying stunt in the making, except none of us know (yet) if they will actually defy death.

Who are these people?  What makes them able to live so recklessly, never gathering up enough fear to stop or reconsider they might not live through it?  I mean they keep on doing stuff like this over and over.    I’d love to see an MRI of their brain while they are in the middle of one of their feats.   They must be wired differently.  Or, at the very least, they’re the adrenalin junkies we hear about.

My idea of living on the edge is driving 70 miles an hour in a 65 mph zone.  Or, having no health insurance.  Or eating an extra scoop of ice cream after not running.   Or, writing for a living.  Yeah, that last one there,  That’s a BIG risk, right?

It could be as foolish or dangerous as buying a Lotto ticket and quitting your job before you know you’ve won. 

I never thought I’d be comfortable without a steady paycheck landing in my bank account every two weeks.  When you really think about it, and consider the odds of being published, writing and expecting to make money while doing so is high risk.

Despite knowing that, it hasn’t deterred me from still wanting to do it, while sort of ignoring the idea it may not happen.  I try not to get crazy thinking about that part.   Maybe in some way, in a very tiny, miniscule sort of way, writing a book and working towards publication is no different than the tight rope walker or the escape artist.  Aren’t we all doing something we think we can do?  Aren’t we putting ourselves out there, albeit in different ways, to be judged on how good we are?  Aren’t we taking a risk expecting a certain outcome?

(Granted, sitting here and writing is not going to kill me, although I do keep reading about “sitting is the new smoking,” so maybe it could, eventually)

The main point is, I’ve never considered myself a risk taker.  I’m not a live by the seat of your pants, on the edge kind of person.  Yet, despite that, I do recognize there is quite a bit of risk in doing this, knowing the outcome is predicated on the subjectivity and opinions of others.   But, I’m willing to accept that, take the chance because I love doing what I’m doing, despite myself.

Doesn’t this mean, that to some degree, writers live on the edge?

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