Taking Risks

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I’m into taking risks lately. Desperately trying to stretch myself, force myself–even with little things–each and every day.

I submitted a piece for Write on Edge. I love the writing community there, and I slid my entry for Precipice in just before the deadline (midnight tonight). Nothing like thriving under pressure, right?

I called The Moth (thank you, Alexandra, for the suggestion) and pitched my story to them. Who knows if they’ll call me back. But it was a risk to take.

I wrote this piece about Tribefest, and it was published in The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle.

I went to BBC (Bloggy Boot Camp) in St. Louis. During the writing lab, I read my post “Where I’m From: New Orleans,” aloud in front of the group there. I was so nervous, but I made myself do it. When Fran and Meagan asked for volunteers, I made sure my hand was the first in the air. I’m sure everyone thought I was nuts, but I never do things like that.

I’m taking Danielle Smith’s vlog challenge. I’m going take a short video of myself every day for over a week, and once that’s done, I’ll watch them all together so I can determine my strengths and weaknesses. Then I will vlog for you. I’ve vlogged for you before, but it’s been a long time. I vlogged about Why Jazzercise is Evil. I vlogged after Sarah Robinson’s CIP conference. I’ve just rewatched both of those and clearly I have a lot to work on. I blink A LOT. My camera sucks (here’s where my new MacBook Air comes in—stay tuned for AWESOME vlogs!), my husband hates my vlogs, but that’s okay. I’m going to do it anyway to break up the monotony over here.

Finally, voting for BlogHer’s Voices of the Year closed yesterday. So that’s it, and I will change my email signatures back and stop hounding you over Facebook, Twitter, etc. What’s done is done. But the point is that I was nominated for this post: “What I’m Afraid Of.” I asked for votes, and I got them. So thank you all. Now there’s just a lot of waiting ahead and trying to not get my hopes up. Oh, but the other risk? Is that I’m going to BlogHer in August. I bought my ticket. And I’m going to pretend for now that the idea of milling around with 5000 other bloggers doesn’t intimidate me one little bit.

What risks have YOU taken lately? How have you stepped outside of your comfort zone?

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  • http://terrisonoda.net/ Terri Sonoda

    Hi Erin.  For the record, I love your VLOGs and look forward to the new ones!  My life the past couple years has revolved around taking risks, and quite frankly, I’m exhausted.  But I just keep on trying out new things, ya know?  It’s what I do.   Lovely post, as usual.  HUGS

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin margolin

      Thanks, Terri. Gosh I’ve gotten behind w/ comments. I’m so sorry. I am going to keep trying, too. I still haven’t gotten to the blog. Big surprise there! lol
      Are you going to BBC Vegas?

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    I think taking risks is the only way we really get anywhere with our goals in this life.  Good for you, my friend.  I’m thinking positively for you all fronts.  But you knew that already, I hope! xo

    p.s. BlogHer ’12 – WOOT!!! 

    • Erin margolin


      We need a countdown counter thingie for our blogs for August. Only I dunno how to do that…? WOOT!

  • http://rasjacobson.com/ Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Oh Erin! I sooooooo want to go to BlogHer! But I haven’t published as broadly outside my blog in a decade. (Stinkin’ kid got in the way of things!) LOL! I need to start to pitch my ideas instead of simply giving them away for free. Alexandra has made some great suggestions to me as well. I’ve followed to at Aiming Low, and I’m going to read about TribeFest now.

    I need a kick in the pants in this area. I think I’m just not sure who would take care of my dude while I’m gone and Hubby is away all day. That’s what holds me back. But BlogHer’12. There is no reason I couldn’t go to NYC.

    Help me, Obi Wan.

    • Erin margolin


      Make it work. Just do it. Also? BlogHer has babysitting/daycare. I have a sitter who is helping cover while hubs is at work. I haven’t published broadly, either. BlogHer doesn’t have any requirements, you know! ps. sorry for my late reply. I can’t seem to catch up. But seriously—I would LOVE to meet you and you should  totally go!! If I can do it, so can you! xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/lauraBseymour Laura S.

    I’m proud of you, Erin! I can see you becoming more and more the woman you want to be. I’m glad we’re getting to know each other. 

    • Erin margolin


      Me too—-ps. so when are we having lunch/coffee again? oxo

  • Auntie Momo

    There is no reward without risk! Go Erin!

    • Erin margolin

      Love you, Auntie MoMo! xoxoxox

  • http://www.literalmom.com/ Missy | Literal Mom

    I love the risks you’re taking, Erin!  Good for you.  I have my fingers crossed for you being a VOTY!

    • Erin margolin

      Thanks so much, Missy. I’m not getting all excited about VOTY. Besides, maybe I can hone my skills for next year?!?! 

  • http://www.ladybluejay.com/ Jayla

    I haven’t taken any risks, but I have been thinking about taking them. I guess I am always afraid to, but your post has made me see that putting yourself and your ideas out there isn’t all that scary as long as you have people to back you up. Plus, it’s about the only way to reach your goals.

    I am definitely going to start taking risks soon.

    • Erin margolin


      Yep. If I can put myself out there? anyone can. Baby steps. Little things, one at a time. So it’s not as scary, you know? JUST DO IT!

  • Gooddayregularpeople

    The only way to growth and what a point of reference and personal experience now when you talk to your children.

    You can say, ” I know, I know…it’s scary, but the rewards…you’ll never know if you don’t try!”

    So proud of you, Erin…I know it’s scary.


    • Erin margolin

      Love you, Alexandra. Hoping your package arrives Saturday. I’m all paranoid now.  will you let me know when you get it?

      p.s. sorry for the ridiculously late reply.

  • http://writingwithchaos.com/ Kelly @ Writing with Chaos

    It is to hard to jump out of our comfort zone and put ourselves out there.

    I am so proud of you for doing just that – and for making me do the same.

    • Erin margolin


      Thank you for making me and helping me…and reading my scary, scary stuff. I adore you. But I loathe waiting.

  • http://www.elatedexhaustion.com/ Julia

    I’m so proud of you! What a list of accomplishments, risks, and bravery. 

    • Erin margolin

      Thank you, Julia! ;-)

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    I am so so very proud of you! Jumping up and down and cheering kind of proud. This post makes me super happy. 

    • Erin margolin

      Thank you, Tracie! Having you as a friend makes ME happy! Can you come to BlogHer??? xoxoxo

  • http://twitter.com/ksluiter Kate Sluiter

    Go ERIN!  I have said it before, if one thing could make me want to go to BlogHer this year it would be your being there.  It’s not as intimidating as you think it will be.  But no one telling you that will ease the nerves.  At least it didn’t for me last year.  You just have to get there and realize everyone is the same as you.

    No really.

    They are.

    My risks? hmmm…let’s see.  I am taking a photography class.  that is definitely out of my comfort zone.

    i am making myself take the baby out by myself since i was too anxious to do that with eddie when he was small…and i even took BOTH out alone last week.  and survived.

    and a bunch of small stuff that normal people would give me weird looks for because it doesn’t seem out of anyone’s comfort zone to answer a skype call.

    • Erin margolin


      I get freaked out about taking the baby out, too, only it’s not about me being by myself, it’s about adhering to her schedule and making sure my errands don’t interfere with her naps, etc…it stresses me out.

      I wish you were going again this year. Is it totally out of the question?? I would SO LOVE to meet you, I feel like we have a lot in common. Sigh.

      xoxoxo hugs!

  • Babblery

    I can be extremely shy just like you, Erin. However, I basically told someone off. Not a family member or a friend, either…MY BOSS! They had been “bullying” me with words for over a month. I had been working with them for 2 year’s and everything was going smoothly until the beginning of my 3rd year. They would say “that’s not correct” in a very loud voice or strongly imply that so-and-so could do my job 100% better. My 1st year at this job, I got numerous compliments from other co-worker’s as well as my boss. I even got nominated and actually won an award for my outstanding work!!! The 2nd year things were going quite well. When the 3rd year began, I had absolutely know clue why I was being picked on so much. I really wanted to please my boss and make him/her happy with the work I was doing. None of my co-workers (most of whom were there from my 1st day on) seemed to understand what was going on. Literally every work day I was yelled at 2 or more times a day by my boss. Needless to say, most days when I got home, I would vent to my family and friends and I would be sooo frustrated. I needed the job (I had nothing else lined up) and took a major risk by no longer biting my tounge. After venting my frustrations and sticking up for myself (PMS probably didn’t help), my boss changed his attitude towards me. From that day on, my boss thanked me for doing such a good job! I just finished my 3rd year working there and things are alot brighter now. I’m so glad that I took that risk!   

    • Erin margolin


      I’m so glad you stood up for yourself—that sounds amazing! I wonder what the heck was going on w/ your boss, but at least you had the courage to confront him, otherwise you would still be there and very unhappy…

      thanks of much for stopping by and sorry for the late reply!

  • http://twitter.com/KirstenPiccini Kirsten Piccini

    I think you’re amazing and I’m so glad you are putting yourself out there…doing so much more than I am. I cannot wait to see you in August (and I heard you’re rooming with Elaine…and my heart just exploded…I can’t wait to hug the CRAP out of both of you!!)

    • Erin margolin


      Who are you rooming with? And I need to go watch your LTYM performance! i am soooo behind, can you tell? I bet you were awesome, I want to try and get LTYM to come to KC so I can see what it’s all like. Sounds so incredible!


  • http://momgotblog.com/ Kelly

    So proud of you!!! Sometimes, gulping down that fear and stepping forward with the risk is what we need to grow.
    So, so, so excited you will be at BlogHer!!! I cannot wait to meet you! :)

    • Erin margolin


      You can’t wait to meet ME? No, you have it wrong. It’s the other way around!

  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    I’m so excited for you and for your risks. Especially the BlogHer12 risk. I’ll be there and you know I’m here for you. I can’t wait to see where all of this leads you. It truly warms my heart to know that you are spreading your wings.  

    • Erin margolin


      And it warms my heart that you will be at BlogHer too and we can hang out again/more! I think we should call the hotel and ask for adjoining rooms. Would they do that?!?!?!

  • http://www.thewatson6.blogspot.com jessica

    So proud of you for taking such risks and I know they will pay off. I am not a good risk taker. Maybe I need a med change :).

    • Erin margolin


      So sorry for the late reply. Playing catch up now!! Thanks and I hope you’re right. I haven’t been a very good risk taker so now I’m totally trying to make up for lost time. Keep your fingers crossed for me?


  • http://www.postdivorcechronicles.com LeeBlock


    • Erin margolin


  • http://twonormalmoms.blogspot.com/ Ally

    Wow, good for you! The only risk I can think of, was probably not really a risk, but I did sign up for a webinar about marketing your book (regardless of whether it’s not been pubished yet, self published or published by someone else). Which I guess means I’m sort of admitting, at least to myself, that I’d really like to put this thing I’m working on out there.

    • Erin margolin


      Good for you! That webinar sounds awesome and I think you SHOULD put it all out there. What have you got to lose? I’m sick of sitting back and waiting for things to happen…so…there you have it.

      xoxoxo & keep me posted!

  • Juliecgardner

    So when I turned 40, I quit my job, wrote two books and ran three marathons within the first 18 months. (I had no idea how to run, write or manage a single-income household but DAMN it felt good.)

    Then I joined Twitter and started a blog. I had no clue about how to navigate social media and often felt foolish (incredibly) or left out or lacking in some ways. But when I found my sea legs, DAMN it felt good.

    Now I am halfway through 43. And I haven’t taken any big risks lately. I feel somewhat limited because money is an issue (after all, I haven’t sold my books yet) so blog conferences and writing workshops and other big racing events are off the table.

    I suppose going back for round-two of submissions of my now-revised novel is a risk. I mean, I’ve been telling myself for two years that I can work on it; make it better; that it will sell.

    So what if it doesn’t? That will be so very hard to face. 

    But if it does?
    DAMN that will feel good.

    You are a CRAZY-AWESOME inspiration, Erin. I will be thinking about you now when I decide to move forward with my next big risk.

    • Erin margolin


      JUST DO IT. That Nike slogan applies to you, what with all of your running. And you are worlds ahead of me—I don’t even have any books written. I say go for it—sure, it’s hard to get rejected, but I think it’s time for round two. If you don’t try? You’ll never know.


      sorry this reply is so late.

  • Vikki

    Today I submitted an application for the Minneaota Emerging Writers’ grant and tomorrow I’m meeting with my supervisor to discuss a leave of absence to finish the collection of essays I’m writing. I never take risks – these are big ones for me.

    • Erin margolin


      OMG! YAY YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
      I am squealing and jumping up and down—so thrilled for you!
      will you keep me posted??


  • http://twitter.com/LizaWyles Liza Wyles

    Thanks for the inspiration, Erin.  Can’t wait to hear about all the success coming your way as a result of these risks!

    • Erin margolin


      Well, if you don’t hear anything, you’ll know these risks were all for naught. LOL! But hopefully something good will come from something. Otherwise I’ll just have to keep doing it, putting one foot in front of the other…thank you so much for stopping by.

  • BeckyReimnitz

    I went to Bloggy Boot Camp in StL too, that was my big risk. I am so painfully shy in that type of situation. I went there not knowing a single person, determined to meet some women from StL. FAIL. I had 2 panic attacks. I so admired your courage when you read your post in the writing lab. I started to cry a little because I knew there was no way I was ready to share like that.

    I don’t have the same anxiety at work, I bartend and have no problem talking to total strangers.
    Ironically, I am the regional training specialist for the restaurant I work for. I train the trainers. I have no problem standing in front of 50+ people and teaching them training techniques. I also teach them delivery skills: body language and vocal quality. I organize events for our region and host 3-4 events a year with 200+ people.

    I started a blog 2 months ago and I was so nervous at BBC, it was so new for me and I have no idea what I’m doing. I have wanted to blog since I started reading other blogs. I know I have a story to tell, but I am having trouble getting the courage to share it. I have written several posts (haven’t hit the post button yet!) about my life (drug addiction in my 20′s, my sister’s schizophrenia, growing up as a pastor’s kid).

    So my goal is to edit my posts (for the 10th time) and post them….wish me luck!

    (its been 1 hour since I started writting this comment, gonna pull up my big girl panties now and hit post comment now!)

    Okay, I’m back, just took a xanax…here goes nothing

    • Erin margolin


      You are so brave. Thank you for sharing here in the comments. Please know this wasn’t my first comments. and that I felt like I was going to throw up before I read my post. Also know that that post was already on my blog and had been written months prior, so easier for me to share.

      Email me if you want? erinmargolin at gmail dot com.
      I’m sorry you had panic attacks. I can TOTALLY relate. I only knew 4-5 people there, but I didn’t get to sit with them most of the time…

      You are on your way. You can DO this. Baby steps, sweet one.
      Email me!

  • http://pamelahutchins.com/ Pamela

    You are rocking it, Erin. I love hearing this.

    Today I indie published five books I’ve been working on for 3 years. I’m feeling raw and exposed. It helps to hear you talking about feeling this way, b/c it is a looonnnneeeellllyyy feeling.

    Keep it up!

    • Erin margolin


      Yep, I feel totally raw and exposed. I get it. But I am SO PROUD OF YOU! and amazed. and I need to buy your books! it’s been a crazy few weeks and dealing w/ some depression. ugh. THank you so much for being so loyal and sticking by me, reading , etc….

  • Leighvslaundry

    Wow Erin, I’m impressed with you!

    I am speaking at a parenting conference this weekend about my blog. This is my first public speaking engagement and I’m terrified! Wish me luck!

    • Erin margolin

      Leigh!! omg, I am SO EXCITED for you—please let me know how it goes? Will you post about it? You go w/ your bad self!


  • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com/ Gabber Grace

    Good for you…a number of these things I’ve considered before…the Moth..and putting myself out there for other writing gigs.  Some have went well, some have failed miserably…still trying! Kudos!

    • Erin margolin

      Gabber Grace,

      We don’t always succeed at everything, and that’s part of the deal. Unfortunately, it’s really hard for me to deal with failure. I may never get a call back from the Moth. Or it may take months. Who knows. I hate the waiting part, too. But I know I have to keep trying….with all of it….thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

      • http://www.gabbingwithgrace.com/ Grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

        no prob!!! =)

  • Pingback: Me & The Moth | Erin Margolin

  • http://amyoscar.com/ Amy Oscar

    You slay me with your courage. Seriously. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      {blush} I’m trying. I really am. I’m trying to do one thing every day that scares me. I’m amazed I’ve done these things, and terrified that one of them might really happen. Especially The Moth. Did you listen to my pitch? I have a lot of votes, but I know votes aren’t the only thing the judges consider. I still think my story needs to be heard. And what’s scarier? I don’t even know what story I’ll tell. I don’t have it written. But I’m not supposed to, right, because I haven’t been chosen….I don’t know.

      Anyway, thank YOU for yesterday’s #soulcall. It nourished me a great deal.