Writing Without a Net

It’s a bit of gamble, this writing thing.

I write and write and write and write.

And then I edit and edit and edit and edit.


And then I edit even more.

And when my latest masterpiece is all shined up and ready, I send it out into the world.

Sometimes (okay, many times) it comes back to me with words of rejection.

It feels like judgment. Probably because it is judgment.

And I say –

That’s just one person’s opinion.

(the very same thing I said to riding students I coached when they didn’t win a ribbon at a horse show.)


Every now and again, my writing is crowned worthy and it sails forth on a website or blog or a real paper page.

And this is scary, too.

Because this is writing without a net.


This is putting my heart out there for all to see.

It’s also showcasing my grammatical struggles, my flimsy opinions, my overreaching prose, and my personal bias.

It’s saying

I think what I have to say is worth reading!

And then daring the reader to agree or disagree.

I am learning (slowly) to wear a duck’s feathers.


To let hurtful words,

harsh judgment,

or someone else’s hard day,

roll right on off me into that muddy puddle and then leave them there.

muddy puddle

Because sometimes I hear from readers who say – how did you know?

How did you get inside my head? My heart? My soul?

And sometimes they say, Thank you.

Thank you for writing that.

I needed to hear it.

Thank you for writing that.

I needed the escape.

Thank you for writing that.

You made me wonder.

And when that happens-

I am humbled.

And happy.


Thanks for reading – write on, my friends.




Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at CaraWrites.com.

7 thoughts on “Writing Without a Net”

  1. So true! I’m always a little surprised to hear how much a kind word/rave review of an author’s book means to them, even though I’m also a writer.


  2. Takes alot of courage to put yourself out there as you do Cara. I’ve been writing all of my life and seldom share anything I write with anyone…..


    1. Thanks Kathryn – I got a running start with my first blog, Kid Friendly Organic Life. After that it was all about developing a thick skin and savoring the people who feed your soul. I imagine you would have rich and interesting writing that cuts to the bone.


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