Dangerous Living. Sort of.

I get nervous about breaking rules, even small ones. More and more, I've been learning to laugh at myself over my fussiness.

I'm not alone, I know. Many sensitive, creative people are cautious about getting hurt, or hurting others. Sometimes I worry that I'm making mistakes that I don't even know about. Now that I am getting ready to publish a book on the creative process, I'm even more paranoid.

I'm freaking out about mistakes big and small, from typos, to the possibility of misquoting a writer, to the idea of offending someone. (As if a book about the creative process would offend anybody!)

The other day I read another writer's essay about how she often felt stressed that she was overlooking some important task. Like me, she wondered if she had disobeyed a rule without even knowing it.

For years I had a recurring dream that I was back in high school. It was my senior year, and I had just found out that I missed an entire year-long class: typing. I had never been able to find the classroom. Now I wasn't going to graduate.

I would love to be a daring, dashing person who doesn't fret about details. Author Marc Acito is this kind of person. Some years ago he did a blog series recording one new zany experiment every day for 365 days: from trying out a new fruit to experimenting with spa treatments, to riding in a hot air balloon.

Well, I'm not Marc Acito. I'm not doing these daily daring things. But as I start making fun of myself, I notice tiny leaps I'm taking every day. They're absurd in their smallness.

I've been recording these micro dares. They make me smile. They remind me to keep stretching. Whatever I do, I can learn to accept myself and my cautious ways.

What are you doing that is daring, even if it is a microscopic-sized dare?

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