No Risk, no Art. No Art, no Reward.


I had just come back from a noisy family holiday. Sun, fun but not much time to think or work. Guess that’s why they call it a holiday. But I’d found it hard to unwind. I was looking forward to some alone time as I picked up my mail and wandered upstairs to my flat.

Something was bugging me.  I had been working so hard for the last six months and was on the brink of a breakthrough. I was taking lots of meetings, my script was coming on nicely, I had new projects and contacts coming out of my ears. And yet something was missing. Something in my head hadn’t shifted yet. I was still in ‘Make it Happen’ gear.  Was it all even worth it?  These tired thoughts were not far away  as I poured a gin and tonic and set down to open my mail in front of the TV.

Trade magazines, a bill – leave that til morning – and a bright pink envelope. It looked like a birthday card – only it wasn’t my birthday and I didn’t recognise the handwriting. I flipped it over and opened it.  As soon as I saw it I knew what it was. It was a handwritten postcard and this is what it said:


You are an amazing human being.

You know 22 amazing women.

So get on with it!

The writing was my own.  On the last day of the WFTV mentoring scheme we had been asked to write a postcard to ourselves reminding us of our goals and of how we all felt when we were together.  Like we could do anything, I thought at the time, as I scribbled an exhortation to myself.  Each postcard had a quote on the front.  I flipped mine over.  This is what it said:

No Risk, no Art. No Art, no Reward.

(Seth Godin)

And looking at this in my room at night, a month after we all said goodbye and went off to go it alone, I realised it was true.

The risk I took is now starting to bear fruit.  Producers are asking to read my feature script and I know now it’s been worth it.

So hang in there. Magical things can happen if you trust yourself enough to take a chance.


You can share your thoughts and experiences below or find me on Twitter @emlin32


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