Most of an author's career is made up of risks. Writing the book they have no idea fits where in the market. Trying out a new way of writing--pantsing or plotting. Reading the one book they weren't too sure about, but later it changes their outlook on craft.
All these little moments are about taking a change. Jumping out with no net to speak of. And, I've been doing that this year. And I've been seeing progress. Go figure, which may be my motto for 2012. At the moment I have a lot of my plate and I don't have to create busy work.
And all of it, is me taking risks. I've jumped off the cow path *insert any other cliche* and I've yet to fall flat on my face. Trust me, I have before and it hurts. But the thing is, safe doesn't guarantee with any more assurance than taking risks do. Your odds are the same.
So why take the risk? Because I've seen the same people doing the safe thing over and over again. It's not long before they quit or they get disenchanted. At least with the risk you know you are doing your damnedest. Some days that counts more than anything.