Friday, May 13, 2016

Pushing the Comfort Zone

I'm bucking the system again and not writing a review this week! I'm such a rebel. I also haven't consumed enough media recently to write a review of anything, because it's been a ridiculous couple of weeks for me. When I'm behind on reading Saga, you know I'm behind on everything.

But I'm not going to make this a complaining post. Instead, let's talk about stretching yourself as a creator!

Last year, I wrote my first comedic story--"Glitter Bomb." As my critique group will tell you, I was so convinced it wasn't going to work that I initially tried to retract the first pages I'd sent them. Seriously. I sent the first ten pages, then two days later sent another email telling the group not to read them because they were so bad I was going to scrap it and start something new and in my comfort zone of not-funny. One of the group members had already read the pages and replied telling me how entertaining he found the pages, which prompted another of our group to read them and say the same thing. So, long story short, I retracted my retraction, finished the story and went through a couple round of rewrites/edits. I don't have the full press release information yet, but I signed a contract for "Glitter Bomb" a few months ago and it's due out in an anthology some time this summer (more information coming as I get it).

We all want to stay in our comfort zones and write our favorite types of stories over and over again. Which is great to a point, but we can't grow as writers if we do that and, eventually, we start writing the exact same thing without realizing it. I think there's a special kind of 'block' that can come from staying with stories that you're comfortable with--it's called boredom. No matter how much you like something, eventually you'll probably get bored with it if it's all you do.

So I'm trying another comedy story, because it still scares me a little bit, and it's different enough from what I've historically written that it feels fresh enough to keep me interested. What kinds of stories are outside your comfort zone that you want to try to write at some point? What's keeping you from trying?

Emily's still pretty surprised that she actually managed to make people laugh with her writing. But she's not going to complain at all. In fact, she's going to keep trying. And reminding herself that she's funnier than she thinks she is. Sometimes. When she feels like it.

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to reading the book & your story.