Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Funny things happen when you take a chance and color outside the lines. You can find a lucky penny on the street, meet someone new, try a new food you may never have had before--and love it.

Saturday I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance. Saturdays are usually work and rest days, but when the bf showed up with tickets to a concert, I decided to give it a chance. Not only did I have a great time, but it helped with work, too. Standing there among so many other people listening to great music and relaxing, I got to thinking. And thinking and thinking. And in the middle of all this thinking, I solved a pretty prominent plot issue I'd been having. This solution just kind of came to me, and is a huge step up in action and tension in my latest WIP. It's really a game changer in almost every way, and it never would have happened had I not decided spur of the moment to go to a concert.

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places or people. Of course putting your head down and working is super important, especially if you write, but sometimes, if you're stuck, you just have to break away from the norm and step away from your desk. It doesn't have to be anything as extreme as skydiving or staging your own role play of the zombie apocalypse (although that does sound pretty awesome). Sometimes just looking outside the window or stepping outside for a short walk will do the trick to unblock you. For me it wasn't that easy. No, I had to let go completely--not something I'm used to.

So, the next time your stuck on a paper for school or report for work, on an outline, or a novel, pull yourself away and try something new. You never know what could happen.

Here is where I'd love to hear from you. What helps inspire you? What things have helped you step outside your comfort zone?

An Update

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
So, I've been revising. Reading. Trying to find two seconds to remember what a life feels like. Not that I'm complaining. Definitely not complaining. Honestly, I love being busy. If I don't have something to do, I'm listless, lost.

As Normal Human Being Me, I've been to the movies (The Dark Knight Returns) and took a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a long drive (2 hours each way), but well worth it since it's been years since I've been there.

It was beautiful, relaxing, and so much fun. Plus I got some great pictures. I saw fish, eels, and tidepools, oh my. :)

Plus, the weather wasn't so bad either.

All in all, things have been good. I'm blessed and busy, excited and nervous, and doing a good job of holding it all together.

Here in San Francisco, we've been waiting for our real summer, which comes in September. Until then we're lucky if we hit seventy degrees. Most days are foggy, too, but today the sun is around. Indian summer, please come soon.

And now that you've listened to me ramble, I want to know what all of you been up to. Summer is almost over. Sad, I know, but true. Did you do anything special? Go out of town? Or read under your favorite tree? This is my favorite part about blogging. I want to hear from you. :)

My (scary) Admission

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I've been pretty busy these last few weeks working on a WIP and spending several hours a day at the hospital with my uncle. While thinking about my writing and editing and my WIP, it occurred to me that most of the time, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Okay, now some of you may be laughing, and others may be freaking out.

"What do you mean you don't know what you're doing?!"

To clarify, I've been writing seriously for several years. I've read various books on craft, writing, editing, etc. I've taken writing/editing classes. I've read more books than I care to count, in and out of my genre. I've done just about everything most established writers, publishers, and agents recommend you do if you want to succeed in this business.

All of that reading, learning, and researching has helped me develop my style, voice, plotting, and blah blah blah.

The point I'm really trying to get to here is you can read every "The Craft of Writing" book out there, take every class you can afford, and read blogs until your eyes blur. But unless you try, unless you practice, you really aren't doing yourself any favors.

Information comes and goes. Trends spike then wither. Unless you are pushing yourself, confident in your writing or not, you will not get anywhere in this industry.

Back to me knowing nothing. It's true. I write what I would want to read. I make my characters ones I can relate to. I give them flaws because it's interesting. Before I decided to try my hand at writing, I was a reader first. And the reader in me loves tension and emotion and screwed up characters. Instead of writing the way someone with a PhD tells me to, I take my own path and see where it leads.

That's right, just winging it.

I had no idea how to edit when I printed out my first completed manuscript. And let me tell you, it was a disaster.

Now I have guidelines--I read the draft over from beginning to end, making only major notes, instead of bothering with minor grammer issues--but my process almost always changes with every single book.

When I start a new project, again I have no idea what I'm doing. And to tell the truth. I kinda like it that way.

Care to share a detail of your writing/editing/plotting process? I'd love to add a new tidbit to my next project.

Under Construction

Friday, March 2, 2012
I've been working with my webmaster (also my crit partner and fantastic friend) Lesley. She has skills like no other, seriously. You have to see her etsy store.

I drool over her bookish charm bracelets! Her "Across The Universe (by Beth Revis)" charm bracelet shown here.

Anyway, she'll be working on this site for the next few days. I cannot wait to see what super creative stuff she comes up with. So stay tuned. Everything should be completed before the end of next week. *dances* Thanks for hanging in there with me. Come back soon and let me know what you think of the finished product.

For The Love of...

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Today is about the usual, writing, editing, and the love of it all.

Yes, I'm a writer because I love it. Every part of the process (except maybe writing the synopsis). Seriously though, I have even learned to love the hard stuff. In the beginning, the first draft was it for me. I still find this as my favorite part of the process, the most creative, but through the years and the manuscripts, I've even learned to adore the plotting and editing processes. Yes, it takes longer (way longer for me), but nothing makes the story brighter, better, ballsier, than a thorough edit. And nothing makes a first draft easier to write than plotting before hand.

I'm looking back today because I've finally finished edits on GD. This is an exciting day. Scary too, don't get me wrong. But I'm less nervous than I thought I'd be at this point. So I'm taking the necessary steps and getting a little nostalgic.

Instead of doing the waiting-and-refreshing-my-inbox-every-two-seconds, I'm taking the day off today (if I can stand it) and tomorrow I'm going to figure out what's next. I have a few things on the back burner to choose from, but I think I know which will take priority. And no, I can't say yet.

Thanks for stopping by! If you'd care to share, I'd love to know, what is everyone out there working on? Are you writing, editing, working, reading, fiddling with a project that has nothing to do with books?