I saw this image on Facebook last week. It was posted by Laurie Baum Olson and came to my attention via my old high school pal, Kathryn Kane. And it made me think.
Specifically, it made me think about two writing projects lurking in the back of my mind, which I’ve been reluctant to attempt because they’re outside my comfort zone. In fact, I already made a half-hearted attempt at one of them last year and gave up after only a couple weeks of working on it because it was “just not for me.”
But if it wasn’t really my thing, why is the idea still hanging around, bothering me?
If I tally up all my completed and in-progress manuscripts – I’ve got 1 historical fiction, 1 historical mystery, 3 historical with a paranormal bent, and 2 historical with a science fiction bent. See the pattern?
But one of the stories “bothering” me is a contemporary ghost story and the other is an urban fantasy. The second one might even have the potential to be MG instead of YA, if I play around with it a bit. (My fifth grade students keep asking why I don’t write anything for them!)
Both these projects are well outside my comfort zone. The contemporary setting intimidates me, because I know I have to nail the voice of modern teens instead of historical ones, and the world building I’d need for that fantasy scares the bejeebers out of me.
But this little graphic really got to me. I don’t know if there truly IS a place just outside my comfort zone where all the magic is happening. However, I’ll never find out if I don’t stretch and grow a little.
I’ve made up my mind to attempt one of those projects this year.
What have you done to expand your comfort zone lately?