Posted in Writers, Writing tips

Writers grow by leaving their comfort zone

The only way to grow as a writer is by leaving your comfort zone for the unknown gig.

Writers are told to write what they know. That’s probably good advice when you’re starting out. Writing should be easier if you know the subject well, right? (Sometimes it is and other times it isn’t.) At least you have a starting point, a subject or genre, you believe you know. Go ahead write what you know if you wish. You could even become an expert in your fields. I prefer to mix it up.
Freelancing (as a writer) usually means you take any job that comes your way (at least before the power goes off and you can no longer use your laptop). It’s not like we’re all rich like Veronica (Divergent) Green ($17 million at least! Hey, we can live in hope). Let’s face it, the job is glamorised. Endless book launches, literary awards nights, glamourous photo shoots, movie deals and hobnobbing with famous people. If that’s the case I’d have no time to write anyway.
People (who are not writers) believe we flow with ideas, have endless writing work in our inbox, have plenty of time to take long walks in the sunshine, write whole novels at the local café (JK Rowling is a freak!) and pound out book after book to an applauding readership who avidly buy everything you’ve ever written (in reality only your mum does that) and of course we are rich enough to buy a mansion and yacht (I’d be happy to fork out for a new car).

Writer Tip Be courageous
Why leave your comfort zone?

Serious working writers (those who get paid to write) need to leave their comfort zone (and that includes standing up, off your chair to stretch your neck every fifteen minutes) occasionally. If you write what you think you’re good at, remaining in a writing rut, you’ll never discover what else you can do. As Jack Canfield says, “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”
Years ago, I was looking for new writing markets. Numerous women writers had their stiletto in the door of women’s issues (something I thought I was good at). Cross that off the list. I adore pets (but so do 25 million other people – true RSPA statistic) therefore, though there was a market, many writers already had their paw in that gate. I’m into fitness, but so are that many fit young people (with bodies I didn’t even remotely look like in my youth, let alone now). You can see where I’m heading with this. So many markets are extremely competitive. Look outside your comfort zone.
Then I found a gap in specialist magazines. I read somewhere that Club Life magazine welcomed freelancers. I approached the editor with a pitch for a story about customer service (the idea came from working in hospitality). I was nervous about my pitch and far out of my writing comfort zone. To my delight the editor accepted my proposal, told me the pay and published a two-page article (fist pumps!).
Lately I’ve taken on all genres. I’ve gone from non-fiction (numerous subjects) to romance and now science fiction. Who’d have thought! When I was first asked if I could write sci-fi/fantasy, I said yes immediately. After hanging up the phone I was equally delighted and horrified. A new writing job (yay!) a genre I like to read but have never written (bite my nails). But I did it. I took the job and loved writing another genre. There just might be a thriller on the horizon. I also promised my niece and granddaughter I would write a children’s book. Now I can’t even pick which writing style I enjoy more. Each have their challenges but I’m learning every day.
By stepping out of my comfort zone; my writing, editing, planning and mindset have all improved. Try writing something you know nothing about. See how good it feels when you’ve accomplished that. Happy writing.

Posted in Family life, Happiness, Year of Gratitude

Happy Abundant New Year 2018

Happy Abundant New Year 2018.

Happy New Year 2018

2017 was beautifully abundant. I feel blessed to have enjoyed such a year. I firmly believe my 365 days of gratitude led to the abundance. Being mindful and appreciative ultimately manifested into good things. My last seven days of 2017 wound down my 365 days of gratitude that I began in the hope of a wonderful year. Most of my thoughts have been positive which has reaped positive outcomes. Each negative though was quickly turned away (mentally). As I am learning our thoughts become things. My biggest thoughts were on enjoying writing. I have written copiously. The passion for it grows the more I write. I’ll admit that things didn’t fall in to place exactly the way I expected. It’s important to stay fluid in accepting a different version. If I am open to new opportunities they will come to me in exciting, unique, surprising ways.

Those last seven days included:

  1. A Christmas Day shared with my wonderful, unique, quirky, adorable family. Too much food, bad cracker jokes and a not-so-secret Santa. Love them!
  2. Boxing Day with extended family and friends. We have a yearly water volleyball challenge that’s always filled with fun and laughter. It’s something to look forward to every year.
  3. My son and his girlfriend arrived after a long, but safe, drive from Canberra to the Gold Coast. We miss them when they are not here, but are grateful that they follow their dreams and kick goals.
  4. Finally, a few hours at the beach, reading the The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. Hot summer sun, warm salty water, soft white sand and cooling ocean breeze. My happy place.
  5. A nightly card game of Hearts that brings the family together and makes me smile.
  6. A relaxing day with our grown children and friends coming and going (eating lots of food). Everyone is content and happy. No conflicts. Just jokes, fun-loving pay-outs and contagious laughter.
  7. New Year’s Eve – a night full of hope and possibilities. A near full moon in a starry sky, spotted with billowing clouds left over from a short summer storm. Everything smells fresh and new. Friends chatting on the damp deck, the balustrade is wrapped in colourful Christmas lights that reflect off the water of the canal below. Home before midnight to share the first minutes of New Year’s Eve with my husband and dog. Moments of wonder at how 2017 played out and what endless possibilities are in store for us in 2018.

And what of my New Year’s Resolution? I have many; get fitter, drink less (alcohol), drink more (water), eat more, play more, sleep longer, sweat less, publish Kendwa’s Secret, edit better and write, write and write. I hope you keep to yours.

Wishing you a marvelous, love-filled, healthy, joyous, abundant, beautiful 2018.