I find it interesting when I get one of David Farland’s Daily Kicks and it dovetails into what I’ve been thinking. He sent an email yesterday about Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone. It was mostly about all the things a writer needs to do these days (besides writing) to be successful. His list included: marketing your books, learning how to dress for success, learning how to read for audiences of various ages, learning to speak at libraries and other gatherings, learning how to talk in sound bites for television and radio interviews, learning how to throw a book signing, learning how to negotiate with editors and producers, writing a screenplay, troubleshooting your internet, teaching a class, directing illustrators, reading contracts, planning a week-long seminar, putting out flame wars, running your own internet site, blog, and so on. He said: “In fact, no matter how far I get out of my comfort zone, every day there is some task that pulls me just a bit farther away.”
Then he said that our “comfort zone” includes writing. He said: “Are you comfortable writing only one kind of story, or writing in one style? The truth is that you’ll be more valuable as a writer if you learn to write in several genres and in various styles! If you write romance, learn to write horror. If you just like fantasy, try writing a mainstream piece, and so on.” This last part was what I wanted to focus on.
Recently, I heard a non-fiction writer speak about the process he went through to write a biography. I was intrigued, and thought: Wouldn’t it be cool to do that someday? Well, I’ve become aware of a true story (so a biography of sorts) that seems to me to be worth making available to many people. It’s just the sort of thing for me to work on in between the chapters of Jane’s and my YA fantasy. So …I’m hoping to leave my comfort zone and write something completely different. Should be fun.