Yes, I said get UNcomfortable. I’m referring to writing outside your comfort zone. This is something I force myself to do quite regularly. When I first started writing, I focused on middle grade novels. I was sure I wanted to write books for this age group and this age group alone. I also stuck to adventure stories–until a published author told me I was a closet fantasy writer. My first thought was she was crazy. Fantasy? Me? But then I realized I loved to read fantasy, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying to write it. So I did. And I loved it.
Great! I’m a fantasy writer. Not so fast. I saw a call for submissions for a horror anthology, and for some strange reason a story popped into my mind. But wait, I didn’t write horror. I decided to give it a shot, and the story was accepted into the anthology. In fact, the story got the attention of other editors looking for horror pieces. They contacted me and asked me to submit to them. Wow!
So now I’m a fantasy and horror writer. Except… my daughter asked me to write stories for her. She read picture books, but I didn’t write picture books. Once again, I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried it. Today I have three picture books published and three more under contract. I guess I do write picture books.
Now I thought picture books and middle grade books were my thing. Only the next ideas I got were young adult novels. Yes, I wrote them. My agent fell in love with one of them and has it out on submission to editors. Does this mean I write everything imaginable? No. I write the stories that I feel I need to tell. But I don’t limit myself to what comes naturally or what I’m comfortable writing. The only way to figure out what we can do is by trying. Is failure a possibility? Of course. But so is success.
So I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and try writing something different. You just might find something you’re really good at.
This post comes courtesy of guest blogger Kelly Hashway. Kelly writes books and short stories for children of all ages, from picture books to young adult novels; as if that weren’t enough, she also freelances as an editor. She’s a mother of a little girl she loves to play with. When she’s not writing, or editing she enjoys reading, and running. It’s not uncommon to find Kelly with a cup of hot coffee in her hand or savoring something sweet like laffy taffy or ice cream cake.
(Hmmmm cake…) I think she’s cool.
If you are interested in guest blogging on WriteSpell please drop me a note!
image: Kerri Smith0