From My Mind To The Page

It should be no surprise that writers spend a lot of time in our heads. After all, that’s where ideas are born and stories take shape. And when we write something as long as a novel, well, that adds up to a lot of thinking, imagining, creating, brainstorming…. You get the idea. So how do we get those stories from our heads to the written page?

For me, coaxing the full story out of the characters is a long, complicated process. Sometimes they’re helpful—too helpful when competing voices bombard me with ideas. Other times, they wander off with my Muse to enjoy tropical drinks and beaches. At those times, I’m on my own. Continue reading

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

It was my birthday this week. And there comes a point, when, as the day approaches, we ignore the number and instead reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I think that’s the best time to make resolutions for the next year. To me, there’s something more personal and “obtainable” about the goals when they start on a meaningful day rather than an arbitrary one like New Year’s.

So earlier this month, that introspection set in. (Well, more than usual. Introverts are typically big on the introspection thing.) And my subconscious informed me it was time to step out of my comfort zone. “But how?” I asked.

You see, I’m not someone who’s good at making huge changes or decisions on the spur of the moment. (Although the decision to accept a job offer and move to Maryland 7 years ago was made in an afternoon….) I’m a good Libra that way, even though I don’t put any stock in astrology. But surely I could handle some tentative baby steps outside my normal box, right? Maybe get a fresh look on the world?

Maybe “steps” and “look” were literally the key. Because after years of buying walking shoes that looked like these:

Could these be any plainer?

And clothes with colors like these:

Could these colors be any “safer?”

I bought these new walking shoes:

And these new pants:

I may not know much about fashion and style, but I promise I won’t wear the new shoes with the new pants.

Some of you might laugh at such a small change. But it’s a big one for me. Bold colors attract the eye, and I’m not one to draw attention to myself. But today, I’ll wear these pants to DC. Will anyone notice? Point at me and laugh? I doubt it. But I’ll be thinking it. I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone. Baby steps to be sure. But I’m taking them. It’s a start.

How about you? Can you try new things on the spur of the moment? Or do you need to think long and hard before you do?