Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Adaptability seems key to success. After all, if you can't adapt, you're in danger of stagnating, not allowing yourself to grow, both personally and professionally.

Writers need to lean to adapt with the changing publishing industry. Even typesetting rules have changed. I remember when there were two spaces after a period. Now, it's one.

As writers, we tend to favor particular topics and genres, and our stories reflect this. But what if we could push ourselves, write in a genre or medium we're not familiar with? Sound scary? Perhaps, but not only would we be developing a new talent, it might even invite new opportunities.

What are my goals? I've always wanted to write a mystery. I wrote a whydunit, The Ripper's Daughter, which is awaiting a publisher's response. Not that it's a traditional mystery, although I tried that with a crime drama screenplay about a widowed homicide detective and his retrocognitive partner. (I'm thinking of writing that as a novel.) So I can say I'm making progress, but I haven't yet written the mystery I want to write.

That's one goal, and one I've started working on. Another goal is to create a TV series. Sound bold? Yeah. I was reading an article about setting goals. Not only do you have to have the drive, you need the knowledge. I've never written a TV show, much less created one. What the hell do I know? Very little. Okay, nothing.

How am I going to remedy that? Well, following the advice of that article, I need to educate myself, in this case not only on the craft of TV writing, but also the business side. Aspiring writers also need to learn about writing, not only how to write a compelling story, but also how the publishing industry works.  

What's even better about setting that goal is it's part of my overall goals, and will become part of my marketing plan. Of course, there's still plenty of work to do.

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