The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the phrase, “comfort zone” as:
A place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.
We all have it – that place where it makes it harder to step out of the boundaries we’ve created for ourselves. For me, it comes in many forms, as I like to walk on the safe side of the line and not make any waves. I’ve always erred on the side of caution and it’s gotten me to the age of 36. I’m not a fan of roller coasters, I don’t like to be scared, I hate water that isn’t a pool…you get the idea.
Why is this the topic of my blog post for today? Well, I will tell you.
Sometimes, I have been known to step out of that comfort zone. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does, you better have a camera ready – it might not happen again if it goes bad! LOL! See exhibit A…
Last summer, I went White Water Rafting with my family and my best friend’s family (evidence above). It was bucket list item because – well, I thought I’d never do it. It was cold, rainy, exhausting and completely exhilarating. I can’t wait to do it again. A few weeks ago, my husband and I took our daughters zip lining – another bucket list item and it was beyond words! (again, the proof is visible above) Stepping out of my comfort zone has opened me up to so many possibilities and I have to say, it is very exciting to move out of the self-imposed limits.
As a writer, I write within my comfort zone. It’s hard to push myself to be and do more in my books than I do. (Not sure if that makes sense.) We write what we know – and if we don’t know it – we research it. As a reader, I read books that catch my eye, that are referred to me or that are popular. I tend to stay away from horror, paranormal, mystery and thriller. I know!! How disappointing!
But, that’s not to say I never branch out. Last year, I met someone online who has become one of my closest friends, Kim Stedronsky. She was reading my book, Being There, and I was reading her book, Roam. This is a paranormal romance novel – actually it’s a series – and I as I mentioned, not exactly my genre. But as I started reading it, I fell in love with the story! The characters, the writing, the locations…everything about this series riveted me. There were so many ingenious elements that I was truly mesmerized. I loved it so much! Had I not taken a chance on something different than my norm, I never would have opened myself to the possibilities.
This happened again very recently! I am NOT NOT NOT a horror person. I don’t do haunted houses. I don’t do horror movies. I don’t read anything that might scare me. I’m the biggest baby. EVER! My husband had a zombie movie on and I watched through my fingers until I had to leave the room altogether. Hell, I didn’t even watch the first Halloween movie until I was 19. If that gives you an idea of my level of discomfort with scary things…
Anyway, my friend, the amazing, funny and smart, Claire C. Riley – writes horror. I’ve wanted to read her books because I’ve heard such great things about them, but again – Scaredy Cat here!
My own shadow scared me sometimes!
Claire has a series out – The Dead Saga – and I finally sat down to read the first one. Odium. She knew I was reading it, but she also knew this was way out of my comfort zone. I kept telling her I was putting on my big girl panties so I could dive in. I was nervous. Zombies? HELL NO! Zombie Apocalypse – EFF NO! My friend was going to do a Zombie Run and I told him and his wife “NO! I’d probably hit someone out of sheer panic. No thanks!”
So reading Odium was a pretty big thing for me. I realize not everyone has the same fears as me, so I’m trying to paint the picture here. LOL!
I devoured this book! My husband was annoyed because I couldn’t put it down. All I wanted to do was read to find out what happens! Nina. Emily-Rose. Mikey. Crunch. JD – the list of colorful characters trying to make it had me wanting more. I finished the book and I’m so happy that I took a chance on something out of my norm.
Will I read other Zombie or horror books? Only time will tell. But I will be reading the rest of the Odium Books (The Dead Saga) by Claire because it was so damn good!
So bottom line – the reason behind this entire post – step out of your comfort zone. Try something different. Read a book by an author you’ve never heard of. Read a genre that you wouldn’t normally read. You never know what you’re going to discover out there in the book world that changes your mind.
To learn more about Kim & Claire, check out these links:
Kimberly Stedronsky – Author of The Roam Series
Roam on Amazon (click here)
Claire C. Riley – Author of The Dead Saga
Odium on Amazon (click here)
To learn more about the adventures mentioned in this post, check out these links: