Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting out of the Comfort Zone

by Nina Croft 
I went out for a ride on my horse, Gencianna, yesterday. It was a beautiful warm day and she was sort of asleep under me, just plodding along quite happily.

So I took her somewhere she’d never been before. It involved a bit of scrabbling down a steep slope, and she was soon wide awake—because Gencie doesn’t like going new places, they are outside her comfort zone. But afterward, she was on her tip-toes, looking at everything… all excited and alive.

It got me thinking about my own comfort zones. As a writer.As a reader.  As a person. And I began to wonder whether I should be getting out of them a bit more.

If we let it, it becomes very easy and very comfortable to stick with what we know. But that means that maybe we stagnate, stop growing as people. Sometimes circumstances force us to do things we’re not comfortable with, but more often than not—it’s left to us.

I moved around a lot when I was younger, so I never got very comfortable anywhere. But now, I’ve settled down on my little almond farm in the mountains of southern Spain,I’ve just about turned into a hermit, and maybe got a little too comfortable. I tend to get my excitement vicariously these days through reading and writing.So yeah, I reckon I need pushing out of my personal comfort zone, but I’ll skim over that here (I do have plans though!) and stick to writing.

So what’s my comfort zone as a writer, and how do I push myself out of it?
Well,“write what you know”isn’t a piece of advice I’ve ever taken much notice of.I think writing what you know is definitely staying within your comfort zone and should be ignored. And after all, I write mainly paranormal and science fiction so really –what do I know about that—I make it all up.

I cross genres quite a lot. While my books alltend to have a strong element of romance, I’ve written paranormal, science-fiction, contemporary, and more recently a thriller. So genre isn’t my comfort zone (though I’ve never written historical—hmmm maybe next?)

 I guess my comfort zone is alpha heroes. My heroines vary a lot from book to book from shy to kick-ass. But my heroes are always alpha, so maybe I need to vary that—hey it’s a challenge!

So for my next book I’m thinking of moving beyond my comfort zone—I’m thinking maybe historical, but I might ease myself into it slowly—maybe a historical with a really nice, geeky, beta vampire hero.

And I think as readers we should do the same. Get out of our comfort zones and try something new.Pick a genre we’ve never read, or maybe go for something literary or try some poetry... 

So what do you do to get out of your comfort zone?

Mid-Winter Magic Blurb
Fifty years ago, vampire Tynan Steele loved Dina and believed she loved him. Instead, she turned out to be an assassin using him to get close to her latest target. Bitter at the betrayal, Ty swore he would make the witch pay.

Dina has loved her time in Five Oaks, living an ‘ordinary’ life—not killing anyone. But the past has finally caught up with her. Fifty years ago, she was scared to let herself love Ty, now she’s willing to take the risk. But Ty isn’t interested in love—he’s after revenge.

Can Dina use the magic of a white Christmas in Five Oaks, to convince Ty that she’s changed and deserves a second chance at love?

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Find me at:


Barbara Elsborg said...

Good advice - it's too easy to stick with what we know and feel comfortable with! But I won't be scaling any mountatins, that's a step too far!!

Samantha Gail said...

So true, Nina! And what a wonderful a beautiful day to go horseback riding:)