Comfort zones? Who needs comfort zones?

(or: apparently this year is the year for trying all the things)

(and it’s not even March)

(send help)


 

The phrase ‘comfort zone’ gets bandied about a bit within polytheist circles. (That phrase won’t ever not tickle me, sorrynotsorry.) As in, the gods will push you outside your comfort zone if you are doing this right. Now, we should all know by now, I’m the last person who is going to tell you that you’re doing “this” right or wrong — only you can decide if you’re doing “it” “right”, and I think I’ve been pretty clear about that from the start. I hope I have been.

One thing I’ve tried to stress, over and over and over, is that everyone’s comfort zones are different. Because of this, the things that shove you outside of your comfort zone are not going to be the things that shove me outside of mine.

I’m reminding myself of this, this morning, because I’m staring at a class that I desperately want to take, that I think could be very good both for my writing and for my ability to indie-publish, but if for no other reason that it  is the opportunity to approach my craft with fresh eyes, and maybe become a better writer. I already know I don’t suck, but I’ve certainly reached a point where I want to become better, and better faster. I have a loyal, and extremely forgiving fanbase, who still read my stuff even after a number of horrendous typos and bad editing (you guys, I’m sorry! But, I’ve learned that I can’t actually edit my own stuff, and the mortification that I feel about being convinced for so long that I could will follow me to my grave. You are all saints in my book!)

It’s not an inexpensive class, but it is a class I can cover with my part-time pay. I’m a little freaking out about the money, because spending money on myself (except for books and junk food) is hard for me.

It’s a class I’ve eyeballed for years. Years. Nearly a decade, at this point, but now, I think: I’m ready. I’m serious enough about writing that I’ll stick with it. I’ve made progress on my own over the last four years that I’m extremely proud of, but I need to be better. I want to be better.  So mostly I’m excited to be at this point — though it’s not even open for enrollment yet, and maybe I won’t even get in. But! What brings me here, to write about comfort zones, is — once I decided I wanted this (after sending the outline to Beth and she agreed it sounded good, and reminded me that this wasn’t the first time I’d considered it) I had a bit of a melt down. Just a small one. Tiny, really, but it plunged me so hard into depression and who-the-hell-am-I?

Because this will require intense examination of my work, during the course. It will require brutal picking apart of my weaknesses, to know them and name them, and to make my craft stronger. In theory, that’s exciting. In theory, I can already name a bunch of them — but I’m terrified of the ones I can’t name, the ones I’m blind to, and I have a very hard time holding on to the fact that my writing does not suck, even though it can be better. Example: sending out material loaded with omitted letters and homonyms that I didn’t catch makes me feel like a pathetic failure at writing — but my supports tell me (with their cash monies) that my material is worth it to them, despite that. In the bad moments, I lose sight of that; I can only see my rank amateur-ness. So, I’m scared. I’m scared of looking too closely at my flaws. Personal flaws, no problem, let’s examine them and hold them out for all to see, that’s cool. Flaws as a writer? Oh gods, no.

Which kind of means I see more self-worth in being a writer, than in being ,you know, a person, and that’s a bit fucked up.

I have way more thinky-thoughts, but it’s time for work. Bleh.

 

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