Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Out of the Comfort Zone

Well, I survived teaching at Write Here in Ephraim. I think it went pretty well. I felt like I was talking too fast, and didn't know if I made sense half the time, but the people attending seemed to like it all right. I think. That was my Science Fiction and Fantasy class. I took a lot of what I said from the Writing Speculative Fiction posts I did. Only one person came to my Finding Time to Write class, but she and I had a nice discussion.

It was good for me to get outside my comfort zone like that and stretch myself a bit. I think I learned more about how to make a presentation interesting and how to get people involved. I'll do even better next time.

Another stretching moment came this week when I submitted my second novel (a sequel to Defenders of the Covenant) and she politely asked me to cut it by 20k words if possible. Really? 20,000 words is a whole lot to come out of a novel! But I want to see it published, so I am taking the challenge. Yesterday, I started hacking. And hacking. And hacking. It got it down by 26K! That should give me the room to add what I need to put all the pieces back into a coherent whole again. You know what? I think it's going to be a better novel for it.

What have you done to step outside your comfort zone lately?

13 comments:

tiffany said...

sounds like a good fun experince at the confrence

i steped out of my comfort zone yesterday i found a pattern for a stocking cap and i made most of it yesterday (its crochet) i was worried becuse this is the very first time i have tried to make a stocking cap the picture of it looked like it would be hard to my suprise it is super easy

Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

I've been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately with my WIP. It's been rejected once, so I've vowed not to submit it again until I feel like it's really ready. For me that means getting as many eyes on it as possible. Translation: begging people to read and critique for me.

I am not a beggar by nature, and I am always very conscientious about the value of other people's time and expertise. So this has been very uncomfortable for me, but I feel like I'm being prodded forward by the Lord, and I figure as long as He's on my side I need to be brave and just DO IT! :-) And I can definitely see my manuscript improving because of it.

L.T. Elliot said...

26K is a ton! Way to go Angie! That couldn't have been easy. But way to rise to the challenge!

I'm glad your classes went well! (Even if only one person came to one of them--it means a lot to that one person!) I wish I could have been there.

Angie said...

Yeah, Tiff! I'll bet it's so cute. =)

Kasey, good for you! It can be so hard to ask for feedback like that.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! That's some amazing editing in one day . . . good job! I think I would have a tough time hacking 20K from my WIP but for publication then I guess it's worth it.
Congrats on your classes!

Alicia F. said...

I went to the conference with a friend. I actually wanted to go to your finding time to write class (since I struggle with that) and then funny enough, had to leave early and didn't have enough time. But I really enjoyed your comments and thoughts in the panel discussion. Good on you for putting yourself out there.

I kept your airplane so I could look up you and your book. I have enjoyed reading through your blog and am excited to read your book sometime soon! Good luck with the next book too!

Rochelle said...

I'm glad that you had a good time.
Congrats on cutting down on your book. Cutting is always the hardest part for me in anything I write. :)

Carolyn V said...

Wow! 26k? That's so many words! Congrats for getting it done! I'm impressed (I think I might cry a little if I was asked to cut out so many words.) ;)

Angie said...

Thanks, Tyrean. Now I'm going through the painful part of putting the pieces back together!

I know what you mean, Rochelle! Thanks for stopping by.

Taffy said...

I'm positive you did a great job on your presentations! Good luck on cutting 20k! Ack!

Stephanie Black said...

That's awesome that you were able to make the cuts! With my first book, I was asked to cut 100 pages, which would be around 25K words. It amazed me how many words I could get rid of just by trimming my wordy prose!

Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

Hi again, Angie! Just wanted to drop by and let you know I've given you an award on the Mormon Mommy Writers blog. :-)

http://mormonmommywriters.blogspot.com/2012/04/t-is-for-thank-you.html

Angie said...

Thanks, Taffy and Stephanie. It has been a challenge for sure! Thank you for the award, Kasey. That's sweet. =)