Now leaving your comfort zone…

In order to complete my music minor in college, I had to participate in a performance group–which, given the short amount of time I had to get the required credits, meant I sang in the university’s non-audition choir.

As if that weren’t uncomfortable enough for me already, the choir director told us on day one that we had to do three things that were outside of our comfort zone and report back to him.

Now, given that anything other than reading a book in a corner was outside of my comfort zone, this wasn’t a particularly complex assignment. But it was an incredibly difficult one, and I (along with many others in the choir) kind of resented it.

I did, however, survive six ventures outside of my comfort zone (two semesters’ worth), and learned that I am in fact capable of talking to other human beings. Sometimes.

Lately, I feel like I’m being shoved farther and farther out of my comfort zone, and it’s like being strapped into the world’s  longest roller coaster–simultaneously exhausting and thrilling and terrifying and exhilarating. I alternate between wanting to curl up in a corner to cry and wanting to run out and conquer the world, sometimes multiple times a day. That may also have something to do with the fact that I haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a row for a very, very long time, but that’s beside the point.

So what is that’s been pushing my comfort boundaries?

  • Twitter. There are so many cool people on there, and I’m so intimidated by them. But the thing is, every time I get the courage to tweet at them, they’re so super nice. I mean, I totally geeked out and started quoting Oscar with Jessica Day George yesterday! And then there was that time that Jennifer Nielsen read my post about Sachsenhausen and told me it was beautiful? That’s totally my happy place now.
  • Story Social. This is kind of part of Twitter, but separate. I just participated in my first Twitter chat, #storysocial, and it was AWESOME! It takes place every Wednesday night at 9pm EST. I’ve always had the same reticence to participate in these kinds of things as I had toward raising my hand in class, but I forced myself to speak up, and people responded positively.
  • Deadlines. I’ve learned that I am totally incapable to buckling down and writing unless I’m under pressure. So as much as I hate deadlines, I’m setting a few for myself to get those words out.

What new things have you been doing to push outside of your comfort zone?

Advertisements

The slow descent into a Twitter addiction

I can’t believe I just opened a Twitter account. This is so dumb.

What are you even supposed to say in 140 characters? Maybe–nope, how about–still too long–GAH!

Whatever. I don’t have anything witty to say anyway. I’ll just link to my blog.

What’s with all the cat pictures?

OK, OK, I’ll tweet, but I’m NOT using hashtags. I don’t even get how those work.

All these other writers are using the #amwriting hashtag…I guess that one’s harmless enough. I’ll try it.

HOLY CRAP, like ten people just followed me! That, like, tripled my followers!

…aaand most of them are spam bots.

Why do people even like looking at Twitter? All I see are the same self-promoting tweets sent out about five times a day.

Wait, you can mute people who don’t do anything but scream “BUY MY BOOK”?

Heyyyy… That’s better. Some of these people are actually kinda fun to follow.

Wait–one of my favorite authors just followed me back! Eee! Must–control–fangirling…

Favorite author just REPLIED TO MY TWEET! Stay calm… Don’t blow it… Say something cool… In less than 140 characters… Is it OK to abbreviate when tweeting an author? Is she going to judge me? How else do you get under 140 characters? There’s not enough room to reply to her comment AND tell her how many times I’ve reread her books. Should I tweet her twice? Is that annoying?

Dude. I’m totally Twitter buddies with a super awesome author.

Actually, there are a lot of awesome authors on here. Follow… Follow… Follow…

And agents! Look at all the agents!

And #MSWL! Whaaaat?! Coolest thing EVER!

NETWORKING! WRITING COMMUNITY! TRIBES! CAT PICTURES! (OK, no, I still don’t get the cat pictures.) TWITTER FOREVER!

Social Who?

When I was fifteen, a family friend told me I spoke like a thirty-year-old woman. I’m pretty sure she meant it as a compliment—at least, that’s what she told me. But anyway, by her reckoning, I would now be closing in on forty, which means it’s okay that I’m totally clueless about social media, right?

As it turns out, authors aren’t allowed to be clueless about social media. And thus, my Twitter account. My very, very blank Twitter account. So here’s my plea for help: if you have a Twitter account, please let me know so I can follow you and figure out what to do with my 140 characters! If you’re interesting in following what will eventually be updates on my trilogy’s progress, my Twitter ID is @ehbates.

Ready set help me out, folks! And thanks in advance!