I am a shy person who lives very comfortably in her comfort zone. Pj’s, t-shirts, hair a mess. It’s my favorite place to be. Here I can talk the way I want, act the way I want, even sing off-key and no one can judge me.
To my friends I can be crazy and silly, a biotch or a sweetheart, all because they are in my comfort zone. You push me out of that zone, I become silent. I forget how to socialize, I forget my Southern manners, and I forget how to make sentences.
Writing has always been a part of my comfort zone. I can sit and write without having to worry if it makes sense, because I can go back and fix it later. It’s my passion and it’s sometimes how I deal with what’s going on inside me. I absolutely love doing it and when I’m writing I feel like myself.
Self-publishing has been one big assault on my comfort zone. First I had to overcome the sheer insanity of letting people actually read my blood, sweat, and tears and then let them tell me what they thought. Then there's the marketing aspect. For someone who felt like she was going to vomit and pass out every time she had to speak in front of the class, that word was pure evil. The first time I did a Facebook takeover on someone’s page, I still felt the same as if I was in front of these people.
Next was a phone interview with a blogger. The blogger was very sweet and I thought I was going to hyperventilate/combust. From what my husband tells me (and he’s sure to be biased) I actually made sense and was very articulate. All I could think the whole time was holy sh*t I’m talking to someone and a bunch of people are listening.
From there I did a book signing, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was a lot of fun, and I shared a table with my friend Amy Stephens. I loved interacting face to face with readers and some even recognized my YA series, the Guardians. It was eye-opening, knowing that I could talk with them and answer questions without breaking out into hives.
Every day I’m pushed further and further out of my comfort zone. It’s still not comfortable yet, but I imagine that’s the point of growing past your self-made limitations. All I know is, this has been the best two years of my life, and I hope to be doing this for a very long time.