I've been musing about what it means to stretch your limits as a writer.
One, because my new super sekrit project is unlike anything I've ever written before and is making me neurotic.
Another is because I was recently posed with the question about how a particular project (not the super sekrit one, but a new one) I'd like to explore would "push the boundaries of my art."
When I hear those words I immediately think of young adult books, or gray areas, of writing a story that's gritty, racy, and out of the box.
Actually, that could be quite fun.
But pushing your own personal limits as a writer doesn't actually mean having to "go there" -- especially if "going there" *is* your comfort zone.
Considering I don't precisely write squeaky clean teen as it is, one could say my Middle Grade Elfpunk project stretches my limits as a writer. After all, middle grade is a whole different bag of pixies than YA, and I've never written Elfpunk before.
Writing contemporary would be pushing my limits--especially since I think I'm physically incapable of writing something non-paranormal.
Writing an Amish Romance would definitely be outside my comfort zone and stretch my boundaries as a writer--that's probably about as far away from what I write as you can get.
I don't think I'll be writing Amish Romance or contemporary anytime soon, though. I have enough on my plate as it is.
Still, pushing boundaries as a writer means going outside of *your* box, trying something new to you. It may not work out. I've had plenty of stories that just don't work for me.
But sometimes I surprise myself.
Innocent Darkness, my upcoming YA wasn't originally Steampunk. No, I took a risk and Steampunked it on the fly.
It could have epicly failed.
But it didn't.
The super sekrit project could epicly fail. I'm only 100 pages in and still unsure of myself.
The MG Elfpunk, well, the verdict is still out on that one. It is still being beta read and hasn't gone to my agent yet. (But, in case anyone cares, Stealing Seattle, my adult Urban Fantasy has, we'll see what she thinks. Fingers crossed. Though that was squarely in the Comfort Zone)
If any of these projects fall flat, that's okay. Failing makes me a better writer, too. It's all part of the process.
I still am not sure how this new project would push my limits as a writer. Just because it's fun and interesting, doesn't make it a true challenge. It's paranormal, like everything else. It's set in a place I'm unfamiliar with using folklore I'll have to majorly research. But then again, many of my projects do.
Just one more thing to ponder on my morning commute.
What sort of project would "push the boundaries" of your art?