End of the Year, Start of the Future

Leap year is almost finished. My leap was starting this blog. It was a huge leap outside my comfort zone. That’s where the most fun things happen, out of our comfort zones. That’s where growth occurs.

Writers, like the characters they create, need to grow and learn as they pursue their goals. No one likes a static protagonist. I once read that we reinvent ourselves, on average, every five years. (If you can give me a reference for that, I’d love to give the originator credit. Thanks.) That’s an interesting thought. We change every five years.

How have I changed over the last five years? That’s a long period of time, with many factors, and a long list of answers. My challenge for 2013 is to help my characters change in a much shorter time frame. How long is your story’s timeline? A year? A month? A week? One day? One hour? How will the heroes and villains and supporting cast change? Will they?

I moved across country to go to college, many years ago. There I met a world of new people and ideas. When I returned home two years later, it seemed to me that my friends were still going to the same places and doing the same things as when I had left. I didn’t feel as if I fit in anymore. I wanted more. I expected more. I only returned to my hometown once after that, to be in a friend’s wedding. The town looked shabbier than I remembered. It hadn’t successfully reinvented itself.

This blog is part of my future as a writer. I started thinking about blogging after reading Robert Lee Brewer’s “My Name is Not Bob” April 2012 series on building a platform in 30 days. I am taking a slower approach to his handy list of steps. But 30 days or 90, the important thing is growth and development. Without that, I’m doing the same old things.

Why the patio? I would live on my patio if we were in warmer part of the country. It’s the center of activity in warm weather. Today snow is falling on it, so I’m stuck writing inside. I started this post with a reference to 2012 to keep me on track to publish it before midnight. Old year, new beginning.

In 2013, my characters won’t be allowed to sit and molder. I’m going to push them out of their comfort zones. I’ll be pushing myself outside that zone. Hope to meet you there, too. It should be a fun time.

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