Every once in a while, it’s necessary to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
You might not think so, but then you also might not realize it’s something you need until you do it.
I’ve been fortunate enough to do this without realizing it a few times in the past couple of years.
Recently, I made a shift in my focus as a writer.
Over the last 15 or so years I’ve written a little bit of everything, but always kept my main focus on writing for kids and younger readers.
It was something that allowed me to indulge all the things I liked about writing and kept me going in a direction I was happy with.
Then, after a few years, things just started feeling flat.
I didn’t have the time I wanted to work on the projects that I had on the go and everything was falling by the wayside. It was frustrating and discouraging and left me feeling like I had been doing nothing useful with the years I’d spent writing.
Then, an old book reminded me of all the things I actually loved about writing and reminded me that I could still do all the things I wanted to as a writer, if I just switched things up a little.
Not long after that, I did switch things up and the results were amazing.
All of a sudden I found myself writing more than I had in years and I was loving it.
Sure, I’m still struggling a little bit to find enough time to get the writing done that’s expected of me, but I’m happier writing than I have been in years and that’s really all that matters.
The details about where I’m going to find the time I need will come in time.
Two or three years before all this, I did the same thing with reading.
I’d been reading a lot of the same kind of books for the better part of 10 years and had hit the point where I needed a change.
I wandered into a section of the library I had never been before — the sports section, and if you’ve ever seen me attempt a sport, you’d know why I hadn’t been in this part of the library before — and found a book on a subject that interested me.
I was so impressed by the book that I had to return it because I knew it would be a book that I would want to take my time with and read slowly making sure I was able to take it all in — I own that book now and still think about certain passages from it.
As luck would have it, the Summerland Library is just the place to step outside your comfort zone and have a blind date with a book.
This could be just the thing you’ve been looking for to shake away those winter blahs and find something new and exciting.
Head on down to the library this week and take a chance with a book.
You never know where that book might take you.
Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.