Death To Your Comfort Zone: A Guest Post By Tori Scott

I’d like to offer a warm welcome today to my agent mate and fellow YA author Tori Scott!  We’re swapping posts, so you can find my post from Ordinary to Extraordinary over at her blog as part of the Red launch tour.

Take it, Tori!

I write YA. Therefore, I read YA. Like, a crap ton of it. So much, that if I told you the number, you might think I have a serious problem and suggest something equally serious like counseling or electroshock therapy.

But one morning, I woke up realizing I had a problem. So I decided the next time I made brownies, I’d try not to eat the entire pan.

Once I’d made this resolution, and got myself another gooey brownie treat, I got to thinking about other things I did in excess. Like reading YA books. I decided—neh, I declared—to be someone different. To try new things. To conquer the world with a backpack, a walking stick, and a non-YA book.

Unsure where to start, I perused my local library until I found the glorious winner: THE KITCHEN HOUSE. I came home, ate another brownie, and got to reading. It took me twice as long to read this adult book as it does a YA book (what with the big words and all), but when I closed the novel, I had a new outlook on reading…and writing. It opened the door to new writing styles, unusual story structures, unhappy endings, and a magical world of character-building.

My comfort zone is a wonderful thing. It allows me to do what I do best, and feel safe doing it. But every once in a while, I push myself to break the mold and experience something unfamiliar. Reading outside my comfort zone opened my eyes and gave me a fresh perspective in my passion as a reader, and my career as a writer.

I strongly suggest you read something out of your comfort zone this week.

Then eat a pan of brownies.

Baby steps.


Tori is a YA writer represented by Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and SCBWI. When not writing, she can be found scouting cotton candy and snuggling obese cats.

7 thoughts on “Death To Your Comfort Zone: A Guest Post By Tori Scott

  1. I went the next step from reading outside my comfort zone (because I read *everything*). As I kid, apparently, I took my math book to bed to read.

    So my third book (G’Day LA) I decided to *write* outside my comfort zone. Alternate (odd-numbered) chapters are written in 1st person POV, and that 1st person is a 23 year-old female Aussie actress. Writing as a woman was difficult. Fortunately I had some female reader friends who read early drafts and caught some decidedly non-female phrases. I enjoyed it so much I writing a follow up the same way (G’Day USA).

    Now that I’ve done both genders I’ll have to look at writing as a different species ;^)

  2. I’m not sure I have a comfort zone, since my reading taste is so eclectic. Non-fiction would be out of my comfort zone, but life is too short to be bored. LOL.

    Like I’ve said in comments on a couple of other posts, I really admire adults who can write YA. I could never do it. But I do like to read YA when it’s written well.

  3. I need to read outside my comfort zone. I write suspense and read a ton of it. If I don’t read suspense, it’s usually horror or parnormal. I need to branch out and read some women’s fiction like The Help, but I’ve got such a backlist of things I want to read I haven’t gotten around to it.

  4. All I heard was brownies and reading- and you didn’t complain about kids- sounds like bliss 🙂 I read a variety- my comfort zone is happy books- I want to feel good when I put the book down, every once in a while I read something I know will make me cry- as I get older there are longer and longer periods between sad books.

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