Monday, February 27, 2012

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone!

Wild Rose PressRead an Excerpt

Author Jan Romes is my guest this week. One Small Fib and Lucky Ducks are her humorous romances.
Hello, my name is Jan Romes, and I’m an introvert! (Oops! I thought this was Shy Persons Anonymous) Since I’m already here, I might as well stay and discuss something I’m commonly afflicted with – a bad case of RUT! Being a rather shy person, I take comfort in safe and familiar territory. As all of you know, however, safe and familiar equates to dull and unpromising, AKA Rut!
Inside every shy person lurks an extrovert dying to step out of their comfort zone, to rattle the bushes, to enjoy all that life has to offer. For years I was that person. I seldom strayed from what I knew. Boring! Then something spectacular happened – I had my fiftieth birthday! Reality hit me right between the eyes. My dream of becoming a published author was still out of reach, I was afraid of my own shadow, and had done nothing on my own. Some may define my awakening as a midlife crisis. I prefer to call it magic in the number 50! From that birthday forward, things have been different.
Always a lover of exercise, I took a part-time job as a fitness instructor at a local gym. This forced me to come out of my shell and I found that I enjoyed mingling. Strange but true.
With new found confidence, I started to submit the stories I had been writing for years. Of course, some rejections happened. The magic of 50 wouldn’t let me stay discouraged for long. I went back to writing and re-writing with a vengeance. Back to submitting. Finally, the heavens opened and voila! A book contract!
The publishing business has undergone a metamorphosis in the last few years, and authors are now expected to promote their books. Ack! No safe harbor for shyness. I wasn’t comfortable talking about my books until I embraced social media. I tiptoed out of the safety zone by making a Facebook page. A month later, a few more toes went across the line and I signed up for Twitter and Goodreads.
It took me little bit, but the extrovert that had been dying to get out has finally seen the light of day! I’ve stepped fully out of the comfort zone and would prefer not to go back in. In all that I do, I try to let people see the real me; the sometimes funny, self-deprecating person who does enjoy mingling, who isn’t afraid to put herself out there anymore, who loves all that life has to offer.
I have two humorous contemporary romance books that have been published and two more that will be released before summer. For my current work-in-progress, I’ve decided to mix things up by writing a romantic suspense. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve accepted the challenge.
I’ve revved up my life with joy and adventure by pushing the boundaries. Thanks to a good friend, I can now add ziplining to an ever-growing list of things I’m glad I’ve done. I go to writing conferences and get caught up in the fun and networking.
My life has changed tremendously; all because I decided to break out of the rut that had been my existence. Occasionally, I backslide. Sometimes, all it takes is an inspirational quote to get me back on track. ‘Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined’ ~ T. Harv Eker
About Jan
Jan Romes grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance, is a part-time fitness trainer, and enjoys growing pumpkins and sunflowers. You can find her at http://janromes.com/ and on Twitter and Facebook.

22 comments:

Jan Romes said...

Thank you so much, Ellis, for having me as a guest on your blog! :-))

Kathy said...

Awesome!!!!

Jeremy said...

Wonderful story Jan! Thanks for sharing.

Jan Romes said...

Thanks, Kathy :-))

Jan Romes said...

Thank you, Jeremy :-)

Ellis Vidler said...

Jan, I'm so glad to have you! I'm enjoying One Small Fib.
How did you get into ziplining and where do you do it? I always wanted to swing through the trees like Tarzan--I guess this is as close as most people are likely to get.

Jan Romes said...

Ellis, thank you for reading ONE SMALL FIB! *big grin* My friend suggested we zipline. Wasn't so sure about it at first, but it was a blast! We zipped in Hocking Hills - in s/e part of Ohio. I live in n/w part of the state (flat lands), but s/e Ohio is beautifully hilly :)

laura thomas said...

Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks Jan, and thanks Ellis for having Jan on your blog.

Jan Romes said...

Laura, thanks so much for stopping by to read my post! :-))

Lynne Marshall said...

Jan! You're a woman after my own heart. I am definitely an introvert. Like you, 50 was a life changer for me, too. I wrote my first book and have never looked back. I also have now ziplined!

Because I got such a late start, I really enjoy writing older heroines, and I throw lots of humor into those books, too. Can't survive life without a sense of humor.

I enjoy romantic comedy and your books sound like fun!

Congratulations

Jan Romes said...

Lynne,

I'm finding that a lot of us are empowered by the magic of 50! It's a great place to be in our lives :)

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :-)

From one introvert to another, have a great week!

Marja said...

Jan, I really enjoyed reading your blog. I used to be extremely shy, but I came out of my shell at a young age--I went to work in law enforcement (clerical). Those guys didn't give me five minutes peace, instead dragging me kicking and screaming out of my shell. It's still difficult to step out sometimes, but we do what we have to do.

You brightened my day. Thank you!

Jess Domain said...

Wow, it's so nice to read this. I'm a songwriter & singer that has been reluctant to start the self promo machine...but now that I'm starting to get into it, I've met some of the coolest & most inspiring people. My advice to anyone reading this blog is that if you are doing what you love (writing, drawing, creating anything), share it with people, especially with people you don't know yet. The joy that you will receive in return is unbelievable.
Thanks for a great blog, Ellis! Looking forward to more!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Jan, I think we're twins. LOL. I, too, was born introverted and shy. But unlike you, i haven't yet found my inner extrovert. :)

But about 10 years ago, I became a fitness instructor, as you did, which FORCED me to be more outgoing. All these years later, I still have to give myself a peptalk before getting up on that stage. Yikes.

Polly said...

Great post, Jan. Your books sound like fun. Writing can turn an extrovert into an introvert, so I'm glad you found a way to turn that upside down. Yay for you. Keep on ziplining. (That sure sounds better than keep on trucking.) Thanks for another great guest, Ellis.

Sandra Dailey said...

Jan, I've experienced the magic 50 also. My problem wasn't shyness, though. I was a people-pleaser. I would put my own dreams on a shelf while I served everyone else. It was hard to get past the feelings of guilt, but it's finally my time to shine. I'm so much happier now.

Jan Romes said...

Marja,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I imagine working for law enforcement helped you overcome your shyness! I'm smiling that those guys didn't give you a minutes peace :-)) They sound awesome!

Have a great week! :-))

Jan Romes said...

Jess,

so happy to hear about your singing/songwriting career! Will certainly look/listen for you :-)

I agree that it's difficult to start the self-promo, but it's absolutely necessary. And it's true, along the way we meet some incredibly inspiring people. It's been an adventure that I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Good luck to you with your career!

Jan Romes said...

Rebecca!

Hello twin :D Thank you so much for revealing that you too have introvert tendencies. Not sure if you've hit the 50 mark, but once you do, you'll be surprised how liberating it is. I swear...there's magic there :-)

Love that you still give yourself peptalks, that means you're a humble, sweet gal.

Jan Romes said...

Polly,

thanks so much for dropping by. You're right - being able to turn from introvert to extrovert was challenging, but rewarding.

Also, thanks for the sweet comments about my books :-))

Ziplining was amazing. I hope to do it again sometime!

Have a great week!

Jan Romes said...

Sandra,

It's very easy to overlook our own wants/needs because we want to make others happy. Glad that you are now embracing the fact that it's your time now. May all your dreams come true :-))

Nancy Lauzon said...

Jan, your book sounds fun. Best of luck!