Several times a year I take on projects that are more than I can handle. I make sure that they are outside of my area of expertise, and keep me up late at night problem solving. Like writing a book in August and revising it while redoing my website and this blog at the same time.
My dreams as of late have been preceded by images of navigation bars, widgets, and CSS code, or snatches of dialogue from a story that I feel is emerging slowly compared to the gusto with which it was born over the summer.
In order to make myself feel better and ensure more procrastination, I downloaded these fantastic essential (free!) story outlining worksheets and checklists from Karen S. Wiesner's From First Draft to Finished Novel and am printing all 50 pages. The sound of the printer is soothing, and it offsets my guilt about paper and trees and all the ink I'm wasting. Not to mention the printer I have uses cartridges only available in the US, so it requires serious finagling to refill them.
A new job teaching (screaming!) English to grade school and middle school kids has me way out of my comfort zone, too.
Are there projects you take on that you know are worth the steep learning curve?