“To test a man’s mettle send him to a place where he will starve and see if he learns how to survive.”
A quote told to me a few weeks ago that I have paraphrased. It is very easy to get comfortable and stay within our comfort zone. But where is the test to strive for better? Where is the possibility to evolve and adapt to something else? It is good for writers to have their niche or preferred style, but if one sticks to only that they run the risk of being too specialized. Specialization can lead to extinction. If something out of the comfort zone is given suddenly then one may crumble easily before it.
Fellow writers. We should experiment with different subjects, topics and genres that we have no knowledge of or are uncomfortable with to test how well we can adapt to a changing situation. In the past I have dabbled in different genres that I have not been comfortable with. Most recently I took a stab at romance with no prior knowledge except from what pre conceived notions I have of it. Despite having a lot of trouble in pacing and balancing I think I have a diamond in the rough. A nice romantic tragedy on a subject I can possibly deconstruct like no tomorrow. This would not have come about if I did not take that plunge and whirl my pen at a subject I’ve never focused in writing on before.
This is not just for writing. You must also challenge yourself outside of your written pages. You must breach that comfort bubble and see what is beyond it in the world. This can be very helpful as seeing new things and new perspectives. Having unexpected adventures and sticking through it to the end can make your writing more diverse and unique.
Take time to challenge yourself and your security shield. Within the pages try a new genre or a subject that you have no clue on. Create a character type that you never used before and give him or her motivations that you rolled a six sided die for. Outside of the pages try something new and unexpected that would have never entered your mind other than just being a whim. Or maybe conquer a fear. Or travel to some place new. And these feelings you get from these challenges. Whether it be fear, curiosity, anxiety, etc… bring them back to your writing and increase your writer’s tool set with something new.
There is a whole world out there beyond ourselves… so open your eyes and journey through it.
~ Nu Tael