How I Write– Are You Locked in a Comfort Zone?
For those new to coming to my site, every week, my accountability group poses a question to each other about writing. This week, the topic was about comfort zones and whether we’ve stepped out of our zones or are stuck there? And if we’re stuck, how do we plan to get out of it?
I think comfort zones are easy to fall into. They are those areas that you know you do well in. It may be writing your characters a certain way (i.e. mine: alphas) or sticking to certain themes. The thing about comfort zones is that once you’re in it, it can be hard to get out of. Trying something new and unusual can seem difficult and even turn a perfectly good idea into a brain block.
I’ve been facing this with my new wip, Not Quite Dead. In this manuscript, I’m not only dealing with having to do a whole new world (post apocalyptic), but I also am writing ordinary heroes and heroines. I’ve written characters with abilities all my life. So writing one who isn’t enhanced is interesting because there are circumstances they have to hide or can’t fight back because they are outnumbered and don’t have abilities to draw upon. Also, in this wip, there are no modern conveniences. No phones. No computers or internet. No electricity. Nothing. The world is extinct and the humans who’ve survived have to go on with life with what they have. They have to go back to a life that includes farming for their own food and doing everything themselves.
But it’s not just the plot that I’m pushing with this story. It’s the characters. Instead of dark heroes, my hero in this book, Jason, is very light and chatty. The heroine, is antisocial. I also have a character, Trip, who is just a little bit crazy. He does things…says things that sometimes, I don’t know how to write. I wish I knew. lol. It’d be easier to make him into someone I’m comfortable writing, but I’m not.
The thing with comfort zones is that your writing will never grow if you don’t step out of that circle you’ve drawn around what you know. Not only that, but if your writing is always the same, readers will get bored.
What I’ve learned is that when you step out of that perfectly warm, comfortable zone, doubts are in full force. I faced the last few weeks. Why? It’s something new. What if I’m not doing it right? What if I’m not writing it the way it should? Or the biggest: What if it’s boring?
I was so blocked I asked someone to read what I had. I was at the point where it was either going to be drop the story altogether or push through. It can be a bit trying when you’re writing something new. At times, the writing just doesn’t come. It’s slow and it takes a lot to drag the words out. Other times, it speeds along. It’s a roller coaster that can quickly get out of control. However, all that negative stuff aside, I think it’ll be worth it when I finally write THE END.
What about you? Do you have a comfort zone? Are you stuck there? If you haven’t stepped out, why haven’t you?
Take a chance!