Being uncomfortable is not something I strive for in my everyday life. I like my routine, my creature comforts, my small comings and goings in this great big world. I like going to the gym either before or directly after work. I like having my lunch at 12:40. I like watching television with dinner and having tea with milk and honey and nothing else. I am a self-declaring creature of habit.
The same goes for my writing life…
I like writing sci-fi and fantasy.
I like having a strong female lead.
I like creating characters first and worlds later.
But I also like being uncomfortable, writing-wise.
I try my hand at Literature every now and again. I write freelance articles for the local newspaper. I’ve penned interview questions and critiqued flashes online. These aren’t my usual cups of tea, but I do like trying something different in my writing. It keeps it fresh and interesting. Have you tried to write a flash? An entire story boiled down to 700 words? It’s tough. But it can be fun, too.
I decided to do NaNoWriMo last year. Having to write 1,667 words per day was sometimes uncomfortable and incredibly hard and, yet, I did it. And I’m proud I did. It’s something I’ll remember and (perhaps) try again this year.
Poetry has never been my strong suit, but I decided to write some for Alaska Women Speak and got in twice!
The point of the matter is this: while it may be uncomfortable to break out of the usual writing habits, to go off your normal beaten path, and to do something completely out of the ordinary. It’s also good to challenge yourself.
Try it out!
PostScript – this idea can also be applied to the non-writing life, and, honestly, I’ll be trying to challenge myself more and more this year. I think it’ll be good for me, too.