Monday, November 24, 2014

Advice For Writers #12: Get Out Of That Comfort Zone!

Alex Steele here to discuss one of the biggest, most important, pieces of advice I have ever given. That's to get out of your comfort zone. This is the thing that has helped me to grow most as a writer. I'm sure you hear it all the time when it comes to your reading habits(at least I have), or your socializing habits, but it goes for writing too!

It doesn't even have to be in a big way. You don't have to switch from writing contemporary romance to high fantasy, or adult to YA. It can be as simple as switching your POV, your tense, going from 1st person to 3rd person. Even say you tend to write badass, highly sarcastic, female lead characters, change that up! This is a personal example, most my main characters are badass female leads, even in my contemporary my main character is highly sarcastic and a total nerd, that's my favorite character to read and write. BUT for my newest novel(This World In Gray) my main character is a sad and broken, all too serious, un-sarcastic mess. And I love writing her.

This is the thing that has helped me most to grow as a writer. I'd only ever written middle grade fantasy, and then YA fantasy, both with the main character being a kickass female, which is in no way a bad thing! But then, I wrote Friendzone which is a contemporary romantic comedy, it was refreshing to write and I loved everything about writing it. Then I wrote a book with a friend, the main difference between that book and my others being that I wasn't writing it all by myself and that it was the first thing I wrote in past tense. Both these things helped me with my writing, not in ways that I can necessarily explain. But say you were to read the current version of my novel Dragon Heir(which is actually the series name), and then read Friendzone, you would definitely notice a difference in the writing, and the plot and characters, I freely admit that Friendzone is a lot better than Dragon Heir.(At the moment)

All this also helped me to finally nail down the problem in Dragon Heir, which I've been agonizing over for months. It helped me identify what is wrong with it and how I can fix it. The thing is, as a writer you are always changing, and learning, and getting better, so if something isn't turning out how you want it, then switch it up and come back later!

So this is my advice for you: whether it be a short story or a full novel, whether it be a new kind of character, or a whole new genre, get out of your comfort zone! There is no better way to learn to write than to write, and when you leave your comfort zone behind you may just find that it was holding you back. And there's nothing to say you can't go back, it might no longer be your comfort zone, but definitely go back! I'm so excited to start work on Dragon Heir now and I just know that it's going to end up being so much better, and I never would have learned how to fix it if I didn't first leave my comfort zone.

Round-up -

1. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone.

2. Don't be afraid to leave a project that isn't coming out the way you imagined, switch it up and write something completely different.

3. Go back! Don't leave your original comfort zone forever, allow your self to grow as a writer and then go back and finish that first project, feeling more confident in your abilities.


What is your comfort zone? How do you plan on leaving it?

Write on, write on.

-Alex Steele

3 comments:

  1. Great advice, Alex! Ah, that notorious old comfort zone......it's everywhere. X) Hehe.

    Also, I nominated you two for an award, if you're interested! http://rachelssecretscribblings.blogspot.ca/2014/11/best-blogging-buddies-award.html#comment-form

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The comfort zone is everywhere and sometimes if you start writing outside of it it just expands again!

      Thanks so much for nominating us, that's really great! We'll definitely check it out. =)

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    2. Most definitely! It sounds really interesting!

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