I have done something I should have done a long time ago. I learned this, finally, during my time in college.
Stepping out of your comfort zone. You see, it’s very easy for us, especially writers, to wanna “play it safe” with their work, or life in general. We worry about other people’s opinions, what the Internet or media would say and how family and friends would take our ideas.
My time in college forced me to step out of my comfort zone in terms of faith, confidence, communication and, ultimately, my passion. Some of you may know that in 2015, my final year of school, I lost my confidence.
Ir was the emptiest feeling I’ve ever had in my life. It happened because of those fears of other people, and even myself because of what I could really do. For a couple weeks, I managed to type out response logs for a class and write out papers, but it became harder. I kept doubting myself, I felt my work was horrible and unoriginal. That my ideas were silly.
I always preferred writing fiction or plays and monologues. Poetry I always did on a whim. Maybe I just needed to take a break. Make more time for books beyond schoolwork and write for myself and not for classes. That is a lesson I’m still working on to this day.
Sometimes, you find yourself and shine most when you step out of the safety net. When I wrote a poem for myself, I found my confidence again. The feeling of accomplishing, albeit small and short, a written piece for myself made all the difference. My work with my alma mater’s Center for Religious and Spiritual Life sustained me too; leaving me fulfilled and proud of the stories I’ve covered, the people I’ve interviewed and learning about faith and life.
Since college, I try new things more: the MasterClass on writing taught by James Patterson, writing posts for this new website called YAYWORLD, wanting to do a serial fiction piece for Radish, this blog.
I’m not gonna lie and say stepping out to try something new happens overnight. It takes time. For me it’s taken a couple of years. At 24, I’m still learning and bettering myself, gaining confidence a day at a time.
Don’t be afraid, even in your writing, to check out other outlets to share your work, new genres you like reading and other writing forms.
How do you as a writer try to step out of your comfort zone?