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Saturday, February 16, 2019
Writing Prompt Saturday ~ Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone
I just realized that we missed our Foodie Friday segment. It was utter chaos around here yesterday with appointments, meeting a few deadlines and my daughter coming back from a week-long school trip. Despite the lack of sleep, things calmed down, as they always do. And here we are.
As writers, we are so fortunate because there are so many different elements out there to inspire and guide our writing. When I first started sending my work out for the world to read, I was told the best way to represent myself was to write about what I knew. This is good advice. When you write about what you know, you make yourself known to your readers for a specific subject, issue or genre and they know what to 'Google' or whatnot to find you and your work.
The problem with this, though, is when you only stick to what you know, you are limiting yourself from exploring other areas that you may also have an amazing story calling to you. Now that doesn't mean you should just jump on the train of something moving in the direction you either have no interest in or aren't comfortable writing about. All it means is to be brave enough to see where another idea may take you.
A good place to start is reading the works of authors who have no fear of being eclectic with their writing and have a combination of articles, blog posts, short stories and novels. Even the best of the best out there, who are solely known for a specific subject or genre, will change up their stories so it doesn't become the same robotic work. I try doing that every week. If there's an issue or cause that needs another voice, I do what I can to add something to the whole. Although my target audience is young adults for most of my work, I dabble in children's book, write stories that adults may be more interested in and have recently tried poetry. (That's a whole other kettle of fish but I like that there are no real set rules about writing poetry. It is a deeper level of expressing emotion.)
Another idea is to enter writing contests. Not only does this inspire you to write on different subjects, having a set word limit also teaches you to be more selective with the words you choose and how you say them. There are thousands of contests every month. And who knows? You may actually place or win!
So, there's your prompt today. Explore a subject you've never written before. Attempt writing a story in a genre you've never tried to. Stand up for an issue or cause you are passionate about, or even work that issue or cause into a story or novel idea. There are no rules, boundaries or limits.
You never know. Maybe you'll hit a nail that leads you even further down your writing path.