Trying new things can be scary. The unknown can be a frightening place. Any anxiety or stress experienced when stepping outside of that which is familiar and comfortable is well worth the end result. Ever time we try something new we gain knowledge never had before while our experiences also grow. As the unknown and uncomfortable is pursued, it becomes familiar and comfortable. Everything in life was unfamiliar at one time. As babies taking a few steps was new and unfamiliar, now, I dare say most of us go throughout the entire day without ever thinking about how we are able to walk. However, as we age, we begin again to consider the steps we take
Writing nonfiction is my comfort zone. Now, this does not mean I am confident every time I push publish – because that would be far from the truth. What it does mean is that nonfiction is where I feel comfortable in researching, and reading, it is the area I enjoy writing – whether or not it is any good. I like studying facts then applying those facts to encourage and help myself and others forward toward excellence in this journey of life.
While nonfiction does require some imagination to write, fiction requires something completely different. Writing fiction is like putting together a puzzle, the only problem is, each piece (character, scene, setting, conversation) can change without warning.
I have relatives who love creating fictitious stories. For my own part, it has always been a struggle to find a story that held my interest long enough to finish. With my nonfiction, once I have enough facts and twine them together in a cohesive thought, the blog post or book can come to an end.
January found me stepping outside my comfortable setting in the area of writing. This step resulted in my writing a short story for a contest. To my amazement, the story came together in about two weeks time. When I would get stuck on what should take place, I would go for a walk, ask The Lord what I should write, and later that day He would provide an idea.
The 31st of January found me pushing the submit button (last minute, well eight hours to spare, but still). Now patience comes into play as the winners will not be notified till July. Do I think I will be one of the winners? On one hand I would say unlikely; however, the other hand wants to say yes. After all, we need to have a degree of confidence in our writing.
Whether or not my piece is chosen for one of the ten winning spots, stepping out and trying my hand at writing something new has been a good experience. In fact, it is an experience I intend to try again. Stepping outside my norm, and trying something new reminds me that nothing is impossible. As said in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” With practice, it is possible to write in other genres, I can even learn to love them and excel.
Trying something new can be difficult, and we may not produce great work our first try. Practice though, will lead to improvement. This improvement will then lead to a new skill.
In what ways have you stepped outside your comfort zone and tried something new in 2017?