How to Grow as a Writer (and Get Outside Your Comfort Zone)

No matter how hard you try, you can't stay in the same place. The thing is, you can either choose to let life's whims direct you, or you can grab the bull by the horns and see how you are at steering.

If you want to choose your own adventures as a writer that will help you learn more, grow more, and write more (and more better), you should be thinking about ways to push out of your comfort zone and give your creativity more room to wiggle.

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I once heard someone talking about growth. He used an interesting metaphor: the lobster. When a lobster grows, he begins to push against his shell. It becomes uncomfortable.

Once the discomfort becomes too great, the lobster retreats to a safe place and sheds his shell, so he can regrow a newer, more roomy shell.

The process repeats.

Growth comes from doing things outside your comfort zone.

This post is all about how to break out of rut of familiarity and routine and into new realms of creativity, growth, and progress.

Routine is good. Routine is bad.

Routine, that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, has you eat three regular meals a day (or six, like me), and has you brush your teeth before bed.

But routine, when it breeds familiarity and comfort, can be bad.

Creativity benefits from outside perspectives. If you go to the same cafés to write, or hole up in your writing space, you'll suffer from a lack of "fresh air" that can really blow your abilities up.

The fix?

Do | Learn | Discover new things.

You can change up the location of your writing space and see what new influences you can find to stimulate your story.

You can invest in a community college course that will inform you of new ideas, perspectives, and challenge old assumptions.

Make a list of all the things you'd love to do but don't have time for, and DO one of them.

Experiment with a hobby one of your characters has.

Dress like the opposite gender for a day.

Take a day trip to a town you've never been before.

Practice silence. Dedicate a day to complete silence. Even texting.

Read outside your genre. Love mystery and hate romance? Give a top rated romance novel a whirl!

You can come up with your own ideas for how to break out of your comfort zone. And when you do, interesting things will happen.

Leave a comment below with your own suggestion for pushing past your comfort zone!