By nature, human beings are creatures of habit. We stick to what we’re good at it and we like to do what we’ve always done.
Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.’”And habits are hard for us to give up. That’s why it’s so difficult for us to make a major lifestyle change—it breaks us out of our comfort zone.
For writers, though, habit can be particularly detrimental.
As writers, we often want to write what we’re comfortable writing. We want to write what we always write. We want to write like we’ve written before.
However, readers don’t like reading the same old style, written by the same old author. They want something new, fresh, unique, different, and exciting.
Habit makes our writing boring and predictable. Writing requires a set of rules, a formula that must be followed. But it’s boring if every piece of writing follows the same formula. Writers need to find new equations for new pieces of writing. If you remain in your comfort zone, you will not go any further.
How to Write Out of Your Comfort Zone
So, how do you break out of your comfort zone and write something that you’ve never done before? By buckling down, gritting our teeth and forcing ourselves to do the opposite of what we normally do.
If your characters are always male, make them female. If you write about characters that can’t stand each other, write about characters that fall in love. If you write adult books, try writing childrens’ books. If you prefer writing non-fiction, try your hand at fiction. And if you can’t think of any way to break out of your comfort zone, ask friends to suggest something new or take inspiration from genres that you never write, or authors that write in styles that are the complete opposite of yours.
Breaking a habit is difficult and unpleasant, but it breaks mental boundaries, and who knows? You might even enjoy it, or fall in love with what you find. You might find a new style of writing that is perfect for you, or it might make you realize how amazing your usual style actually is.
Do you ever try to write outside of your comfort zone?
Write for fifteen minutes in a way that you have never written before and is completely outside your comfort zone.
When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments, and be sure to comment on your fellow writers’ practices.