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Comfort Zone

Packing Heat this week is all about stepping outside your comfort zone when you write, something I did in my last newsletter. This week's ep doesn't ramble quite so much; it's about 15 minutes.

http://packingheat.net/2009/03/25/packing-heat-046-comfort-zone.aspx

Comfort Zone
Here's the newsletter item I wrote (Jacob's interview with Carolyn) when I challenged my own comfort zone.

You hear a lot about stepping outside your comfort zone when you write.

Why? Probably because otherwise you keep repeating yourself and writing the same story again and again.

My problem with that advice is that I can’t really tell if the discomfort is due to the project being out of my zone, or because it stinks

Keep it small
Remember, whatever you try doesn’t have to be a huge project. Maybe a small one is better. Don’t pick a pivotal thing to be experimental with unless your gut feeling is well and truly telling you “yes!”

Five suggestions for stepping outside your comfort zone

Try using all the elements you love in a different genre

POV -- 1st vs 3rd or omniscient

Gender -- opposite what you usually write

Flash fiction with a very strict word count, 1000 exactly

Rather than typing, try dictating or handwriting

I'll bet you can think of even more ideas, concepts where that little edge of resistance you feel when you think about it might be tinged with curiosity and excitement.

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