Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Is Your Comfort Zone Hurting You? by Emily Conrad


 When was the last time you purposely ventured from your comfort zone?
Oh, I know--you've been forced out of your comfort zone plenty this year. And that may have you feeling like you're scraping by and unable to handle any more challenges right now.
That could be the case. There's a time for everything, and it could be that right now, you're called to draw close to God and rest.
But I've also found that sometimes, what leaves me feeling unmoored and exhausted is I've clung too closely to a comfort zone that's no longer benefiting me.
Comfort zones are especially troublesome for me as a writer.
After all, it's hard to write varied story lines or unique characters if I let my life experience narrow to my comfort zone. Also, with how fast the publishing climate changes and how often marketing practices shift, a writer who stays within a comfort zone can quickly be left behind.
Writers are wise to evaluate if there's an area where God might be calling you to step out of an old routine, habit, or mindset that's no longer helpful.
He recently did this for me by leading me to a part-time job earlier this year. Though I went into the job with some relevant experience, it was outside my comfort zone.
That step has benefited me in ways I never anticipated. I'm learning a lot--things that will benefit me professionally and personally, in this role and outside of it. I've been inspired to try new things in my writing, and of course, any experience informs situations I'll someday draw from as I craft stories.
Don't be daunted by this example, though! Not all ventures beyond our comfort zones need to be as notable as starting a new job to benefit us. Venturing out of a comfort zone doesn't need to mean a big change. If you're interested in growing as a person and a writer, try something small.
As a novelist, I've learned a lot by writing short stories, even though I had to go through a learning curve when I first switched back to the shorter form after having been away from it for years.
I like travel, but I tend to feel uncomfortable when I first arrive and need to find my way. Still, pushing past my comfort zone has shown me beautiful places I never would've experienced otherwise. And you can bet those experiences impact my writing, too!
Even in my reading, I find I'm hesitant to pick up a new book, especially if I've never read work by that author before. Yet, of course, I discover lots of great fiction by reading new books and authors. They inspire and inform me in my own writing and actually help me in my friendships, because I love to share and discuss good books with friends! If I kept reading the same books or stuck only to a handful of authors, we'd run out of things to talk about pretty quick.
Even cooking a new recipe or trying a new product can benefit a writer in more ways than one. Yes, we might find a new favorite meal or a solution to a problem we've been living around for ages, but God might also use that small adventure to inspire us in our work!

Have some ideas of new adventures to try? Pray about the possibilities and listen for God's invitation to step out in an area where you've become perhaps a mite too comfortable.
You might just be surprised at what God shows you along the way and then, in turn, uses in your writing.

___________________

Writers are wise to evaluate if there's an area where God might be calling you to step out of an old routine, habit, or mindset that's no longer helpful. #writetip #faithwriter #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad

Venturing out of a comfort zone doesn't need to mean a big change. If you're interested in growing as a person and a writer, try something small. #faithwriter #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad


Pray about the possibilities and listen for God's invitation to step out in an area where you've become perhaps a mite too comfortable. #christianwriter #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad



Fueled by a desire to help women foster faith that flourishes even if and no matter what, Emily blogs and writes Christian romances. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and enjoys gardening, road trips to the mountains, and walks with her energetic coonhound rescue.

Emily is a member of ACFW and uses her customer service background to act as WebChat Coordinator for hope*writers. She loves to connect with other writers and nature lovers on Instagram. You can learn more about her work here.






JUSTICE
https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Emily-Conrad-ebook/dp/B0792HGXQN/

The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it.

Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake.

If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

Amazon


Photo credits
Boardwalk through woods photo by Lee Vue on Unsplash
Chainlink fence photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Woman walking on line photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash


8 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post, Emily. I've been personally evaluating a lot of things lately and making some difficult decisions. Sometimes, it can be easy to just go on with the same routine because that's what we've been doing for so long ... but change can be healthy and necessary. It can provide opportunities for growth.

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    1. Sounds like we've been thinking about some of the same things, Dawn! You're so right!

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  2. Stepping out of our comfort zone can offer opportunities to bless others and for us to be blessed. :-)

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  3. I love how you weave the everyday examples of non-writing experiences that, while they may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar initially, stir the imagination and produce ideas for our writing. I'm definitely one who clings to the known and sure. Thanks for the prod to move out of something that may be hindering creativity!

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  4. Congratulations on your new job (or should I say journey), Emily. I know you will be a blessing to many people.

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  5. Emily, this is good stuff. We need to constantly be pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves, and creativity in other parts of life will spark our creativity as writer. Good thoughts.
    K.B.

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  6. This is terrific! I read a LOT of inspirational historical romance but have always been intimidated by the thought of writing that genre. I just started a new book set in Wyoming in 1885. I've having a ball with it and my critique group LOVED the first 5K words.

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