Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG: Insecure? Try Something New!



Are you feeling insecure about your writing?  I have a suggestion.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Of course, that phrase has different meanings for different folks.

For me, that step happened when I was chosen to contribute a story to a book where ALL the others who were chosen were published authors.  I took a big, deep breath and decided, fake it until they stop you.

Interview.  "Hi, I'm Tina and I'm a free-lance writer...."  My definition of free-lance is I don't work for anybody.  Completely true.

Story accepted.  Book sold well, raised money, got a second printing.

Then came the invitation, "One of the recipient organizations is looking for volunteer columnists, on a rotating basis, to contribute to their newsletter...."

I've never written a column, though a case could be made for a post being LIKE a column.  I went for it. It's turned out great.  All the other authors from the book have dropped out for whatever reason, so now I'm not rotating with anyone.  I AM the columnist. Yeah!

Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone means taking on a leadership role.  We had a lot of very brave "I'm not really comfortable" people step up to be minions for the A-Z Challenge, and they rocked the town.  I bet it gave them some confidence, too.

Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone is visiting blogs that aren't in your same category.  You may discover that following a cooking, craft, photography, gaming, or whatever-is-new-to-you blog opens up new doors.  New friendships.  New circles (not the google+ kind, still don't know how to drive THAT non-intuitive model of car...)

Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone is interacting more with those who visit your blog. Make more return visits. Write return emails.  Build friendships.

You never know where your next brave step will take you, and even though it may be uncomfortable, at least it's a new place, full of possibilities.

~Tina, stepping out on a Road Trip with a bunch of "I'm not done visiting blogs from The Challenge yet" brave souls...wanna join us?

***
Alex “Ninja Captain” Cavanaugh  is our leader for this wonderful, supportive group. Don't forget we even have our own website now.  Be sure to check it out if you haven't already, and "like" our facebook page, too. I'm so impressed with what these talented folks are doing to promote this group! Encouragement month long is now just a click away! 


31 comments:

Suzanne Furness said...

Some great advice, Tina. Let's all take the plunge and try something new.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Setting up that webpage was out of my comfort zone! So was writing. And being online. Basically everything I've done in the past five years has been out of my comfort zone.
So you're THE columnist on top of the Challenge duties? And I thought I was a glutton for punishment...

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Tina,

Well said!

I know I *abhor* stepping out of my comfort zone (I have mad cow-level OCD) but when it comes to writing, I enjoy the challenge.

'Cos well if it doesn't kill you, it makes you open up another box of cheap Target wine :)

Happy IWSG Day :)

Jo said...

It's something most people have a big problem doing, stepping outside their comfort zone. All power to the elbows of those who can do so.

Elsie Amata said...

I want to join in on the Road Trip with you. If it's a real deal kinda thing you're doing let me know. I clicked the link but it led me back to my page. haha!! I'm still going back through the list myself.

Elsie
co-host IWSG


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - so clearly set out and well done you and I'm so delighted it works ...

Give it a go .. don't learn without stepping outside ... and there are so many people to ask for guidance in this amazing blogging fraternity ...

Alex' ISWG website is a great addition.. and I'm sure the FB page is too, but G+ and social media ... I'm disappearing behind the mountain, til I'm brave enough to come out .. I need some of Mark's wine?! A lot of it ..

But my comfort zone mountain may be breached this summer ...

Cheers and congratulations on all you've done, your positivity and chiding us along our merry ways .. Hilary

Brian Miller said...

its cool how when we step out and do something that stretches us what can become of it....and other opportunities and such...its a cool journey you have been on tina...

Tina said...

link testing...

Tina @ Life is Good
On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

ameliabishop said...

Great post, and great advice!
It reminds me of that movie forrest gump, where he has such a crazy and unbelievable life all because he just never says no. He does everything, takes every opportunity. A good lesson for all of us, I think. :)

mike spain said...

informative might try it

Crystal Collier said...

Yes! I'm totally on board with you. If you're comfortable, you're doing something wrong. =) I think we should always be striving for something new or better, and if we're not, well, you know what stagnant pond water smells like. Yuck!

Way to take a chance and step up. Very inspiring.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm late. Would you know, today of all days I couldn't get online. Great post, Tina. I certainly felt the encouragement. Thanks.

Maria Dunn said...

This a fabulous encouragement, Tina. I need to get back and rejoin the IWSG. For now I will step out of my comfort zone and say I will humbly take you up on your offer to have my reflections included on the A to Z website. Thank you for the honor. Maria, Delight Directed Living

Laura Clipson said...

Breaking out of your comfort zone really is a great way to build confidence. I was a minion this year, and that was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I'm glad I did it (though I'm sure I could have done a better job).

Claudia said...

ah it def. is cool to step out of our comfort zone - and cool how that took you on such an exciting journey... there's so much to discover out there..

Chrys Fey said...

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be great! When an opportunity arises, I will definitely step out of my comfort zone.

And I love what happened when you did. :)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Haha! I love your comment about Google+. I struggle with it, too. Maybe that is the new thing I need to try; it's definitely out of my comfort zone.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Great advice. There is quite a lot I have never tried, so stepping out might be a new way to go.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm always amazed when I do take one of those leaps outside my comfort zone because I learn so much. Mostly I learn about myself, but I usually connect with different people and discover fascinating new information. Then, of course, I have to give myself a pep talk if another out-of-my-comfort zone experience pops up.

"Just do it, dummy!"
"Okay. Don't push."

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Going outside your comfort zone paid off. Congrats. I decided to try ghostwriting again after it fell apart last time. This year it worked and by the 20th this month I'll have enough money to get my personal computer. Plus I took on a new challenge last month which was to translate a play into a novel. Never did it before and it's tough. But I still feel accomplished right now for sending the second complete section to the buyer. And a new assignment has come in for a short story. S things I are going well on the working from home side. Also my mother left her computer behind so I get to go online in the daytime instead of early morning on my dad's.

S.K. Anthony said...

Awesomely said!
I have to work on stepping out of my comfort zone more. I say I will and then I forget, but this is a great reminder. I, too, shall fake it till they stop me lol

S.K.Anthony: IWSG

Michelle Stanley said...

Good advice. If I hadn't entered the AtoZ challenge, I would not have encountered so many blogs with diverse themes and content. One should experience new things and learn from them. Michelle @ http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

lilicasplace.com said...

Hi Tina, wonderful post. I've stepped out of my comfort zone a few times over the past year. I'm going to try a few of your suggestions too, once my classes are over. :)

Happy IWSG Day! Hugs, Eva

http://lilicasplace.com

Samantha Geary Jones said...

I have a pretty wide-open comfort zone, unless you want me to wake up before 7 am, which I never do unless something crucial to my existence is on fire:)

WriterlySam
Echoes of Olympus
A to Z Survivor


LittleCely said...

"fake it until they stop you." Great advice. I should really step out of my comfort zone more as well.

Visiting on the atozchallenge road trip.

LittleCely's Blog

emaginette said...

I'm not one for stepping out of my comfort zone, but I do admire the ones that do. :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

LD Masterson said...

I'm happy to step outside my comfort zone. Provided I'm being dragged kicking and screaming.

Well, at least nudged. Hard.

Joanne said...

meandering on the road trip. Nice blog.

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

Well stated. I would like to add this, when our comfort zone is actually an uncomfortable, comfort zone, it really is time to challenge ourselves.

Thank you for this, my dear friend.

Gary :)

D Biswas said...

This is excellent advice, Tina, especially for writers, because the more we live, the better we write. And there's no better way to live than to take a few risks, step off the familiar into the unfamiliar.

Cathy Kennedy said...

I think I will feel right at home with this Insecure Writer's Support Group. I just joined and look forward to getting back on track perfecting my writing style. I hope to learn a lot from other writers. Stepping out of one's comfort zone is tricky, but I definitely know what you're saying and this is something we all need to do more of to find ourselves. Excellent advice!