Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

Outside Your Comfort Zone May 22, 2012




There seems to be a continuing debate among new writers about whether you can garner any agent interest if you don’t have an MFA or writing credits.  Many people think without some kind of publication under your belt, agents are unlikely to take you on as a debut author. There are others who believe if your writing is good, and your premise unique, agents will be willing to take a chance on you.



I have been wavering on this point.  I question how I’m going to get noticed among the hundreds of manuscripts agents receive a day if I don’t stand out. When I write my bio at the end of my query, and dance around the fact I’ve never been published, it seems  I am truly grasping at straws.



With this in mind, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I enrolled in a creative writing course which pushed me outside my comfort zone. I was required to write short stories and flash fiction just for the sake of honing my craft.  It was daunting and scary, but what I found was  I liked being pushed.  I enjoyed being forced to think about something beside my MS and my endless quest to write the “perfect” query.



What I learned was when I pushed beyond what I thought I was capable of, my writing became better.  I’m still trying to stretch my limits, and recently asked a fellow writer if I could guest post a review on her website.  Again, I was uncomfortable taking on this new task, but enjoyed focusing on some other aspect of writing beyond my current manuscript. It taught me once more that with each new writing experience, I could perfect my craft and use the experience to influence my current manuscript. It also gave me a writing credit I did not have before.



Fellow writers, how do you push yourself out of your comfort zone? Do you blog? Guest post? Write short stories, poetry or flash fiction?  Do you feel like taking those risks makes you a better writer?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.





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4 Responses to “Outside Your Comfort Zone”

  1. matt van law Says:

    Not sure how relevant this comment will be but here it is:The idea of pushing your limits is definitely good for any type of creative work .I think practice in a creative outlet helps rise one’s average level of awesomeness. Maybe in a few years, when I’m better at this writing thing, I’ll be able to determine if the random bouts of creative passion one gets is also amplified/increased by a stress/strain regiment (being pushed to the limit of imaginaaaation). I’m sure there’s something to be said about being fully immersed and unrelenting.

  2. yellowlancer Says:

    I think it’s always good to try something new and creative writing groups and courses are perfect. You may not continue with the new genre/style but they do help to make you a better writer 🙂

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