a writer friend of mine mentioned she avoided writing in first person for fear of over-using the pronoun “I.” Another writing buddy doesn’t like to write anything that is sad or uncomfortable. One gets hung up on perfect grammar and finds it difficult to write at all, so concerned about correctness that she stifles her own imagination.
These are all examples of writers afraid of leaving their comfort zone. They set their imaginative thermostat at 68 or 72 and never deviate. All of the friends I mentioned are wonderful writers, but each limits themselves with their own fears of venturing too far from home. This is where writing prompts can help. I am subscribed to one of the free daily writing prompt websites available, but admit to skipping some. They seem too silly, or uninteresting, or too far-fetched. However, after thinking about the conversations I’ve had I am determined to try them all from now on. If I don’t go beyond what I am accustomed to, I won’t ever grow.
Fear is a big monster that hides under every writer’s bed. We all need to run him off by turning the light on. Or the thermostat up! Sweat the sucker out or freeze him—it’s your choice. The important thing is to get out of that safe zone and venture into the wilderness. Don’t worry. You can always come back. It will be nice and warm when you do.
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