Embrace Discomfort: The Path to Writing Success

Us writers yearn for comfort. Yet true growth lies beyond the well-trodden path. Stepping out of your comfort zone to embrace discomfort is an essential aspect of a writer’s journey. Writers can harness the power of being uncomfortable to propel their creativity and achieve their writing goals.

Write Even When You Are Unmotivated

Waiting for the perfect moment is a fool’s errand. Putting off writing simply kicks the task down the road. Days turn into weeks. Soon you’ll find you’re never in the “right” frame of mind.

Write, regardless of mood or motivation. Set a time to write each day and stick to it. Even if you write garbage, let it happen. Revision and refinement will come later. The more you make writing a habit, you’ll find your mind snapping into the mood sooner and sooner.

Push Beyond Your Comfort Zone

If you always drive with the GPS on, you’ll never learn the way. If you play the same familiar song on the piano, you’ll never learn how to play anything else. The same goes for writing. 

Our comfort zone is a bubble that protects us from really trying. Only when we shift toward the edge of this bubble do we see real growth. A funny thing happens when you move to the edges of your comfort bubble. Instead of popping, our comfort area expands. With experimentation we become more relaxed tackling different techniques and situations. 

Accept the Power of Sucking

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is an integral part of the journey. Writing means putting yourself out there. You’ll bring your work to critique groups. You’ll submit stories or novels to be published. And not everyone is going to like it. But don’t let fear of failure paralyze your progress.

You will always be afraid of failing. Even when you succeed, your fear of falling on your face only gains strength (because now you have something to lose). Celebrate your rejections and failed attempts. This will help your mind reconcile that failure is inevitable and shouldn’t be feared. 

The Final Word

Author Neil Gaiman has the best advice when it comes to embracing discomfort: “Now go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.” 

Only through failing can we truly learned the path to success. 

Tim Kane

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