Monday, September 3, 2018

Why authors should challenge themselves πŸ€“

Let's face it, it's easy to fall into the comfort zone and not want to get back up again. It's our nature as humans to want to feel comfortable, to feel in control; but is it good for us?

I think we both know the answer to that question.

As a writer, I've traveled out of my comfort zone many times. Sometimes it is topics that make me uneasy, other times it is something like self-promotion or social media that has made me anxious. Of course, this is normal. When we aren't familiar with something, we become nervous, fearing that we will make fools of ourselves or do or say something wrong. When in reality, we are simply on a learning curve and this is important. Not only does it help with your end goals as a writer, it also builds your confidence.

One of the biggest challenges I've had as a writer is doing interviews. The first few times I've done them, I actually felt a bit dumbfound and not always sure what to say. I've actually had one journalist bite my head off because I wasn't giving her a 'good quote'. In my defense, I didn't exactly have media training and was attempting to answer my questions as best I could.

Since that time, I've also jumped into the whole world of YouTube videos. It wasn't something I was super excited about in the beginning but in the end, I have to say it was one of the best ideas I've had since I started writing. I don't say that because I have a massive following or because I think I'm terrific on camera but because it helped me build my confidence, which in turn, helped me with my interviewing skills and generally talk about my writing.

I've also dealt with writing topics that have challenged me. Believe it or not, I've never been in a cartel, never sold drugs, never been in politics, never been an assassin, never been a vampire or a rock star and yet, these are all topics that I write about. Not only have I done the research, I've paid attention to the world around me; the news, documentaries, films, webinars, books...there are many sources of information out there and many trails away from just the facts to more personal experiences. We have to put ourselves in many shoes when writing and give it fair consideration and that sometimes is a challenge in itself.

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