Thursday, November 6, 2014

Comfort Zones and Writing

by M. J. Joachim


Comfort zones make things easier for us as we go about the business of daily living. Some of us go to great lengths to preserve our comfort zones. Some of us go with the flow, allowing our comfort zones to be flexible within reason, and some of us fly by the seat of our pants, not defining our comfort zones at all, until we end up out of them by chance, and then we simply cannot cope at all.

I’m more of a flexible type, going with the flow and dealing. I suppose it’s the mom of three grown kids in me, or maybe it’s because I’m #8 of 8 kids in my family. You sort of had to deal in that crowd, because if you didn’t you’d surely end up at the funny farm. Speaking of which, a sense of humor helped a lot in that crowd too. Then again, a sense of humor helps in just about every crowd I’ve ever met.

Comfort zones and writing aren’t that different from any other comfort zones we have in life. Writers like their space, their solitude and the worlds they create in their manuscripts. They enjoy familiar surroundings where they can focus on the task at hand, writing.

As I type, delete, type some more, delete some more, I realize I’m out of my comfort zone today. I’m dealing, and I’m pushing myself to make this post for you. In the process I’m realizing that it wouldn’t hurt to test and stretch my limits a little more often.

Comfort zones can get boring in writing, making our words sound like broken records. Changes of scenery and environments might well be a good thing to keep things fresh in our writing. Discussions with new people, dining at different restaurants, tasting new and unusual foods, all these play into those comfort zones and ultimately can be used to express ourselves in our writing, preventing it from going stale.

Today I’m working on the patio. The men and their machines are tearing up broken flooring in the kitchen. It’s strange looking in at the kitchen, instead of out at the backyard. It’s even more strange trying to type with the clatter of tiles and buzzing of sanders on the other side of the wall. New perspectives give us new things to write about, provide different scenes for the characters we create and heighten our sense of awareness in everything around us. We know familiar, until we’ve looked at it from the other side of the window and wall. For it is only then that we get a glimpse of looking at our comfort zones from the outside, allowing us to understand what makes them so comfortable in the first place.

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing my post today. Here’s to being comfortable.

M. J.

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