Writing: Venturing out of your comfort zone
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. " Maya Angelou
Write what you know. I think this is probably the most common advise that writers hear, both aspiring and published. In some form, it's true. I obviously can't sit down and write a book about heart surgery. On the other hand, this is possibly bad advise. Especially in this day and age, when the internet provides a wealth of unlimited knowledge at our fingertips,quite literally.
Every writer starts out in a comfort zone. A genre. A voice, a person (first, third) They settle there. Find a publisher or an agent that loves it? That's great! Not an easy thing to do, quite an amazing accomplishment. Lets celebrate by writing the next piece.
And the next.
And the next.
Now you've got half a dozen and ideas shelved. No best sellers yet? Join the club. Amazon has millions of other books competing for that top 100 spot that we all crave. So what now? Give up?
Of course not. You're a writer. A writer writes....always. Our characters and stories keep us awake at night. We script in our head while we lay in bed trying to sleep. We can't ever stop.
How about this? What about that idea you had that you laughed off? It's outside your comfort zone isn't it? Don't know how to voice that character or script out that plot line? This is where you get to flex your muscles and show what you can really do. Sit down, and start it. I bet you will surprise yourself.
I say this because I've got first hand experience. I never thought that writing paranormal was something I could ever do. I always thought I lacked that magical imagination. Then one day, while watching the movie, The Visit, I watched the scene where the creepy old lady talks the kid into getting into the oven and a light bulb went off. Hansel and Gretel...modern...retold....but I hesitated. It ate at me. So I sucked it up and tried it. Cranked out the short, Gretyl and the Witch. It's turned out to be my most popular to date. Who knew?
Try something new. It might be amazing.