Expanding your Comfort Zone.

Habits, by definition, are comfortable. They become convenient for that very reason. If they weren’t comfortable, they wouldn’t become habits in the first place.

In the career of a creative, there is always the threat they will sink into a rut. This is where the creative will work a job, not in their field, or they will work in their field, but in a more corporate setting. Both of which are soul-crushing and will end with them in a rut. Once in the rut, a creative will end up spinning their wheels, getting nowhere.

For a creative, the rut is comfortable and soft. At least at first. The corporate job will pay the bills, the work not in the field gives the freedom to not work too much at their craft. All of this will become a habit, and habit is comforting to people.

But the rut and the habit are death spirals to creatives. They will end up with either the creative’s soul being crushed or them giving up and throwing in the towel. Either outcome is bad for obvious reasons.

However, there is a way for a creative to do soul-crushing tasks while still staying sane. For example, they can use the soul-crushing job to pay for the creative endeavor they genuinely want to do. This is hard as it takes determination and willpower to keep moving.

This will usually take the creative to expand and get out of their comfort zone to get out of their rut. It is not a natural thing for people to do, and it takes them to seek it out. The creative has to consciously make a move as it won’t just happen on their own. If they leave everything alone, nothing will change. They will blink three times and discover a decade has passed in the meantime. Staying in the comfort zone creates a complacency which hinders a creative.

What do creatives need to do?

Take on something outside of the comfort zone just cause its outside of it. Ignore the voices that say it’s not going to work. Or that it’ll end up in tears. The important part is to step up and acknowledge the need for growth. This growth will create the ability to get out of the comfort zone.

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Making Hard Decisions

Growing up, the hardest decision that I had to make was whether I wanted to get that summer job or if I wanted to be a lazy slob watching TV on the couch.

Today, I have harder decisions to make. I’m a dad, a husband, a student, and an author. These roles have responsibilities that I have to fulfill. It is something which has to be done. I have little choice on the matter.

As a dad, I have to be there for my kids. I have to make hard decisions that will turn them into adequately adjusted adults. Decisions made about my relationship with my wife keeps me out of divorce court.

However, most of those decisions are not hard to make. They don’t take any effort on my part. Some decisions, those that cost me money or have ambiguous choices, are harder to make.

Moving down from my home town to Vancouver Island was one such decision. It was a big move that cost us a lot of money. It also put on hold any possibility of me buying another house. (House costs are average 250k up north, while a similar home on the island is 600k.) There were many possibilities on what to do. What wasn’t on the list was staying up North.

That falls under the category of keeping myself out of divorce court. My wife is an artist, always has been. Even the days when she said that she wasn’t. She wanted to go to art school. So that meant that we’d be moving. The hard decision was what city to move to.

Another hard choice was what I wanted to do after I got laid off from my day job. Go back to school, or get a laborer job making less than what I was before with longer hours and not seeing my family. I chose to go back to school. I was tempted to get a business degree. However, I chose to go to the creative writing route.

The decision was hard to make. It took me all weekend to make it, I then signed up on the last week before the cut-off ended. It was a mad dash to get my paperwork into the school.

So how did I make these hard decisions?

The first thing is to remove emotion from the equation. Emotions don’t help anything. They cloud your judgment, and it is a well-known fact that people making decisions based on emotions are always wrong.

For me, I take a piece of paper, and I write the decision on the top. ‘Go back to school for Creative Writing.’

I then split it in half for Pros and Cons. I give a numeric value to each pro and con on how big of an issue it may be. ‘Being off work’ was high at a nine, as well as ‘getting student loans.’ I added up both column, and some simple math later showed a number.

This allowed me to compare the different decisions on what I wanted to do.

It is, however, biased as you are rating your own decision. It will tell you what you already know and want. But it will put things into perspective for you. So you can try to see the whole picture.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Expanding the Comfort Zone

Every creative has an area of work that they find comfortable. It might be a painter drawing nothing but flowers. A photographer taking photos of her kids only. Or an author writing fan fiction.

There is nothing wrong with doing art in those mediums about those subjects. The artwork needs to be created.

However, if the creative only creates art in those mediums, then the artist will soon find herself in a rut. The art will stagnate and become stale. Or at least that will be the perception.

Once an artist is in a rut, the quality of art drops as the artist struggles. It is a natural cycle that happens, however, it can spiral down towards creative death.

This is what happened to me. I got into a rut with my writing. I didn’t know how to make my art better and improve my craft. I got to where simple criticism of my crappy writing caused me to go into a downward spiral that hampers me being creative.

I came an inch from wanting to quit altogether. Before I restarted the blog at the start of this year, I was going to quit. I was going to leave being creative and go do something else with my life. Once I figured out what that was.

I had gotten myself in a rut with my writing. It wasn’t improving, in fact, it dropped. It had gotten worse.

It was only once I started to expand my comfort zone did I start to improve. It wasn’t comfortable to put myself out there. It wasn’t comfortable to force myself to write every day. It wasn’t comfortable to go back to school. It isn’t comfortable to take a journalism course.

But doing so, trying to expand my comfort zone forced me to get better. It forced me to improve my craft. The items outside my comfort zone got me to relearn how I did things. It forced me to learn new things and fix those that I was doing wrong.

So in short, push the comfort zone. Go outward and try new things. Write new things, take new styles of photos, paint new subjects. If the creative subject makes you uncomfortable, perhaps it is something that you should try. Perhaps it will force you to learn.

Until then, if you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Filler Episode

This blog post is the filler episode that happens in an anime when the poor writer is exhausted and on the verge of breakdown.


You’re probably curious who I am, and why I’m here “narrating”.

My name is Grace Pedde, beloved Waifu of the regular writer here–Nathan Pedde…aka my hubby.


My husband is currently wrestling his brain into submission to write several essays–the end of the semester is coming y ‘all. I also must contend with the end of semester thing–but I am a visual art major and make the arty things. I have final assignments…but most don’t cause the same kind of stress as essays.


I am in my third year of my degree–I expect chaos to arrive next year…grad projects and such. For now I support my husband as much as I can–he believes in me and my goals, reciprocating only makes sense.


You have probably seen some of my handy work without even realizing it. I proofread his writing when I can, and occasionally make covers for his books. I would do more, but most of the time I am working on projects for school. I post those on my Instagram when I remember, and I upload my art for sale on various merch on Redbubble.