Doing things outside your Comfort Zone

In my journey through university, I have finally found where I must take a course, not in my minor or major. In order to keep my full-time status for my student loans, I need to take three courses. I managed to find two courses I can use. It’s not the story I heard of some students taking a full semester full of electives cause they can’t find a course they can use.

For me, I’m taking a photography course. To most, it does seem like a waste of time, but for my family and me, it is in line with who we are. My wife paints, sculpts, graphic designs, takes photographs, and is a potter. She is an artist. I call her a renaissance artist as she does everything. My daughter dances. She is in ballet and tap. My son plays piano and is learning how to code so he can make video games. For me, I write novels.

The photography is outside of my comfort zone. I’m not a visual person as my stories go from my head to the paper. I use words and sentences to tell my stories and not pictures. This is something in my wife’s zone. She is the visual artist, not me.

For being a creative, going outside of the comfort zone is essential. Being in the comfort zone forces the creative into a rut or a groove. The work becomes stale, and the artist becomes dissatisfied with the project. It happens to the best artists in the world. Going outside of the comfort zone forces the creative to think outside of the box.

Thinking outside of the box is something in the basic skill set of a creative. It is one reason many become a creative. They don’t want to be at a 9 to 5 job. They want to work for themselves, creating for a living. This, I understand, as I don’t want a 9 to 5 job. I want to write my novels.

However, doing a photography course is expanding my ability to see the world in a different exciting way. Photography has allowed me to take some interesting photographs. There is not going to be anything posted this week, but starting next week, I will share a few pictures.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free on Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

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.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. You can also visit me on Facebook. 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.