If it ain’t broke, don’t nerf it!

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Well You Prompted Me

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Blogging Insights # 25 – Writing outside your comfort zone – Prompt by Tanya of Salted Caramel

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Blogging Insights #25

If it ain’t broke, don’t nerf it!!

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Do you ever ‘stretch’ i. e. expand your horizons by writing outside your comfort zone?   If not, why?   

Strangely enough l asked a question of my readership a few days ago about ‘Muse’s’ which was inspired, motivated or enthused if you wish by an email l received from a reader which asked me this question …

Why l do not write Creative long content fiction stories and why do l always respond to prompts in a rhyming poetry form?

So Near and So Far, So …….. A Muse ‘ n!

My simple answer was this … “Because l enjoy it and l am seemingly pretty good with making the words flow and also l find rhyming poetry a hell of a lot of fun, challenging, rewarding and stimulating!”

Now to this question …. do you ever stretch your horizons by writing outside your comfort zone?  Mm, this is a good question and one that made me think …. you see l don’t think there is any harm in writing in your comfort zone … but l think it does a person good to complicate their life as well. Too much complication and too much comfort zone is where most problems lie … how do you secure a balance to both?

Now in life l would always try things that were different and then l found what l liked and l worked at it until l needed a new zone to adventure into. It’s strange but in a very sad way l seem to be inside a scenario now where it is believed l am seeking refuge in my comfort zone in real life and the reality is l am not – l am just exercising caution and not leaping without calculation which is why complicating your comfort zone can prove dangerous. I am considered not fun’ enough at present – l am steadfast and reliable – but no longer exciting.

I am a man who enjoys certain things and when l find those things that award me satisfaction, gratification, joy and or happiness l tend to want them in my life and l retain them and work at them to make them more enjoyable.

There is a great deal of comfort in familiarity and yet what do they also say? Familiarity breeds contempt? Everything is all about balance – seeking the fine line to equilibrium …

With my writing, it has been suggested that l am boring, staid and repetitive mmm, maybe this is true l don’t know … l am willing to try my hands at anything if ‘it interests me’, if it sparks my enthusiasm and ignites my passion, if it stimulates and arouses and excites me and my brain enough  – the same applies to life.  If it looks like it will amuse and entertain me then l will try it out. Who knows, l might like it and who knows l might enjoy it and who knows – l might be good at it it?

With regards blogging – do we not ALL write to our skills, our talents? The new blogger and writer will always reach out and seek new styles, genres and stances in a bid to explore who they are, what they are good at and what they might specialise in. There are many prompts in WordPress alone to enthuse new writers and bored writers alike. For me – l tend to NOT overwhelm myself with too many prompts, l do what l can, when l can, but more importantly l only do what l like- l am particular in my choice of prompts … l do what l enjoy … because life is way too short to spend all day every day trying your hands at everything going.

Another saying is Jack of all trades, master of none – meaning to dabble in many areas and yet not specialise in one. The modern equivalent would be eclectism and variety or diversity – trying your hands with as much as you can or alternatively by all means do that – until you find a style and stance that you love doing and then if needs be alternate in different genres to your main genre.

My weakness is creative fiction – l can write it, but it’s not something l thoroughly enjoy  – l could respond to prompts egging me on that level and l have done – but l have to be in the mood for it. Therefore because creative fiction is not a genre l like a great deal – l leave it be and play with it when l am in the mood to. I know what l am good at, that’s enough of a reward for me.

The answer to the question is this ………. yes l do stretch my writing style ……….. but only when l want to ….. l don’t waste time doing things l don’t enjoy. I am a realist, a pragmatist, a practical person, l like dealing in the black and white.

There are times in your life when you will explore and discover more over other times, there are times when you will awaken to a new you, there are times when you’ll want to develop more skills in your craft, or you’ll want to specialise or not, or you will wish to spend time investing in yourself ………. a writer can experience all of these things in one given day and the possibilities are infinite over a week, month or year.

The best time to step out of your comfort zone is when you are not moving, when your creative juices are stagnating, when readers are no longer following, commenting or even just reading what you write but bypassing you for greener pastures and fresh content and text … perhaps then is the time to venture into newer grounds – however in the meanwhile as l like to say ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t nerf it!

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Thanks for reading everyone and my thanks to Dr Tanya for the question.

11 thoughts on “If it ain’t broke, don’t nerf it!

  1. While it’s good to try new things, life isn’t meant to be flashing lights and parties all the time. That’s for beer commercials. The same goes for anything… don’t stagnate, but dont run off half cocked because you’re afraid you *might* stagnate.

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