Sunday, September 22, 2013

Comfort Zones & Conquering Fear

You know, everywhere you look, read, hear, you get the same thing. One must conquer your fears and step out of your comfort zone. Well, I’m all for a little change and challenge, but not everything that works for someone else, will work for you. Some people are just hardwired a certain way that stepping out of one’s comfort zone gives them mild anxiety attacks. I’m a classic example.

As a writer, I know I must step out of my comfort zone and actually interact with people, one of my least favourite things to do. But, I must, whether through social networking or actual face-to-face interaction. I’ve done it a few times, and each time, it’s left me utterly exhausted and mentally drained. This one challenge is The Challenge for me, and I try daily, to overcome it. As the saying goes, it’s a Work In Progress…all pun intended!

What is really strange is that as a freelance graphic artist during the day, I meet and greet people with aplomb and have no issues at all. The reason, I’ve pinpointed, is that graphic arts, while it is a part of you that you’re exposing creatively, at the end of the day, it’s the client that is on display. A writer offers their soul and bares it to all, a much more intimate and denuding prospect.

Having interacted on the social networks with other writers, I’ve come to notice that while many have no fear in boldly going where the public congregate in the masses, like me, they are many who break out in hives at the prospect. Others still, can lay bare their inner selves and write the most intimate prose. And survive. I suppose, with practice comes perfection. Believe me, I’m trying.

So what is it that you, my fellow writers do to overcome your fears and step out of your comfort zones? I would love to know.



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Sometimes the comfort zone is defined by one's belief that one belongs in that position, be it professional or social.

Practice makes it all so much easier.

Ute Carbone said...

I agree with Julie--practice makes it easier. Writing does expose you, like it or not. The first time I read my poems aloud at a reading, I broke out in hives. After a while, though it got easier and I got better at it. Not easy, exactly, but easier.

TKToppin said...

Practice does make perfect, and I am trying. I've never done a reading, but I think that's the day I'll go into a mild coma. Thanks for stopping by.

Big Mike said...

I'm okay up to ten bodies, in fact I thrive on the interaction. Get over that threshold and boy oh boy. My third book signing had an unexpected response of 94 guests at a B&N store in NC. All eyes were on me, all questions were targeted toward me. Now that was an experience.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Liz Fountain said...

It's interesting: our writing takes us outside our comfort zones all the time (or it should - we should regularly push our own limits). Maybe because that experience is (mostly) private, it's not as terrifying - or is it?

I'm pretty good at organized events - I'll have my moment of panic but get over it. The hardest thing for me is talking informally about my work. When a new acquaintance or old friend says "Oh, what do you write?" I tend to rush immediately to self-deprecation.

We are a funny old species, aren't we?