Comfort zones are comfy. They wrap us into familiarity and safety. However, you may find as a writer, you need to explore outside that comfort zone, to delve into the darker side of our selves, or even explore the unknown.
– Write in another genre. Jumping into a new genre of writing strengthens the writing muscle, but also allows you to explore the unknown. You learn about new styles, but also new writing rules. For instance, science fiction follows different rules and expectations than romance or fantasy.
– Write a character that is nothing like you. Pick qualities that you feel are opposite or even conflicting to your own qualities. You can learn about motivation and write outside that comfort zone. Trying to make a character the protagonist give you a challenge as well.
– Don’t skip the parts you normally skip. I tend to avoid the gruesome scenes, or fight scenes. To write outside my comfort zone, I would expand my repertoire to include these less-than-likeable scenes.
– Push your limits. Write scenes that make you scared, angry, or uneasy. This will translate to your readers. Its about provoking feelings, to get the reader emotionally invested in the story.
See where these type of exercises can lead you, and don’t stay within your comfort zone. Be daring! Get out there and write some awesomeness!