#Bloganuary – Day 3 – Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone.

This 30-day-challenge enticed me because of three things.

  1. Writing prompts are a tool I enjoy using to spark some creativity. You never know what will come to mind when you read those. (Sometimes literally nothing comes to mind, but other times my brain floods with ideas.)
  2. I figured this would give me the opportunity to share some more personal/informal posts with my readers, which might help us establish and develop more personable connections.
  3. WordPress introduced this challenge as a way to meet new bloggers. These past couple of years, I have definitely struggled with finding new blogging buddies. I do not like boxing myself in by just searching for specific tags and other ways are tedious at times. So, I figured that this would make it easier to find more like-minded people. To date, no one outside of my usual circle introduced themselves to me through the Bloganuary hashtag. Yesterday, I tried to seek fellow challenge participants out myself. THERE ARE SO MANY! I did read a few posts and left some comments. Let us see if it translates into something.

However, I did hesitate when deciding to pick up the towel. And, to be transparent – I still do. Cathleen and I had a discussion about the number of posts vs. their quality. We share a preference for the latter. As a result of that conversation, I pondered password protecting the #Bloganuary posts (or even writing them only in Word) so you do not have to read my random rambling that is just brain vomit. In the end, I decided against it. For now.

After a while, I decided that, because I have not been able to find a good way to connect with a new audience as of late, number three is the most important goal of mine for this challenge. As a result, I will continue with the project for the time being. To my ‘usuals:’ please feel free to skip these posts. I will label them clearly so you will know. My CW/NROP content should be coming back in February.

Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.

January 3rd prompt

I read the prompt and … nothing. My eyes saw the letters and my brain translated them into words, but there was nothing else happening behind the scenes. I blinked. The screen did not change.

Does it mean that I never leave my comfort zone?

Naaaaaa-

But I put up with people that I imagine did not exist. That must count for something.

You’re weird…

Yea, we have known that for quite some time.

‘WE?’

Shut up!

I consider myself adventurous and mostly up for new experiences. Does that mean that I go out of my comfort zone all the time? Or that THAT is my comfort zone and NOT having new experiences (just sticking to a routine) would be considered stepping out of my comfort zone? I am more confused now than I was when I first read the prompt. Ha!

When I started writing this post, I thought there would be an off-topic introduction (why the challenge) and then the actual post. However, after a few lines, I realized that the introduction WAS the post. Are YOU the one that is now confused? Let me explain.

Sharing my thoughts and hesitations is not my strong suit. As a person who usually knows what they want and who is very opinionated, I find the vulnerability of sharing hesitation uncomfortable. Why? I fear someone preying on my weaknesses. It is much easier not to display it in the first place. Additionally, while I can make quick decisions when it comes to important topics, I might take a bit of time when it comes to less consequential ones (like this challenge). I wonder if that will negatively reflect on me.

In the past, I have often been told by my fellow bloggers that I should post more personal content so they could get to know me better. I always claimed that you DO get to know me through my NROPs and CWs, and I think those of you who have been around for quite some time agree with that now. But, to show that I am human (another concern of others), every now and again, I write a more personal post. Somehow, those get the least favorable response.

What does that mean?

Seriously. Tell me. I have some ideas but would love to hear from you.

Share some uncomfortable things, too, if you would like.

Stay golden,

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44 thoughts on “#Bloganuary – Day 3 – Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone.

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  1. As to sharing uncomfortable things, I think I do that whenever I write a three-dimensional villain or have my protag stumble.

    For instance, I wrote a short story about a teenager who’d finally been pushed around too much at school. He decided to lay in wait and make it stop. His primary motivation was to stop the pain, but once he ambushed the ringleader, a need for revenge took over. And to write that, I had to acknowledge that urge within myself.

    But if you want purely biographical stuff, I’m an abuse survivor. I was a whipping girl. My existence was to be the repository of someone else’s pain. And as an adult, I also survived a concerted attempt to drag me back into a similar life.

    The problem is, I could wrap that in a story, and I don’t think it would help. It certainly wouldn’t help me. Nobody can fix the past. It’s written, and it’s not changing.

    It can only help other abuse survivors insofar as I can show a path from darkness to light. But then you run into a problem. When you have real childhood PTSD stuff in your past, you don’t want to relive it. I avoid reading agony memoirs. Most of the people I want to help would also avoid my work. You’d mostly get posers commenting and using it as source material to whip up faux pity, and uh, ick.

    I suppose I could publish a collection of memoirs, mention the abuse up front, but then focus on the moments of joy I managed to find. That’s why I mostly publish happy memories. There aren’t that many, but each one is a triumph.

    And now for something COMPLETELY different, I’ve been thinking about your writing challenge. You don’t have to publish all of it, you know. Definitely write it all, but no one’s keeping score but you. Or publish it all if you like. My opinion at this or any stage is only useful insofar as it helps you. But maybe relieving yourself of the mental obligation to publish will help free you up to do the whole thing. Our minds can be tricky places.

    As far as bringing people to your blog, I don’t know anymore. Most of my traffic comes from my writing process posts, and most of those are quite old, written back in 2015. (So long ago in marketing, and yet so short in actual years.) Back then, Twitter actually worked to promote posts. I got quite a few indexed and they now show up when people google commas and adjectives, mostly. These people sometimes hang around and check out my stories.

    I can tell you I wasted a whole year (2017) writing a bunch of social media posts. They got great traffic that year, but they were soon superseded. And a lot of the people who came for the social media weren’t interested in my stories or books, which was kind of the whole point.

    You could try GETTR. It’s a new Twitter. Maybe we could try it together. In my case the posts are already written. I can probably hold my nose long enough on trying a new social media if I did it with a friend. Maybe. It’s hard to force yourself to do something that was mostly a time sink in the past. : )

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting. I definitely like to read and write about such characters, too.

      I never had the urge to write about my own, most personal pains in my fiction, either. However, every now and again, I pepper it in. I think it’s ‘popular,’ but I see that as a bit of a cheap trick. I find that kind of thinking distinguishes me from the ‘successful’ people and it causes me to question things every now and again. I might be going off-topic but that’s what your comment made me think about.

      Thanks for sharing the bit about 2017. In the second half of last year, I figured 2022 would be my social media year. Nothing big. Just a little here and there. I’ve read plenty of posts about how Twitter (and/or other social media platforms) don’t really do anything. Yet, people keep trying. I guess I am finally willing to give it a try myself. We shall see how it goes.

      In my Reader, I saw that you wrote a post about GETTR. I have to admit that I never heard of it. Will read your post, research it a bit and let you know my thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My husband took a look at the comfort zone debate, and what he has said stuck with me. What’s the 1st thing you want to do when you step out of your comfort zone? Running back to it right? How do you grow if you always return to your safe space? So we don’t step out of our comfort zone, we push it into a new shape. We stretch it, pull it, bump it, lift it and return to the same spot to continue to reshape it. We stretch our comfort zone to include new ideas and perceptions. With Covid deciding where our boundaries are, our comfort zone may have shrunk in some places. But because we are resilient, it’s like silly putty. You squeeze it and it spurts out in between your fingers. You expand your comfort zone in a different direction.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Sometimes I think the blog is like life. People have a definition of who and what you are and that’s where they like you to stay. When you break out of the box they put you in, they get confused and don’t know how to respond. Ditto the blog. The familiarity is comfortable but the changes make people step away. Or something like that, or nothing like that. However, I also notice a decrease in responses when I shift from cannon 💖

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have gone out of my comfort zone within my comfort zone, if that makes sense.
    E.g. I started drawing more humans lately. Drawing is my comfort zone, but drawing humans isn’t .
    Or when I took the job as a technical instructor. Speaking about electricity is something I love, but standing in front of a room full of people isn’t.

    In general I dislike these stepping out of your comfort zone talk.
    People talk so much about staying true to yourself, but at the same time they encourage you to do something that is very unlike yourself.

    I love the picture.
    We have many snails in the aquarium and I often wish I could be like that. Carry my shell with me and hide when I feel the need to

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Baby steps. Makes perfect sense.
      It definitely is confusing – be yourself and don’t try to be someone you’re not but try new things!
      Being able to hide in your shell whenever you need is great!

      Like

  5. I did not find you through the prompt, but through another blogger. I’m happy that I did. Since I am always desperate for things to write about, I would have tried to get two posts out of this – your intro, and then the response to the prompt… or are they one and the same. I’m confused 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve been participating in Bloganuary and found you by searching the tag in reader. So hello, I’m Alegria. Nice to meet you. And as far as the rest of the challenge, I’m not sure. I like to finish what I start and I too would like to connect with new bloggers, however I find the prompts uninspiring and not driven towards any deeper thought processes. So I’m really not sure if I want to continue. What are your thoughts on the prompts so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found me! I’ve been reaching out to some people, too, but I don’t think I’ve really connected with many.

      I feel the same way. Those kinds of questions I normally hate. So, today, I just wrote a private post as a reply, because I did not think it was anything to post about. I just saw tomorrow’s prompt and I’m not impressed, either. I will see what I will do…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to have your thoughts Sam. I too haven’t been particularly inspired by the prompts. In fact, with today’s post I put out a survey to see how others in the Bloganuary community feel. I’m not sure about continuing with the prompts, or perhaps like you I’ll write an alternative post. Thanks for your reply!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I am an over-sharer. I love to let people know what I am doing, things I enjoy and even embarrassing things that happen to me. I don’t know what my answer to this would be. I do like to play it safe, but I’m pretty sure I try things out of my comfort zone, I will have to think.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I tend not to share my vulnerabilities either—except the large ones (e.g., my job loss/search, my health struggles, etc.). I think it’s important to share some of the times when we are vulnerable/uncomfortable—it makes us more relatable, and provides a more realistic picture of us. We all know that everyone struggles, so there should be no shame in sharing ours. I also don’t want people to think I’m “perfect”—it’s impossible for me to live up to that, and I don’t want anyone putting me on an unrealistic pedestal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I understand your logic, I still struggle with accepting that reality. Why do people like hearing negative stories about other people? To make them feel better, I know. But shouldn’t we want to hear more about success stories? Isn’t that more inspiring?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, but it also paints a perfect picture, one that seems impossible to attain, so why bother striving for it? Sharing stumbles and struggles shows our real strength in overcoming reality. Everyone loves the underdog.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m the complete opposite of you. It’s so easy for me to share personal stuff, to the point of TMI. I struggle to rein it in and know when NOT to share. I also struggle with writing tips and advice because A) I have no idea what im going, despite my 10 books on Amazon, and B) I have low self-confidence and often think “why would anyone want to read my advice” and C) I feel like a hypocrite dishing advice I often don’t follow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sajida, I just navigated to your blog and noticed that there is no way for me to leave a comment on your most recent posts. Are you aware of that?

      ad a) I think many feel that way. Just keep learning and improving – that’s all we can hope for.
      ad b) You should keep giving advice because sometimes someone will see your advice at the right time. I see good advice passed up all the time but then, out of nowhere, the same advice is actually listened to when given by someone else. It’s a weird phenomenon I can’t explain.
      ad c) I feel the same, but I hope that there are people out there that actually WANT TO listen to and follow the advice.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much. Yes im aware, you can only comment from the reader app. I don’t know how to fix it. I tried. I will try changing the theme. Maybe it will work. Will change the theme now then circle back to you and ask you to check again if you don’t mind. Thank you for telling me. Also, thank you for the encouragement. I will keep on giving advice then. You’re right. Someone might read and benefit.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not sure if it will help you, but when you go to write (or edit) the post, on the right hand side, where you have all the options (status& visibility, permalink, tags, categories, etc.), scroll to the very bottom – to ‘Discussion’ and make sure that the box next to ‘allow comments’ is checked.

          Like

          1. Ok so im trying another theme. You click the site. Click menu (ignore the buttons from the previous theme), click about and it will take you to my posts. Under the title of each post, there is a hyperlink showing number of replies. Click on that. It will take you to the comments. Scroll all the way down and you can leave a comment. Best I could do for now. I’m not good with WordPress off of reader. 😩

            Like

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Cathleen Townsend

Faerie Tales and Fantasy Worlds

Mark-Huntley-James

writing science-fiction and fantasy since tomorrow

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