If there’s anything I learned over this last semester, it’s that growth can only be achieved by pushing yourself. You have to leave your comfort zone in order to dive into life completely. But sometimes it can be hard figuring out exactly how to push yourself to grow. Here are some ideas about how you could potentially get out of your comfort zone as a writer.
One of the best things you can do as a writer is force yourself to write things you normally wouldn’t chose to write about. One of my goals this summer is to journal more, and work through my various journals. You don’t have to go out and buy anything to start journaling either. You can find prompt ideas online and create your own journaling experience based on what you already have in your life. This is what I’m trying to work towards in the spirit of using up what I already have.
Personal summer journaling goals: create a prompt jar, fill up things to write about, keep up with one line a day journaling, complete camp nanowrimo, work through poetry notebook and put together a recycled art journal.
2. Enter Contests
A great way to motivate yourself is simply entering the arena! Submitting your writing to contests is a way to start taking yourself seriously and really putting the pressure on your work.
If you’re in university you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this one. For one thing, you could win a nice chunk of change! The average writing contest at Texas A&M pays out about $250. Also, let it motivate you to try writing something completely new! There was a Hispanic film festival writing contest this semester that anyone could enter, it would have been a great way to expand my horizons by trying my hand at writing something new!
3. Self Publishing
I haven’t tried doing anything down this path yet but the idea certainly intrigues me! I hope to one day in the near future try my hand at publishing some of my work. I have English major friends who sell their own chapbooks, and I’ve always dreamed of doing the same thing.
4. Recording Oral History
I’d really like to find some time very soon to start talking to my grandparents and putting together an oral history of their lives. I think it would be a great way to honor their memory, create something for my family and work on my writing skills in a new way. Hand in hand with delving into some ancestory research, this would be a great summer project to enrich your family life.
5. Share Your Work
Sharing my work is exactly what I’m trying to do here. It’s amazing how motivating it can be to put your thoughts in a public place, even if the public place you put them up only gets a few occasional wandering eyes. Just the chance that someone could see your work if they wanted to is thrilling in an almost scary way. It’s a great way to start practicing putting yourself out there in little ways.