I was at a leadership conference recently, and one of the speakers was talking about stepping out of the land of familiar.
The land of familiar is a great place—it’s different for each person, but it’s comfortable, it’s home. There’s nothing wrong with familiar. It’s a place that gives us stability in our lives, that shapes our world-view. Loved ones are there.
But just like how a baby had to leave the comfortable, familiar arms of mommy and daddy and takes steps on its own in order to walk, we have to leave the land of familiar if we are going to accomplish something new in life.
It doesn’t have to be something grandiose. But as the saying goes, if nothing changes, then nothing changes. And while the land of familiar is a great place to be, it kind of gets to be the same after a while. Familiar.
I’m not trying to give life lessons or success principles here (even though I kind of am, I guess). But as I was learning from this speaker about how to succeed in life, I realized that it applies to writing, too. Writing is, after all, a form and extension of life, isn’t it?
If you want to try a writing exercise, maybe try stepping out of the land of familiar, even just for a little while. Are you a fiction writer? Try cranking out a poem. Do you have a well-polished piece that you’ve never let anyone read? Let a trusted friend give you some feedback. Do you always write in the first person? The third person perspective might give you some new insights into a character.
For me, this blog is a big giant step out of the land of familiar. I’ve never shared any of my writings with more than a few people close to me, and now my words are floating across cyberspace, available for several billion people to stumble across and read. And I’m also putting writing tips and advice into some of my blogs—being in a teacher/instructor sort of role, even via a blog, is a bit out of my realm of comfort.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you stepped out of the land of familiar today?