The Land of Familiar

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?

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8 thoughts on “The Land of Familiar

  1. Hiya Grace! I love all of your blog posts! My comment on this one seems kinda backwards lol. The land of familiar for me has always been the dark, depression, lonliness, anger, and hurt. I began writing in elementary school as a way to escape the land of familar. I wanted to live my life through other people in other worlds. At first it was hard because it was hard to imagine a life without the elements mine in reality had. But the more I wrote, the more I thrived and ached to develop my characters, their lives, and their worlds. Stepping out of the familar saved my life…literally. This blog entry is awesome. Oh and I have been trying to do an exercise like the one you mentioned, instead of sticking to short stories and novels I have began writing lyrics for songs a few months ago. They still need A LOT of work, but its really fun trying something with writing that I am not used to! I can’t wait for your next blog entry!

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    • Thanks for reading, Ashley, and for sharing your world and insight into your writing. My writing is a bit of escapism for me, too, sometimes. I’m glad your writing has enabled you to leave the land of familiar and get you through some tough times.

      And that’s awesome that you’re working on some writing of different sorts. I’ve wanted to try my hand at song lyrics, but I always seem to get stuck after the first line. I guess I should take my own advice and take a step out of the familiar and write it anyway! 😉

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  2. This post is amazing! you already know me, I am a musician and write lyrics for songs, which are usually sad or melancholic lyrics, but I also tried once with a happy song I think it did quite good 😀
    I also started a blog and a hidden diary on “Word” 😀 so I can try applying the good advice of showing those sketches to trusted friends, stepping out of familiar, thank you I will keep that in mind for upcoming writings.

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