Get Uncomfortable To Write
When I talk about being uncomfortable to write, I’m not talking about my normal writing situation. When I’m writing my novels, I like to be at home in comfy clothes with a hot cup of tea while listening to inspirational music.
However, to get to the place where I can write comfortably, I need to get uncomfortable first. I’m talking about putting myself in extremely awkward learning experiences that help me learn and grow as a writer. Get out of my comfy-zone and try something I know I struggle with.
I have recently taken some writing workshops. I had mixed feelings about this activity because I suck at writing on the spot and then sharing that writing. I was excited to go an learn and YES, man, oh man, I learned a lot.
The main thing I discovered is that I have a weakness in my writing. Short stories. Now, add the pressure of writing one on the spot, in front of other writers… it’s a lot of stress. Anxiety kicks in, doubt has its way with me, and I struggle.
The power of thought can alter perception. A million questions pop in my head like, what if they laugh? What if it’s horrible? Stupid? Grammatically incorrect? Or Utter nonsense? After all, I will share (in a small group or one on one) my first draft.
I usually don’t let anyone read the first draft of anything — ever.
Once I got out of my head and understood that I was in a room with writers, people who have the same struggles, goals, and desires, it was fine. I was fine. The story was okay… for the first draft of a short story(totally not my wheelhouse.)
But that’s the point of pushing beyond my limits. When I felt panic grip me, I knew I had to do it again, and again and I will go to another workshop. I will face those fears, and I will learn to write short stories on the spot with a prompt. Because I learned and the story wasn’t bad, just unpolished—Just like everyone else’s.
This is just one aspect of writing workshops. So much more happens at them than just uncomfortable moments of writing under pressure. I can’t recommend them enough because learning and improving writing skills is most important. For me to become a more confident short story writer, I need to get uncomfortable to learn to write them.