An unexpected opportunity
I bought red sheets the other day. I felt super guilty about it. So guilty I almost returned them. It took several hours before I put them on my bed. And then I stayed up extra late because I dreaded going to sleep.
How absurd! Why should I feel guilty about buying sheets that happen to be red? I needed new ones, they were on sale, and red happens to be one of my favorite colors.
So what was the problem? And what does it have to do with writing?
It is all about stepping beyond the comfort zones of others. Taking a chance. Making a bold move. Daring to express ones-self in a manner others don’t understand, support, or approve of.
Remaining within normal expectations
Most of us have encountered, at one time or another, when we tell someone we write, an exclamation of how amazing and difficult it must be, they can’t imagine writing a book, they will do it one day, when they have time. That’s all wonderful if maybe a little annoying, even patronizing.
Our friends and family help us celebrate our book launches, and the milestone steps we reach on the way to the launch.
Still, writing, the act itself, isn’t as supported — by others and by ourselves.
Sure, we can run a few errands, we can write later. Well, if we’re home, then we should look after the housekeeping and meal-making. And child-care, if children are around. Or pet care.
They are all worthy things of course, which need to be done. They are normal expectations society has. And for anyone “normal” their self-expression is fulfilled by going out with friends, or some other hobby they do in their spare time.
Likewise, our self-expression of writing gets relegated to hobby, or an activity that is not so important we can’t be interrupted from it, or that can’t be done at a later date.
To indulge ourselves in our creative outlets of writing, and to take seriously our pursuit of our writing goals, is to step beyond normal expectations.
Stepping beyond normal expectations
Sit with that for a moment.
To write, to indulge ourselves by playing in imaginary worlds with imaginary characters having grand imaginary adventures; to dare to make our writing more than a hobby, is to step outside of society’s comfort zone.
What’s worse than those around us interrupting our writing time, or dismissing it as a hobby, is that we do it to ourselves.
We make it OK to let ourselves down by not meeting a self-imposed deadline; we convince ourselves that doing everything else — the cooking, cleaning, folding laundry — makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something, and no matter how much we write, it is never enough, we are never satisfied, we don’t feel like we have accomplished anything.
The problem is that we are writers. We have a deep need to express ourselves in a way that most people don’t understand. It isn’t what “normal” people do.
And so we dare to take that risk, that step out of society’s comfort zone, and we write.
It is glorious. Life is grand. Even if it is only for the briefest of moments, we’ve written. We get what I like to call a writer’s high.
But then society’s expectations knock, and guilt sets in. and we start the battle all over again. The battle to express ourselves the way we need to.
When we dare, magic happens
What do my red sheets have to do with any of this?
I was at the store, all ready to buy the nice, normal, light-grey sheets. Then I spotted the red ones. The same size and material as the grey. Red is one of my favorite colors. I always wanted a black, white, and red bedroom. But in my family, you don’t paint walls with bright colors. I saw those red sheets and I thought, now is my chance! I have a black, white, and grey comforter.
The time had come! I could finally have my black, white, and red room! I was so excited.
Until I got home and guilt set in. Bright colors are not done. They are not practical. They are not sensible. My red sheets are outside of the comfort zone of others.
They are red sheets. They are fabulous! And I remind myself every night that they are a gorgeous form of self-expression.
Accepting, even openly acknowledging that my comfort zone is different from society’s comfort zone, is a huge challenge. It takes bravery, daring.
It’s why I call my digital course, and my coaching program, The Daring Writer.
We dare to declare ourselves writers. And with that daring comes the challenge of remaining.in our own comfort zone of self-expression and not fall back into society’s comfort zone.
I believe when we dare, magic happens.
Are you a Daring Writer?
If you want to dare to live in your comfort zone and not the comfort zone of others, if you’re not sure you want to dare but you’re curious, check out my course. In The Daring Writer, we walk through goal setting so you have that sense of accomplishment after each writing session, we silence those self-doubts so that you can successfully live in your comfort zone of self-expression, and we work through how to grow within and expand your comfort zone.
I believe that all of us have a right to write. This pandemic has wreaked havoc on our mental health, emotional health, and our financial health, so for a limited time I am offering The Daring Writer for a very special price of $47, with an extra special bonus available until December 10, 2020.