May Chen — We stay in our comfort zones for a reason! I think the first thing to do is ask yourself what you are writing for (or who) — see my post here — yes it’s tongue in cheek but it’s also a really important way to understand what’s driving your desire to write.
For me, I was churning out a lot of free form poetry on my Instagram account, but it was all getting a little sameish. Once I joined Medium I started writing in ways I hadn’t written for a long time — reflective pieces, business articles, short fiction. Getting out of your comfort zone is just about doing things you don’t normally do, and sticking at them.
The two most powerful ways I have been able to challenge myself on Medium has been through joining 100 Naked Words and Poetry in Form. The former ‘forces’ me to write regularly and to hit publish irrespective of how ‘good’ I think the piece is, and the latter forces me to use different, structured forms of poetry (such as sonnets, haikus, cinquains etc).
Ultimately, I have learned to write for myself first — and in doing so have expanded my comfort zone!
I hope that’s been helpful, and I sincerely hope you keep reading!
我现在正在学习中文 (another break from my comfort zone!) 新年快乐