As writers, we tend to have favoured ways to write. Maybe it’s a certain voice, like first or third person, or maybe it’s a genre we love. Maybe it’s certain kinds of characters. It’s good to have a favourite style or form. Sometimes that can ground us and help us be creative.
It’s also a good thing to push past our comfort zone and try new things, too. Try a different genre, or something unique for character. Maybe try writing on a whole different planet, one you make up from scratch.
This doesn’t have to be something you ever show anyone else. It’s for your own benefit, mostly. My personal stories look very different from what I’m preparing for publishing, simply because I write my personal stories for different reasons.
My latest writing challenge is writing a letter. I’ll be sending it to an actual person. Someone I only met once, though we have written a letter each recently. The challenge is deciding how much to say and how to say it, just like with a novel. The difference is, this time, I know exactly who my audience is. I know that with my other novels, too, but this time it’s someone I don’t know as well. I’m interested in how this has presented a greater challenge than any writing exercise I’ve ever done.
Maybe it’s because we tend to be our own worst critics. I care about the person I’m writing to, even though I don’t know him well, and I do want to make a good impression, while still being myself and being honest. With a story, I have as many times as I need to get it right. Now I have been working on the letter for almost a week, again because I want to get it right.
I message some people online daily, and don’t have this challenge. That’s okay, I do enjoy a challenge. It’s interesting how some things are harder than others for us. I don’t she from hard. I embrace it, usually.
Challenge yourself. You’ll thank yourself!
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.