The Comfort Zone

How do you feel about stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you see it as a challenge, or as an inconvenient obstacle? To put you in the “picture”, I recently undertook the Inktober challenge, which involved creating an ink drawing every day during the month of October. The idea was to then post the drawings online, showing the world your best ink-inspired efforts.

So did I succeed? Partly. I drew a sketch every day; alas, my efforts never made it past my notepad. You see, I’m no illustrator. My artwork efforts could be described as workmanlike, lacking finesse. Yet I still enjoyed the challenge, as it got me out of my comfort zone.

A Creative Environment

Working in the Fiction Team, I am constantly surrounded by a sea of words, reading and critiquing stories every day. And I love it. It’s what I do, and I hope it’s what I do well. Inktober showed me that it’s not so much the finished product that’s important, it’s the journey itself – a journey that can teach you a lot about yourself. It might be about perseverance; it might be about accomplishing personal goals.

For me it was about expressing myself through a different creative channel. As someone who loves to read and write, I find a natural affinity with the written word. And the drawings, I found, were a world away from the stories and serials I read every day.

Did I find the challenge easy? Not always. Some days I simply wasn’t happy with the finished drawing. Yet I persisted because I wanted to prove to myself that I could create outwith my comfort zone.

So if you have always wanted to write, draw, sew or try your hand at a new hobby but are uncertain of the results, then I would encourage you to follow that path.

At the end of the day, life is but a journey. And how we express ourselves along the way can have a positive effect on how we feel, how we think, and even how we interact with others. And in any environment, creative or otherwise, that can only be a good thing.

Enjoy the challenge . . .

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.