Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Try

Lots of stuff to blog about from Jacqui Banaszynski's video session today, but for the moment I just wanted to get down one of the last things we talked about, and that is: If you're comfortable with, and good at, a particular story form, why try anything different?

I asked Jacqui that because I know that one of the toughest things to do is step outside your comfort zone as a writer. If you know you do a certain thing well, you want to keep on doing that, because you're pretty sure you won't suddenly fail; you're likely to keep doing it well.

Trying something new is risky and can be uncomfortable, because if you're not sure of the outcome, you're putting yourself and your reputation on the line. You might feel like you failed, and you might have to hear someone whose opinion you value tell you that what you tried didn't work.

But here, according to Jacqui, are some reasons to stretch out, gamble, do something different:

  • The only way to learn is to try something new.
  • When you do something over and over, you can start to bore yourself. If you're bored, it's going to show, and your reader will be bored, too.
  • Not every story wants to be told in the same way. Stories tell us how they want to be told. So, listen.