Try Something New and Take a New Step Forward

try-something-newIt still amazes me how often I hear people not only say they are afraid to try new things, but they actually avoid trying new things.

If you’re a business owner (or want to be someday), there are so many things you don’t yet know about that you’ll have to learn. If you don’t want to learn anything new, being a writer and/own business owner probably aren’t paths you want to consider.

We’re all born with a blank slate. Every thing has a first time. Why weren’t we afraid from the very start to learn to communicate, eat, move until we knew how to walk? Because we didn’t know any better.

Each writer has different strengths and interests and we come about them in various ways.None of us woke up one day as successful writers. We had to learn how to:

  • print / write
  • spell
  • read
  • craft sentences/paragraphs/stories
  • learn writing rules
  • understand grammar
  • come up with ideas
  • type
  • outline
  • research – through the Internet or, old school at a library
  • use a printer or scanner
  • learn to upload and download
  • use e-mail
  • and so on

Our businesses didn’t create themselves out of thin air – there are numerous tasks we need to figure out how to do when we’re a business owner.

Every little bit and piece of our writing business started with learning something new.  All things are brand new to us — at first.

Deciding to be a writer is scary in itself, isn’t it?

Pursuing writing as a career has its own anxiety, too. 

And there will always be something that makes us sweat – even a little – when it first comes to mind.

Where does the fear come from? Why do we get afraid of a project that’s a bit over our heads?

I’ve been there many times, and expect to be there many more. Being a little afraid is how I know I’m continuing to learn, improve, and build upon my current writing (and business) skills.

If you have the basic skills for a project, you shouldn’t be afraid to use them as a foundation for new work. If there’s a certain type of writing you are passionate about pursuing, go after it however you can – online classes, workshops, webinars, writing groups….

We all start with a clean/blank slate. It’s up to us, individually, to fill the slate with the skills and experiences we want and need.

Being nervous is a good thing – it means we’re aware and open to possibilities. It means we desire to push ourselves further.

If you don’t feel a little scared, you aren’t stretching yourself.

I encourage you to embrace the fear and push out of your comfort zone.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? I bet you learned a lot from the experiences – good, bad, or otherwise.

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

22 thoughts on “Try Something New and Take a New Step Forward

  1. Perhaps you over-stress originality? The cliche is that there are only a limited amount of themes (The Seven Basic Plots idea) and many interpretations. I was recently concerned about my own writing in this respect; was I a plagerist, simply re-hashing others’ ideas? After discussing this with someone we came to the conclusion to trust one’s own perspective as we each have a slightly different perspective on ideas which may be common currency. We can not all expect to be complete originals like William Blake but on the other hand I wonder if Creative Writing course are churning out homogeneou stylists for the sake of style? Not that I’m suggesting there is a lack of content but the content of contemporary malaise is not often questioned in the manner of – well, as I’ve already name dropped, Blake for example!?

  2. Hi Lisa, Like a true Sagittarian, I keep learning new most of the time. I have phases of hobbies that help me develop as a human being and I love to indulge one at a time. Life is anyways a great teacher and keeps giving you new lessons, whether you like it or not. 🙂

  3. When did that phrase “comfort zone” come into being? I’ve always liked it. It describes the life style of so many, I include myself in that number. It is a place where one feels exceedingly comfortable, which of course fosters complacency and well, yeah, dullness.

    For me, a jolt out of the ol comfort zone was my first flight of fourteen hours from Chicago to Tokyo. Oh Jesus. My wife was laughing, happy, talking about what movies she wanted to watch during the flight. We use Japan Airlines, JAL. I trudged along in O’Hare like a doomed zombie. Poor me. Then the pilot showed up…he looked as if he were about fifteen years old! Oh hell no! He’s flying this damned thing? I started regretting that I hadn’t done that on-line Will thing. And what about my books? My half-finished novel? Oooooh. My stomach hurt.

    Well, the flight was wonderful. The attendants were beyond friendly. especially. when I had to go several sections past our seats to get to the nearest empty restroom, and when coming back I couldn’t find my seat. “What is your seat number, sir?” A lovely Japanese stewardess asked. “Wha? It has a number? I don’t know. I’m lost, lost!” But then one of the stewardesses recognized me and gently herded me back to my place, next to my dear wife who was sleeping peacefully, the soft colors of her movie flickering softly.

    We made our sixth flight together to Japan this past November. I can now write for hours, using my Surface, on the plane, and read, and feel genuinely comfortable doing so. I still can’t look out the window, but that’s okay. Some fears are good for the soul. 🙂

  4. Nature gave us a helping hand here. There is a reason that most babies learn to walk before they fully develop language skills. They would never learn to walk, if they couldn’t block out most of their parents “helpful” insights.
    As an after thought: walking is just the same old thing. One foot before the other, over and over and over again. Let’s try a different approach this time.,

    • Good point. There are so many sets of Rules for Writers out there, books on How To Write and lists of all the ways to do it wrong. Totally intimidating. Someone who really wants to write should just do it, and not worry about all those rules until they have at least a first draft or two. Hey — it’s just marks on paper, or blips on a screen.

      • Of course I can only speak from my personal experience, but the “how to write books” didn’t mean much until after I actually got a couple of thousand words on paper. Now, I am understanding more of what is said.

      • Sooo true!! Yes! I’ve bought a number of books about how to write..and I’m a teacher! Just write…already!!

  5. Pingback: Try Something New and Take a New Step Forward — Live to Write – Write to Live | Bizminded SD

  6. Very inspirational! I’ve also found that the fear and anticipation is always worse than taking the actual leap, once you look back you normally question why you were scared in the first place. Even if it was a challenge then the satisfaction from completing or trying it is always better than regret.

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  8. Great article and you are a Good example of “Failing Forward”. In this new digital world it is astounding how most people do not understand that they need to change and learn about this Fantastic new world. I am 65 and more excited about the future than ever before during my Corporate life. Good luck with your ventures.

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