//3 tips for breaking out of your writing comfort zone

3 tips for breaking out of your writing comfort zone

Before publishing my first book, I had the crazy idea I’d make a name for myself publishing short stories in magazines and contests. What a  joke! Writing a short story was more challenging than a novel.

I had several offers to participate in anthologies, but fear of my limitations with short stories stopped me each time.

The last time I was asked, I saw the proceeds would go to charity so I decided to participate. Immediately, anxiety swirled around me, but I stomped it out and hit the send button before I could change my mind. GULP!

Two seconds later two things struck me. First, I knew nothing about the charity, and second, I’d be working on two writing projects in the same month. A Mothers Day anthology with no story idea, and editing book two in my Deadly Series. YIKES!

Soon, I had palpitations and was reaching for the brown paper bag. With no bag in sight, my only option was to lay my head on my desk and moan for several minutes.

I stared at the floor and remembered one of my 2014 goals was to go out of my writing comfort zone. I’d taken the first step by writing an article for Cayman Airways Skies Magazine and the anthology, A Kind Mad of Courage would be another. SCORE!

Are you looking to get out of your own comfort zone? Here are three tips:

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Opportunities always knock on your door, but instead of panicking and saying no, why not jump in and figure out how you’ll manage after. Pressure situations can force us to another level and bring out the best in ourselves.


There are writers we admire for the work they do. What’s something your favorite author has done that you’d like to do? Do it! The best part? They can offer advice. No need to reinvent the wheel.


Pull out that wish/dream list, the one that’s collecting dust under your bed or in the drawer by your nightstand, and pick one item you’ve always wanted to do. Not sure how to start? The web has lots of resources to help you. You can also reach out to authors in your community, circles or online writing groups.

Did these three tips inspired you to take the plunge? To come out of your writing comfort zone and try something new?

YOU CAN DO IT! *waving virtual pompoms*



  1. Carol Balawyder May 9, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    This is a wonderful post, Elke. I’m very curious. What did you write for Cayman Airways Skis magazine?
    Also, your story in A Mad Kind of Courage sounds very interesting. The book is really apropos for this Mother’s Day weekend. Bravo on being part of this anthology. I just downloaded it and am looking forward to reading your story.
    What struck me about your post was the tip I’ll Have What They’re Having. I recently heard or read (can’t recall) not to hesitate about contacting writers I admire for advice. This is a HUGE step for me, who is always afraid to bother people. Your tip, reminded me to be courageous, so thank you.
    BTW, I am looking for an editor for a women’s lit novel. Do you have any to recommend?
    Also, have you been satisfied with your book publishers?

    • ElkeFeuer May 9, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Hi Carol!

      The article for Cayman Airways Skies magazine was a book review, but they also introduced me as a new writer along with my organization, CayWriters, which was exciting. These articles are a great way for me to promote local authors in the community and get both our names out there.

      Thanks for your support! The anthology is a great mixture of stories: fun, sad, and even zombies. Not your traditional Mothers Day gift. Two readers have told me my story made them cry, so get your hanky ready. The piece is, to date, the most emotional I’ve written.

      The writing community is a very supportive one, so I’m glad you’re being courageous! You won’t regret it!

      I have two editors I use that I really connected with. Here’s their information:

      Susan http://www.adirondackediting.com/
      Faith http://www.theatwatergroup.com/index.html

      I decided not to traditionally publish after my first book. I didn’t have a bad experience with the publisher, but it wasn’t the best. I also realized that self-publishing was a better fit for me for various reasons. It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Carol, and all the best with your book.

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