No, this post isn’t encouraging you to sit on your butt with a plate of donuts and bacon.
Although that does sound grotesquely enjoyable. And it is National Donut Day.
Whether an introvert or extrovert, most of us find a comfort level in our associations. There are people that we find ourselves drawn to, people we feel at ease around.
There is nothing wrong with having these people in our lives.
But sometimes, we fall into a rut of never expanding beyond a select few. Or when we do expand, it’s only to more of the same types of people. Maybe they come from a similar background, or have the same taste in clothes and movies. Whatever the reasons for our choices, we can find ourselves becoming “cliquey”.
In personal relationships, we can lose out on so much by limiting ourselves. Stretching beyond our comfort zone and reaching out to the possibliity of a new friendship allows us to learn more about the world outside of our own, and even more about ourselves.
In the writing world, the same concept applies. If we only surround ourselves with one group, we forgo opportunities to learn. Maybe we are in the habit of chatting up only those in a particular writing group, or those who write in the same genre we do. Maybe we prefer to stick with those that have acheived the same level of success we have, or who always make us feel good about our work.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with having a go to group that makes us feel good. But how much are we learning if we don’t expand beyond that group?
It doesn’t take much. In your personal relationships, it may be as simple as chatting with someone new, inviting an acquaintance for coffee, or just saying hello. Online it may mean following a writing tag (#amwriting), joining in a writing chat (#storydam), or following a writer a friend recommends.
Not every attempt will lead to new best friends or amazing writing connections. But each attempt will teach you something, even if it only brings a deeper appreciation of those who you are close to.
How can you expand yourself in the coming weeks?
In the meantime, while you think about expanding (or, more likely, donuts…I’m sure I lost half of you right there at the beginning…) check out some posts I enjoyed over the past week.
For those who hang out here for their weekly dose of TV, an interesting article in The Huffingon Post about social media’s affect on programming.
Neil Gaiman says some pretty great things about being an artist (among other things) in this recent commencement address. I especially liked the part about making your own rules.
Claudia Hall Christian wrote this some time ago, but I thought the advice was great for any writer, not just those who write serial fiction: Three Super Ninja Tricks to Unstick Your Serial Fiction
I think most writers fear the negativity that comes with putting their work out in the public eye. Beth Revis post makes the point that not everyone likes bacon and why that should matter to you.
If you enjoy travel, photography, and supporting a teacher, go check out my dear friend Joe’s photograph in the Conde Nast Dream Trip contest. Give him your support by simply clicking the vote button (no messy sign in required!).
And, for those of you who don’t already know, I finally saw The Avengers this past weekend. I loved it and have been having properly geeky conversations (mostly with myself) about every little detail of the movie. This clip made me laugh out loud:
Annnnnd…one of my bestest writing buddies has some exciting news coming – I’ll be updating my post with a link as soon as it happens. Geeky writerly squee!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!