On Trying Something New

Photo credit: R'eyes on Flickr
One of my New Years Resolutions for 2015 was to try something new—and it’s something that I intend to keep as a yearly goal. Because thinking back over the last couple years at the many new things I’ve tried, I have to say, thus far I haven’t regretted anything. *knocks on wood*

Back in 2011, for example, I tried Twitter and Blogger, which has turned out pretty splendidly. And last year I cut off my hair (best presentation decision ever), and tried YouTube and I’ve been so blown away by the positive response there—not only have a found an audience of totally new people I hadn’t interacted with, but they’ve been some of the most enthusiastic about book stuff. Last year I also changed my sleep schedule so that I’ve adjusted to waking up between 5-5:30ish, which has increased my productivity output like whoa.

This year I completed my resolution in August, when I took a train to Chicago all by my lonesome and attended a conference as an author for the first time—an event that is pretty much the highlight of my year so far.

So those have all been amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t pushed myself to try something new. But I also think the same kind of experimenting can be really beneficial in writing, too.

I’ve found the one of the best ways to figure out how you work best, to improve your writing and to expand your writer toolbox, so to speak, is to try new things. Whether it’s plotting when you’ve always been a pantser, experimenting with your sleep schedule, trying a new strategy for revising, or reading a new genre. Or maybe it’s playing with multiple perspectives for a first time, or writing in a genre you haven’t played around with yet, or writing a protagonist that's somehow different from others you’ve written before. But that whole don’t knock it till you’ve tried it thing is true, even with writing, because you really don’t know how well or not a new technique or writing experiment will work for you until you’ve given it a chance.

So I encourage you to take chances with your writing. Do something different. Write that crazy book that you don’t think you can pull off. Try NaNoWriMo for the first time. Play around with that new revision technique or plot development. Just don’t let “I don’t think I can do it” stop you; after all, how do you know if you haven’t tried?

Have you tried something new (writing related or not) this year?

Twitter-sized bites:
Writer @Ava_Jae says you should experiment and try new things with your writing. What do you think? (Click to tweet
Have you tried something new this year? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet)

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