The New Year is coming in just a few days, so this week at the Renegade Word we’re focusing on new beginnings! (Check back in a couple of days for Julie’s post on planning your writing goals.)

When I think about new beginnings, I remember the time I took a Nia class (think Yoga meets dancing). The instructor was trying to get us out of our comfort zone. I’ll never forget what she said: “Just try it out. Try something new. Like a new outfit. You don’t have to keep wearing it, but maybe you’ll find that you like it.”

That was two years ago, and it still hits home. Sometimes as writers we get stuck in a rut, trying the same thing over and over again. The New Year is all about new beginnings and growth.

So often, we hold ourselves back from trying new things because we’re afraid we might fail. But if we don’t at least make the effort, how can we find out what works for us? For today’s prompt, I want you to try a new genre of writing.

What Writers Have To Say About Trying Something New:

“I hope that is this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” —Neil Gaiman

“Trying is always enough.” — Patricia Briggs

“When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it.” — Margaret Chase Smith

“To have a different life you have be a different person. You have to do what you haven’t done. You have to become the person that fits that dream. But most of all, you have to realize that if you don’t step into your story it becomes the moral of the story. Your inaction is a lesson you leave to your kids– I was too afraid to change.” — Shannon L. Alder

“Anyone can fail at something they really don’t want. What really takes courage is going after something you want and then failing. There is more fulfillment in life knowing that you tried, rather than settled without a fight.” — Shannon L. Alder  

How To Use This Prompt:

If you usually write fiction, don’t. Try your hand at some poetry. Do you hate poetry? Don’t let that stop you. You might find you have a lot of fun with it. Let go and try writing about what you see outside your window. How does it make you feel?  Start with a few images and see where it take you.

Are you a non-fiction writer? Then try your hand at the mystical or the fantastic. You already know about the world around you, so use it to create something new. If you were in a world of magic how would you see that world? When you think of the distant future what do you imagine being there?

If you’re a poet, try your hand at writing a play. Aim for a one act. I know writing dialogue sounds scary, but I’m sure as a writer you enjoy eavesdropping. Turn conversation at a restaurant into your play. Have fun with it and see what you can show with dialogue.

Write a short story, an essay, a poem, or even just a paragraph or two based on this prompt. Then feel free to share what you’ve written in comments, post a link to your piece on your own blog, or submit it to our site!

 If you’d like more prompts and can’t wait until next week, check out our free e-book, “A Year of Inspiration: 52 Writing Prompts from the Renegade Word.”

One Last Thing…

This week’s prompt is about more writing outside of your comfort zone. I want you to take this opportunity to challenge yourself in other areas of your life, too!

As the New Year approaches, reflect on what’s holding you back from reaching your goals. Start making plans for the upcoming year. Are there any hidden hopes and dreams you want to take a stab at? What’s stopping you?

As you make your resolutions for 2016, don’t just stick to “safe” goals. Set yourself one or two you aren’t sure you’ll be able to achieve, just to give yourself something to strive for. Let yourself aim for failure. You might be surprised what you find.