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10+ Ways to Find Inspiration for Writing: Reading Books Outside Your Comfort Zone



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10+ Ways to Find Inspiration for Writing: Reading Books Outside Your Comfort Zone

10+ Ways to Find Inspiration for Writing: Reading Books Outside Your Comfort Zone
Most of us only like to read books that we are interested in. Whether it's a novel or a self-help book or something altogether completely different. But not many of us want to read a book that is outside of our comfort zone. A book that we wouldn't normally, ordinarily read. But in fact, by doing so, by reading those books you wouldn't usually read, there is a lot of benefit in that for you for coming up with inspiration for writing or for being a freelance writer or even a book author and here we'll talk about why that is!

Reading Books Outside Your Comfort Zone

So why should you read books outside of your comfort zone if you are looking for writing inspiration and what does it mean by books outside of your comfort zone anyway? Think about the kind of books you usually like to read. Then think about whether those books challenge you in any way at all. The chances are, you like to read books that don't challenge you right? Well that's natural! That's normal! Nobody really likes to read a book that challenges their reading skills!

But in actual fact, if you want to better your writing skills, and find writing inspiration, reading books outside of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to learn how to do that! For when you do that, you'll learn about words and about ways in writing that you never knew before! And that can improve, better and further your reading and writing skills even more!

Now I'm not saying to go and find any old book, although that can help. I'm not saying to go and pick up a copy of War and Peace, but again, reading that book would help too. In fact, reading any book at all can improve and better your reading and writing skills! We learn by doing and when it comes to reading and writing the same rule applies, we learn by reading and writing.

So when you read a book you wouldn't normally read, you'll be learning new words, you'll be learning new linguistics, new ways of saying things. You'll be adding to your vocabulary. And when you do that, you take that on board with you which can help you when it comes to writing your own book! And especially if and when you're looking for writing inspiration!

And one of the best things you can do as a writer that's looking for writing inspiration is to check out books that you wouldn't normally read, books that are outside of your comfort zone. You'll be challenging yourself where your normal, usual books that you read don't challenge you. And if you're not challenging yourself like this, you'll never really improve your writing skills!

So go to the library, visit a section you've never visited before, look at some old books that are well and truly outside of your comfort zone and take them out and start reading them. Sure, it might not be a riveting story about dragons and elves! But it would likely challenge your reading and writing skills and from just reading it, you will surely find inspiration too!

Well this is just a quick one to go over the benefits to reading books outside your comfort zone. I just wanted to touch on this because a lot of people only ever read books they're comfortable reading and while that is good, it's never really going to challenge you and as said, if you're not challenging yourself, you're not really going to improve your reading and writing skills.

The 5 Benefits to Reading Books Outside Your Comfort Zone

  • They can help you to improve your reading and writing skills.
  • They will challenge the way you read and write and help improve your reading/writing skills.
  • They can be great resources for coming up with writing inspiration.
  • They will increase your vocabulary with words that aren't hardly used anymore.
  • You'll learn things you never thought you'd learn through old ways of writing.
Do you like to occasionally read books outside of your comfort zone?

If so, do you find that it helps improve your reading and writing skills (vocabulary)

What books outside your comfort zone have you read in the past?

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ktparker2

I do like to occasionally read a book outside of my comfort zone. I usually like to read self-help and inspiration, however, I recently started reading young adult books that really captured my imagination. It was a fun change of pace to read the Hunger Games series and Divergent. These books helped me to increase my imagination, descriptive words vocabulary and ability to write effective dialogue. Watching the movies afterward allowed me to see how the writing translated to a larger audience.

I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. I plan to challenge myself to do so regularly.



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Tronia

This is very true. I have found that the best type of books that aren't within my comfort zones are actually the good old classics. You can truly learn so much from them because they often use terms and words that aren't frequently used anymore and it's really, really handy to expand your vocabulary. Besides that, they inspire you because they discuss topics that aren't as popularized right now. I like to go to the library around once per two weeks and get a few older books that I never read and see if they spark my imagination and inspiration - most often they do.

Just a few books that inspired me and that I recommend to other writers:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho,
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy,
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.



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Barida

I would have to check out for the Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I've read much review about the book and how interesting it is and in as much as I've not had much time to check it out, I think this is the right time to do so. I'm grateful you recommended the book as well.



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thisfreespirit

I've never considered the idea of reading books outside of my comfort zone as a means of improving my writing skills. The idea however does have a lot of merit to it. I believe, in general, that occasionally doing something outside of your comfort zone is always a way to make one grow. If we always did what was comfortable for us, we'd be stagnant. By branching out to what might be scary or intimidating we not only have the chance to grow and learn more, but sometimes perhaps even find a new interest. Though I hadn't previously considered this idea in regards to books that might help me grow more, when I consider the question being asked I find that I have already actively been doing this over the past several years. For instance, my husband is a huge fan of comic books, especially Batman comics, but it's never been an interest me. While I think the visuals in comics are great, I find it a bit distracting to try to read an entire story in the format that comics use. However, a few summers ago he convinced me to give reading comics a try. Though it was outside my comfort zone, I found that it opened a new door that I hadn't previously considered... using comic book format in the classroom! As an elementary school teacher, I now employ comic books as an option for my students during writing assignments. I've been pleasantly surprised by the students who drag their feet at the though of writing assignment, who then become excited and get right to work when given the opportunity to do it in a non-traditional way.



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JoeMilford

This is seriously good advice. One of the quickest ways to recognize your own voice is to experience the friction of a voice which is totally unlike yours. Sure, everyone wants a comforting and kindred spirit to remind them of their own worthiness as a writer, but don't we learn more from struggling with a tough mentor instead of just hanging out with a person who always praises us? As a writer, we need to be pushed out of our comfort zone in order to find new places in our work. Reading writers outside of your comfort zone can introduce you to new themes, new perspectives, new vocabulary, and new tones of voice and syntax. As a college writing professor, i do this to my students often, and it puts them in a very creative place.



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Baburra

I agree with this method completely, although admittedly I am guilty of not doing this enough at times. I know I can get so much from finding resources way outside my comfort zone but it's not always that easy to maintain interest when that topic is so far away from what I am regularly interested in. Still, even the mildly related ones already have so much to offer, so I would say even just going that far out of your comfort zone can already be very helpful.



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rj02jogoy

I totally agree by reading outside your comfort zone will help you to improve your reading and writing skills. Aside from that, it enhances your communication to speak English language. By reading, books wither fictionally or fantasy will increase your vocabulary to construct English sentences. So reading different books is a huge advantage to becoming more fluent and eloquent to speak English continuously.



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Barida

Reading books out of one's comfort zone can really help to increase the vocabulary and one good thing is that one can really learn about words that are technical in nature such as medical words and all that. This is the reason I enjoy reading books outside what I read in school.



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Barida

I've always read books on relationships and have learnt some much about how things work, but of recent, I've started reading books on how to grow our finances and that has been helpful in the sense that I can now feel confident about saving for the future or investing some portion on business opportunities. Reading books on other areas can be helpful in no small way.



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Corzhens

Oh, this is a tough one. Just thinking about it already gives me a headache. One subject that is outside of my comfort zone is science. Let’s say space travel. It would definitely be a hard one to understand. However, I remember writing a book report in school about a story that I didn’t like. It was a fiction where a guy was betting against Satan. After finishing the book, I had to write a book report from my mind. It gave me a big headache but I got a high grade on my book report.



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jaymish3

I agree with this sentiment. There is a saying 'a book a day keeps stupidity away'. Reading is life and is the fountain of all knowledge. We are brought up to think that knowledge starts and ends with school. This is simply not true, school was the foundation. To navigate life we need to acquire extra knowledge, the best and least painful way to do this is through reading. The wider you read the better the quality of life you have. We are on earth to explore all life has to offer, reading outside your area of interest allows you to do this.



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Martinsx1

I was once told by my great mentor that I would never achieve any meaningful thing if I always operate from within my comfort zone, it's always going to limit my my reach as it has already set up a boundary for me not to ever cross. But when one goes into the unknown, there would be so much more to explore and get more out of life.



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jaymish3

I agree with this @martinsx1. The way to achieve and reach great heights is to operate outside your comfort zone. However I'm not sure that you can apply this analogy to reading books. I agree that you have to be willing to try different things because you never know, however with books you pretty much know what you like and what you don't. Its a matter of taste. For example if someone told me to explore manga, I would not because I know I would not like it. I also don't see how reading manga would contribute to my personal development.



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jpk0007

I Agree that one has to always try and extend the borders of his or her views and ideas and try and understand each and every idea even if one doesn't like it or don't agree with it. I don't know whether reading books on subjects which you have always found boring or not very appealing would be able to give you newer concepts and ideas to write. For instance the books I have never found interesting are the books related to science and mathematics.i don't think I would be able to read a single book on mathematics without getting a big headache and I don't think that I will ever take inspiration from any of these books which I am not ready to even look at.



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nrnlss

I just recently read books that are outside my comfortzone and books that's not my usual genre. I am surprised by how I enjoyed some of those books and how many thing I've learn from them. So now I just read any book that's available.



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beerthooyah

So in any endeavors wether it is writing or reading books or managing a business, even in sports. There are always benefits that can be derived by going out of our comfort zone. The advise of going out of your comfort zone is a sound principle.



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cmoneyspinner

Reading books outside of your comfort zone is a good idea. But also, reading OLD books is a good idea. When I worked in D.C., sometimes on my lunch break I would go to the public library and go through their trash. Yes. They had boxes of old books they would throw out. If people wanted the books they could take them. They free because they considered trash. You be surprised at how different the writing was in the 1930s or 40s or the contrast of the different decades. It's enlightening.



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