Travelling an Unfamiliar Highway

Recently my husband and I travelled to Santa Maria Island, Florida.  While renting a car in Tampa, I was surprised to discover that we both could drive without an extra charge.  My husband is usually the designated car rental driver, so it’s been years since I have driven a rental car in a new city.  A friend of mine invited me to have breakfast with her in Sarasota, a 50 minute drive from the island.  I had two options to make this happen.  I could ride with her to Sarasota, but that would mean I couldn't get to the beach that day; or my second option was to drive myself in the rental car.

My mental process was something like this.
Hmm…maybe I should ride with her….I don’t know where I'm going…I don’t know all the gizmos on the car….it would be easier.

Then I stopped myself. 
Drive the car…stretch yourself….move out of your comfort zone. 

I drove the car. It turned out to be a relatively easy drive to Sarasota and my spirit was fed by the conversation along with the Spinach Eggs Benedict.  I managed to get back to the Island in time to spend the afternoon on the beach.   More important, I was willing to do something that made me a little uneasy. 

Every time we are willing to step into an unfamiliar environment, our personal world becomes a little bigger. Each time we decide not to do something because it's a little difficult and choose to stay in our comfort zone, we shrink the perimeter of our lives.  

This applies to all areas of our life. 

So what does it mean to you as a writer?  I think it is easy to find your writing niche, your writing comfort zone, and stay there.  It may be a particular genre or style.  Maybe it’s fiction, or non-fiction. Where is the territory you are afraid to explore in your writing?  For me the anxiety provoking zone is poetry.  Today, I choose to stretch my writing limits and make my writing life just a little bit bigger.

Driving down and unfamiliar highway
Not sure which way to go
Lost in a writer’s life.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach.  For more information check out   or folllow her at:  


Heidiwriter said...

Great advice. The definition of courage is to do the things that scare you. I'm glad you had this good experience. Writing, publishing, and marketing definitely can be a scary world.

Margaret Fieland said...

Terrific post. Glad the drive was okay.

I'm not big on driving where I don't know the way either. Somehow getting lost puts me in panic mode. My new cell phone comes with a map application, however, so I should be good to go now.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Isn't it funny how we struggle to leave our comfort zones when, most of the time, we have such better experiences when we do?

Thanks for the reminder.

Magdalena Ball said...

Always good to open new horizons and stretch ourselves - in our work and in our travels!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I'm not sure if most other women experience this when driving new places, but I sure do. It's not the same with trying to write in new genres for me, but it certainly is true that we--when we do--we face a whole new uphill learning curve! And it is all uphill!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Excited about how much the new edition of the Frugal Book Promoter (expanded! updated!) can help writers with the tried and true and the new media, too. Now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right ( it the original edition was also a Reader Views winner and an Irwin Award winner.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I did use my phones GPS to help get me to my destination, so I knew I could find it. It was just more, that it would have been easier to hitch a ride.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I would love to stretch my travels to your side of the world!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I think it is different for writing, but I know I have to push myself when writing to try something new.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Totally empathize with this Mary Jo. Living on an island has made me fearful of driving on the mainland although I used to buzz about confidently everywhere even when my driving was much worse than it is now...or is that just another illusion?

Karen Cioffi said...

LOL, I think we're all showing our age. I have the same problem. I'm okay driving local, but not thrilled when I have to drive on the highway! Just to be a cowgirl on the road - not anymore. :)

Mary Jo, great post. I think most of us struggle with expanding ourselves, going beyond our comfort zones. But, it a good thing to do.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Reality or illusion? That's a great question for a writer.

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