Reaching, Stretching… Beyond the Limits of Our Comfort Zone


Today I’m introducing Zeke, the one feline in the family that has escaped my camera until recently.  Whenever we would visit she (yes, Zeke is female) put herself into hiding. She managed very well in her slightly chaotic household until additional people and another canine upset her norm.

It wasn’t until our last visit that she allowed me to photograph her with glass doors safely between us.


Then, on the last morning, as we were readying to leave, Zeke spied something that brought her out of hiding despite the turmoil of our impending departure. I still don’t know what it was on that hall table that enticed her out of her comfort zone, but she wanted it enough to ignore all of us and the camera. She stretched up and hovered there, examining new heights.


She reminded me of our other family’s youngest canine, Cooper, who wondered for weeks why the Labradors often stood peering at a sheet of glass in the living room.

Then one day he ventured to leave the comfort of his four-on-the-floor existence and stretch up to discover a fascinating new world to watch beyond the window.


I think Zeke and Cooper have something to teach us as writers.

Does our best writing come from the safe confines of the familiar? Or might there be new worlds waiting for us if we will but stretch beyond the limits of our comfort zone?


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

18 thoughts on “Reaching, Stretching… Beyond the Limits of Our Comfort Zone

  1. This WIP of mine is definitely out of my comfort zone. I get palpitations when I write new scenes. I think that’s a good sign…. 😉

  2. Very cute. I just added photos of my dogs to my blog. I think my little dog Hera that I just posted a photo of is smaller than your cat. 🙂

  3. Stepping outside our comfort zones has been a theme in my life as of late. I just had a conversation with a friend about this subject. I think it does us a world of good to reach further into area that we are not familiar with. That said, I have to admit,so far as writing is concerned, I tend to stick to what I’m familiar with. Perhaps it’s time for me to remedy that.

    1. I think newly published writers are sometimes forced out of their comfort zones by the publicity surrounding their books… the need to meet people and promote themselves whether that’s something. When it comes to writing, I’m reluctant to read in genres I’m not really interested in, and even less inclined to write them. But I suppose it might be good to stretch within acceptable parametres.

  4. Maybe a comfort zone would be a nice thing – for a while. Imagine being able to relax & chill out. No stress, pressure, etc. Have any pictures of that place??? A map maybe?

  5. I love cats! Did I mention we have 4? We have our 2 grandchildren here for spring break, and Buster hasn’t come out from under our bed since they arrived. Except at night to eat and drink. But that’s only because the little monsters (that’s what Buster refers to them as) are sleeping. Zeke is beautiful. He looks like our Fluffy. Did I mention Fluffy is hiding in the basement. Pretty Boy hid for the first two days, then disappeared it was too far away from the food. Garagee is the only one who could care less.

    Excellent pics.

    I have the sudden urge to get my camera and take photos!

    1. Just the mention of four cats would send my hubby into hay fever spasms! He copes if he maintains a distant relationship whenever he encounters one cat but we could never own one. (It’s funny that dogs don’t bother him.)

      Enjoy your grandchildren this week. We have three of ours here this week, too.

  6. I find that with my blog, my photographs help me to stretch my thoughts, inspiring words to suit the images. Seeing life through a camera lens often does that, gives me a different and challenging perspective on the everyday!

    1. Hi, Joanne. Yes, photography provides some great material for our writing. I also used my photos as inspiration for my oil painting, or used to when I was actually painting… haven’t had the oils out for a long time.

  7. I love your photos and I love your analogy of stretching beyond the limits of our comfort zones with our writing. What a great thing to remember as we hit what we think are walls. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Paul. My aunt found a quotation that I really like, too: “Limitations live only in our minds; but if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” (Jamie Paolinotti) That’s something else to remember.

  8. I like stepping out of that comfort zone occasionally. Writing about things that scare or upset me often helps me get over my fear.

    I also have a scaredy cat. We found her in our engine compartment one morning…after we’d already driven for ten minutes. Luckily, she had climbed into the wheel well above the tire and only had a tiny cut on her chin. She’s scared of most things, but like we always say, she had a bad experience. She has plenty of places to hide now.

    1. Your comment fits well with my next post on what we get out of our writing experiences. Thanks for sharing that.

      Your scaredy cat is one lucky cat! I can’t imagine too many of those taking a similar excursion survive unscathed.

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