WritersButt Wednesday – Eviction Notice


Hello WritersButt team!  I hope you’ve had a great week.  You may wonder why I titled this blog, Eviction Notice.  Eviction from where?  I’m going to try to evict you from your comfort zone.  We all love to be comfortable, to feel secure in our routines. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we aren’t cemented there.  How do you even know what you’re missing out on if you never experience anything outside of the boundaries of your little comfort-haven?

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”  ~Denis Waitley

Trying new things, presenting yourself with challenges, can improve many aspects of your life. I’ll address the two areas that relate to WritersButt since that’s why you’re here. That is why you’re here, right?  Let’s take a look at the benefits of being uncomfortable in terms of your fitness and your writing.

Does your fitness routine consist of a walk every day, probably taking the same route? Or maybe you go to the gym three times a week, same days every week, (so you see the same people) and you do your pre-determined time on the treadmill or elliptical, then maybe you’ll go through the machines, in the same order as always, perhaps with little to no variance in the weights.  I bet some of you love spin class or yoga, so you attend those classes each week, hop on the same bike, set your mat in the part of the room, next to your friend … every time.


It’s time to stop it.  No, I don’t mean never take a walk or go to yoga with a friend, but add in something different. About a year ago, I was visiting a good friend of mine in Oregon.  She had been doing Zumba and wanted me to join her for a class.  Many of you know that I own a CrossFit gym and there’s not much Zumba-ing going on. But I was game.  I had a GREAT time. I laughed (at myself) and pretty much boogied my rear for an hour.

I know many people who are afraid of weightlifting, the kind away from machines, where you use bars and plates. It can be intimidating.  At CrossFit, we do a lot of Olympic and power weightlifting.  I can’t tell you how many clients come in and are nervous about this, especially the women, but they try and soon they are HOOKED. What if they had never tried? They would never know the elation of squatting while holding a heavy weighted bar over their head. Let me tell you, that is a freaking awesome feeling!

New things start off scary and that’s a good thing.  Challenge your body and mind to new stressors and let it adapt. You’re doing yourself a favor by giving your body a chance to learn, expand, be efficient and adaptable with what it can handle. Plus, you’re obliterating the boredom factor.

In terms of writing, let me ask you this. What is the most boring writing ever, the biggest mistake in poorly written books? I suspect most of you said, ‘No conflict’. Every book on the craft of writing, all the online workshops, the agents and editors reading your submissions … across the board will tell you, MORE CONFLICT.

What creates conflict? Conflict is created by feeling uncomfortable. The feeling of being challenged, by the unknown, by fearing you can’t do something but you have to.  We put our characters through it all the time because we’re all such amazing writers. We give our characters conflict so their story is interesting, intense and rewarding. We also give them moments of reprieve, to enjoy a breather.

Don’t cheat yourself out of what you give to your characters. Don’t you deserve a fun, challenging, rewarding and compelling life?  I say we all do!  Please don’t cheat yourself out of amazing experiences because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  ~Andre Gide

Consider this as well.  If you don’t know the feeling of being uncomfortable, of facing the unknown or scary challenge, how can you authentically write that for your characters?  Let’s say you have a character who is totally tone-deaf. I mean, she can’t carry a tune in a Texas-sized bucket.  You can relate because you’ve channeled this trait from yourself. For you and your character, I bet being forced to sing karaoke would make you want to shrivel up and die … or worse, pee your pants in public. You’re going to have to make your character do it, because that would be an intensely conflicted scene (not to mention hilarious) and you’re an awesome writer.  So, I say, make yourself go through it.  Do it!  Your character will thank you for sticking with her, through the good times and the bad.

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~Raymond Lindquist

So this week, my number one challenge is to evict yourself out of your comfort zone. Try at least one new thing.  Maybe a sport, or different type of workout. Maybe sign up for a class to learn a new skill.  If the thought of dancing out on a dance floor makes you want to hide behind the mechanical bull, grab your partner or some friends and go to a dance bar and make yourself get out there and boogie.

If something makes you nervous or gives you that electric zing of fear, face it and try it. Even if you fail, your attempt is a victory!

But I warn you, you might have some fun. So, proceed with a total, utter, lack of caution.

Go. For. It!!  I double-dog-wizard-dare you!

Recipe Corner:

This past weekend was my son’s 14th birthday. Every year he requests his favorite meal; Sloppy Joes. Even though I’m not a huge fan of sloppy joes, I can’t refuse his blond cuteness or those darn irresistible dimples.  I asked him if I could kick it up a notch this year. Since he’s super awesome, he said yes.  I Googled and found this Rachael Ray recipe for Sloppy Buffalo Joes. They were a huge hit. Some people had buns, some ate the filling with the coleslaw like a salad and a couple of us had ours piled on top of a seared portobello mushroom cap.  De-Lish!

Workout of the Week:

We have a CrossFit workout called “Griff”. My sister reminded me of it yesterday so I thought I’d share if with you all to see if anyone was up for the challenge.

Note: A quick explanation of why this workout has a name and why it’s Griff.  Many CrossFit workouts have names, and the ones named for men are called Hero Workouts because they are named after CrossFitters who were in the armed forces or law enforcement who died in the line of duty.  “Griff” is in honor of USAF SSgt Travis L. Griffin, 28, who was killed April 3, 2008 in the Rasheed district of Baghdad by an IED strike to his vehicle. Travis is survived by his son Elijah.


800m running forward

400m running backward

800m running forward

400m running backward

*Ok, I’ve done this workout a couple times and it’s tough! Quite frankly, since I really don’t love running, I thought the 800m (1/2 a mile) forward running would be the hardest. Boy, was I wrong. Running backward is way harder than it seems. My quads were ON FIRE!  Don’t let me scare you away from trying this.  You can scale it in half using 400m and 200m.  You can fast-walk this too if you have to.  Just give it a try!

So, talk to me!  In the comments, tell me something you’ve done which was totally out of your comfort zone.  How did it make you feel? Did you do it voluntarily or were you forced?


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on April 11, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I love this, Ginger! I will try something new by Sunday 🙂

  2. I use to be brave and try new things all the time. Its been ages since I’ve tried anything new and focused on self growth and empowerment.

    • Alica, sorry for the late reply. I found you in my spam folder. The nerve of WP to throw you in there! I’ll deal with them later. 😉 Ok, so if you used to be brave, it’s time to tap into that past-self and try again! Focusing on self-growth and empowerment is invigorating and just so bad-ass! I dare you! 🙂

  3. Seriously, Ginger, have you been watching me? Who’s your spy? It’s all about routine with me and now you’re telling me – break my routine? Are you nuts? I might explode if I deviate from my routine.

    I do mix it up a little at the gym on the machines; I use elliptical, treadmill, stair climber, bike. And I do add an extra 5 or 10 pounds to the weight machines, but really, the free weights? There’s scary guys over there that grunt and stuff. You want me to go over there? There’s Army dudes and football players over there. What if they don’t see me and I get hurt? That’s asking a lot.

    Let me just say that I have added toning sticks to my zumba workouts, does that count? Can I use that instead of the free weights at the gym dominated by the big scary sweaty grunting guys?

    Okay, I’ll try it sometime. I promise. Really.

    As far as trying new things in general, I’m always game for trying new things. I like adventure and learning and experimenting. I want to try snorkeling, especially since I’ve always been a little afraid of water. My husband thinks this is a bad idea because I can’t see without my glasses or contacts, which I have to take off when I swim, so he says that’ll make snorkeling “not very much fun,” but still I want to try it.

    I’ll let you know when I’ve tried something new this week, but you’re asking a lot.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Patricia, don’t let those guys intimidate you. March over there and them your girl power! You can do it! In fact, I would hope that some of them would be really nice and LOVE to help you learn some free weight stuff. I wish I was there with you and I’d drag you over there with me.

      Come on, pluck up the courage and try. Think of me shoving you … er, I mean, gently prodding you along.

  4. Something new, huh? Well, I’ve been meaning to drag out those weights tucked way back in the closet because I want to build up my upper body strength. When the boys were small, I was always lifting 30 or 40 pounds, but now, lifting a bag of flour is … dare I say it … ummm, challenging? And it’s summer, which means yard work and I definitely need the upper body strength for lifting and digging.

    • Yep, Sheila, time to drag those weights out. For upper body strength, don’t forget the power of a push up! I tell you, they are good to do, every day! Try 5-10 of them every single time you go to the bathroom. And, in case you missed the early WritersButt posts, I also challenge you to drink 100 oz of water a day. This is good for you in tons of ways but it will also have you making lots of trips to the bathroom and well, just imagine how many push ups you’ll have done by the time you go to bed! 🙂

  5. I’ve been seriously I’ll for the last nine months but read you blog in the hope that I will recover and then I’ll really go for it. I do move, just incredibly slowly.

    Before I became ill, I went with friends to New Zealand. One site on our must visit list could only be reached by helicopter. I froze. One of my friends said, “I’m deathly afraid of heights, but I refuse to miss out.” How could I not do it.

    I quaked until we got up into the air — and became a soaring eagle. I love helicooters, and until my illness, flew often. Nothing more exhilarating — even a bit better than writing.

    • Hi Sharron! I love your story. Especially this –> … and became a soaring eagle. Wow!! Goosebumps. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry that you’ve been ill. I’m sending you healing vibes so you can get back up to speed and feel wonderful!

  6. Going to those classes IS out of my comfort zone – we’re still new in the area and I’m still new to the gym. But when I get clearance to exercise again, I’ll do the forwards/backwards thing. I know how hard backwards is, but have never done it that long.

    • I know you’re recovering from an injury too. Yeah, when I did the workout for the first time, I though the backwards part was ‘fun’ for about 100m, then it stopped being such a blast. haha

  7. Running backward for 1/4 mile? Would never have thought of that, but I’m game! Why is griff called griff? Another inspiring post, Ginger!

    • Debra, I should have explained the name. In CrossFit, many workouts have names and the ones named for men are called Hero Workouts, which means they are named after a CrossFitter who was in the armed forces or law enforcement who died in the line of duty. Here’s the info on “Griff” (Maybe I’ll add this into the post as well.)

      In honor of USAF SSgt Travis L. Griffin, 28, who was killed April 3, 2008 in the Rasheed district of Baghdad by an IED strike to his vehicle. Travis is survived by his son Elijah.

  8. I have been breaking out of my routine lately and it is hard, even if just mentally. I have been doing the CrossFit inspired workout from here and the CrossFit website and they are amazing. But it has been hard to go to the gym and not do the same thing I’ve always done. I start to wonder if I should be there longer, even though I worked out so hard my face is red and I feel like I need to lay down. Something about not being there for an hour freaks me out. But, I’m also loving it, so I’m going to keep at it. Thanks for these inspiring posts!

    • Emma, it sounds like you’re doing your CrossFit workouts exactly right. The workout itself should be far too intense to last an hour. Now, you can (should) warm up for 10-ish minutes. Same with cool down/stretch. Do they have foam rollers at your gym? Those are great for recovery, etc. Also, you can work a certain still. Like you want to get better at your push ups or you can work your pull ups. This can be done after your workout (or before). Skill work it great. All said and done, you’d be there about an hour but you’d be going at full intensity for far less than that. We post our workouts on our CFG FB page. If you haven’t looked there, we might have some more ideas for you to help you mix it up.

      Keep rockin’ it!!

  9. Love the post!! Love (totally lying….more like totally nervous) getting out of my comfort zone! What comfort zone…do I have one?? **reaching for my same water bottle, drinking the same number of swallows at the same temperature, while sitting in my same chair in the same seated position with 1 leg propped up on the seat** 😉 My “Griff” time was 14:34. Can’t see that I’ve ever done this WOD so, I guess that’s my benchmark at this time. I do backwards running when I’m tracking back to Link riding his tricycle too slow so, it wasn’t a totally foreign movement for me. I do slow down when I go over curbs and around corners so, I do fall flat on my face…er butt.

  10. I want to break out of my walking only routine. I bought a stationary bike in hopes I could switch things up, but I am so stuck with my habit of 12000 steps on my pedometer that I don’t like not getting those steps because I’m cycling. It’s all mental I know. 🙂
    Love the photo of you and your son!!

    • It’s hard to do something different and not think, but what about those 12000 steps? I’m a slacker because I missed those steps. But, it’s important to focus on what you did do. I bet if you mix it up and some some other things, you’d see some sort of different results. This is because you’re body is very used to those 12000 steps. Our bodies are so smart and efficient, your body has figured out a way to do those same steps with the least amount of effort possible because that’s how we’re designed. At the very least, add is some squats or jump jacks or push ups to your walk, say every minute on the minute and see how your body responds. 🙂

      That picture was taken on his birthday night. Thanks!

  11. I gave up Dannon coffee yogurt and that jacked up my discomfort level big time. You’re right about shaking things up exercise-wise, too, Ginger, so I’ll try Zumba in the near future. I am not, however, tying a bell-bedecked scarf around my waist.

    • Pat, you always make me laugh. I hate to say it because you might grumble at me (which I’m quite used to from others, so no biggie!) but I’m ELATED you gave up your coffee yogurt. I’m sorry it jacked up your discomfort, but remember, things that make you uncomfortable are often good! Ready to kick me yet? Remember I love you! 🙂 I can not way to hear about your Zumba experience. You can leave the jingle bells at home!

  12. Leaving your comfort zone is such great advice for life in general, not just for exercising. I certainly have my prefered methods (I’m not much for running or the gym – mainly because our closet gym is 30 minutes away), but now that the warm weather is here, my mind is filling with ways I’ll be able to change it up. If I can get over my fear of falling, I’ll even try running backwards 🙂

    • I totally agree, Marcy. It’s so hard to leave our comfy little secure zones, for any part of our lives. Oh yeah, 30 minutes is far to drive to the gym. You can do so much outside of a gym or in your home too. It’s just hard for many people to push themselves to do that alone.

      You do have to be careful of falling in the backwards running. I do mine in sort of a shuffle, looking frequently over my shoulder! The best part was the last time I did this workout, someone on the opposite side of the street ran by, going forward of course. The look he gave me! haha! I just called out, try it — harder than you think. 🙂

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