No-one likes to go outside their comfort zone.
That said, it’s the only way that things change significantly – sometimes you can be forced out of what you like and discover something new, and sometimes you have to make a choice to do it.
Stubbornness was the thing that pushed me out of my comfort zone the first time to publish my first book. After that, I wanted to make more and more.
I’ve occasionally gone out of my comfort zone since – A Titan’s Rise, our upcoming Audio Drama, is a good example, as I ended up playing the lead, something I never would have predicted when I initially wrote it. It came out well in the end (look out for it on Kickstarter soon!), but it was nerve-wracking and difficult, to say the least.
Era: The Chosen was a trip outside what I know well, with the heavy historical aspect (I’ve always been more of a “look forward” person!), and several others.
It’s nice to push your boundaries every so often, but I recommend you occasionally go with what you know as well, it can be really important to reassure yourself creatively that you’ve got things in hand, that you don’t need to doubt next time you push outward!
That doesn’t mean you need to create something of poor quality, just focus on something you know – I do this by creating expansions for Era: The Consortium and Era: Survival every so often, just to remind myself that there’s a solid grounding that I am building on.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t say it’s been worth it every time I’ve gone out of my comfort zone… but I would say it has been about 75% of the time. The only reason not to be proud of something you have made is when you know you have not done the best job you could have at the time. Give it everything you have and you’ll never be disappointed in what you create.