Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Greetings, First Wednesday in June!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

June 7 question - If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

I don't believe you can replace writing with another activity. Maybe it's better to say that you will allot your time to a different endeavor.

Writing isn't like taking long walks or meeting friends for an afternoon. It's not the same as tending a garden or volunteering at your local food bank. All of these are activities with merit and they satisfy your need for exercise, socialization, improving the way your home looks, and feeling good about contributing to your community. They certainly have their place in your life, but writing does something else. And, of course, this is my HO, so take it for what that's worth!

When I write, I'm exploring who I am and what I believe. Sometimes, I'm a bit surprised by what I discover. 

Prejudice? Yep. There's some of that. 

How about jealousy? Certainly I'm not given to...,but wait...there it is just to the right of vanity and...oh, no...greed.

Now, here's the positive side of finding all of these flaws inside of myself. I can also write them into the people I put into my books. There's nothing more interesting--again my HO--than a main character who exhibits some prejudice, especially at a time when that's the last thing they should do and it blocks them from achieving the very goal they want the most. Or, what if jealousy drives them to push away the one they love? Anna Karenina comes to mind.

When it comes to vanity, I love developing a character who is constantly seeking some kind of external validation in order to feel they are worthy. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall who's the fairest of them all?" Remember what happens to that one!

The greedy ones intrigue me, too--Scrooge McDuck the Disney version of the Dicken's character reveals his miserly nature one cartoon frame after another. Nothing devastates him more than losing the first dime he ever made. Somehow giving that up means giving up a big chunk of his worth as a--in this case--duck.  For Ebeneezer, discovering the real source of joy and self-worth provides a satisfying character arc, one that people have relished for a very long time.

So that's the long and rather circuitous answer to today's question. The short one is this: I won't replace writing with anything. I'll either keep churning out the words, or I'll embrace a different lifestyle and hope within that lifestyle I'll still be able to explore who I am and by extension what makes people--real and fictional--tick.

I'm off to read what the co-hosts and other ISWG members have to say about today's question. Hope you'll follow me around and read the other posts as well.

Happy June. Happy Summer.



Jemi Fraser said...

Love your answer! Writing is about exploring ourselves and the world around us. People are endlessly fascinating and that includes us! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Clever idea to put our flaws into our characters. Maybe it will make us better in doing so?

diedre Knight said...

I hadn't thought about it, but I've tucked elements of myself in characters a time or two. Nearly killed one off, actually ;-) I'll be monitoring my character development more closely now. Love your humble opinion - thanks for sharing!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful answer. I think writing is unique in the amount of reflection that goes into it, and you've nailed that here. :)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Great answer! I agree that writing isn't quite like anything else. Maybe that was why I couldn't imagine what I'd do without it?

A Hundred Quills said...

I agree with every bit of your answer. A replacement for writing will be hard to come by!

Juneta key said...

Great answer and I agree. Bits and pieces of us even if it is just knowledge and experience finds its way to our writing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't think I'll replace my writing with something else, but I could and could be happy. I take it day by day now.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Little bits of us end up in our characters anyway!

cleemckenzie said...

I've read a lot of the answers to this question, and what I found interesting is that people have spun off on the question and really written some thoughtful answers.

Computer Tutor said...

You nailed it, Lee!

Jen said...

This is such a great answer!

Honestly, if I let writing go, I'd fill it up with other forms of art. For me, creating anything helps me explore a deeper part of myself. Writing is such an exploration of the human condition, ourselves and others. And I also infuse my personality traits (flaws and ALL) into my characters! It's kind of a cheap form of therapy, isn't it?

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G. B. Miller said...

To be honest, and little creepy, only death would I be able to give up my writing for. I seriously enjoy my writing and it allows me the freedom to be myself w/o having to worry about people getting offended (among other things) should I post it publicly (which is has previously).