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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

#IWSG: Fall


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

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! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. 


October shouts Fall loud and clear. It’s my favorite time of year. Crisp days and cool nights, and sometimes fog “creeping in on cat’s feet” – as Carl Sandberg reminds us. And it’s my birthday.

This summer was beastly hot, a rarity to last so long in Michigan. It felt more like winter since I mostly stayed inside our air-conditioner house and ran from the air-conditioner car into air-conditioned stores. I didn’t “feel” like writing. Why did we ever subscribe to Netflix? Binge watch! Consequently, my WIP is still in progress. I wrote so little from May through August I’m ashamed to admit the number of words. In September, I wrote over 3500 words, and the story is finally rolling.



October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I can't imagine not reading. As I wrote last month, I not only binge-watch television, I binge read. It's an escape and a way to keep myself informed in the genres in which I write. For those of us who write science fiction (with or without romance), we need to know the tropes common to our genre plus commonly used terminology. I'm not saying copy other authors, but who wants to come up with a new phrase to describe how a spaceship gets from one part of the galaxy to another? Warp drive, FTL (faster than light) engines, a wormhole. Who needs another term?

Not everyone can make time to read. With only 24 hours in each day, a writer can only squeeze in a day job (aka one that makes money), family, hobbies, volunteering, and writing. What little time is left over is earmarked relaxation. I'm fortunate that I'm retired from the day job. Plus I read before bed. Some nights I read a page or two and have to catch the iPad before it hits the floor. Other nights, I'm so engaged in the story that I'm still reading at 2 am. 

Besides reading in my own genres, I belong to a local readers' group. The host for the month's meeting chooses a book from a list the library has on loan for book groups. Not often, the host chooses a book not on the list. (I've been fortunate that they've read a few of my own books.) The books are usually best-sellers, biographies, nonfiction. Rarely are they books I would've chosen to read. That's the great thing about the book group--reading outside my comfort zone.

Reading is essential to good writing. We learn by example.


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.





43 comments:

  1. Glad the words are happening with your story now! I wrote a ton in June but not a lot since then. Hoping things get rolling soon.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. I hope it gets rolling for you, too.

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  2. Great post, Di! Yes, words inspire other words to flow. I can't NOT read . . . at least until my Kindle hits me in the nose to tell me it's time to turn it off. I've sometimes created an entire plot from just a single turn of phrase. Aren't words awesome?!

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    1. They are, indeed, Nancy. We must read at the same time because my iPad does the same thing. lol

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  3. Good luck with the creative muse! It was only on a recent creative writing course that I realised I’d neglected my reading, and I was hoping to be an author. But thanks to new writers, new to me, I was able to forge ahead. 🤗

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  4. Hi,

    I am one of those binge readers too. Sometimes I just need the time to take a day or two to just read. I do my best to read everyday, but sometimes I require more.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat. We have to keep the creative well filled.

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  5. How cool that your readers group has read some of your books! Netflix is a dangerous thing at time - I find myself binge watching series too. :)

    Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. I'm so pleased (and thankful) for the group choosing my books--about one a year. And their comments are so encouraging. Yep, Natflix is dangerous. lol

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  6. NetFlix can get you like that.
    I try to read in the evenings before I hit the bed or yeah, the iPad hits the floor.

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  7. My Book Club has given me so many new stories. Ones I would never have found on my own. I'm in MN, and I hear you. Fall is the best!
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Fall is being contrary right now. Rain and more rain, while my sister in Indy prays for some. I enjoy the variety of books at book group. Some I don't like at all and quit reading, others I slog through to give it a chance. Most, though, give me a different perspective.

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  8. I read in many genres too, and some, like adult contemporary, I never thought I'd like. I like to escape into books and TV too.

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    1. One thing I like is books with a satisfying ending. I want the good guys to win, the bad be punished, the girl to get the guy and live happily ever after. I can get reality from the news.

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  9. I read like a house on fire. I'll consume anything in my path, including cereal boxes.

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    1. LOL My kids learned to read from cereal boxes.

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  10. How cool that the reading group has read some of your books! That must have been such a thrill.
    I'm a binge watcher and reader too. Two of my favorite ways to spend time. :)

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    1. It was a thrill, Julie. They are so supportive.

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  11. Happy October birthday! I love the Carl Sandburg quote. This is the time of year I spend all summer waiting for. I'm definitely a fall/winter girl.

    I also cannot imagine a life without reading. Books bring so much joy, depth, entertainment, and education to life. I've been known to binge a series when I discover a new one I love. It's so much fun to get immersed a new world.

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    1. Thanks, Lee. I'm a fall/spring girl. I hate extremes in weather. I'm grumpy in the summer and miserable in the winter. I love moderate weather. Just discovered a new series that Hubs likes. I think it's almost over. Sad & happy--because we can start something new.

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  12. Yeah I read before I fall asleep as well and I also find Netflix a blessing and a curse. hehehe

    ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I agree about Netflix and all streaming channels.

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  13. Happy birthday, Diane! Yep, trying to write genre fiction without knowing the tropes is just courting disaster. You have to read to be able to write!

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    1. Thanks, Ken. If we didn't read in our genre, we'd think we invented the moon. lol

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  14. I love October too! Have a fabulous Birthday!!

    I read at night before going to sleep too, the only time the house is quiet.

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    1. Thanks, my birthday was great. I agree about when to read.

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  15. Yes, terminology is of the utmost importance for a genre writer. I once had an editor of my medieval fantasy story who wasn't a reader of fantasy and didn't know the terminology. It was a nightmare. She stumbled upon every magic term and tried to correct them all. Yikes! Of course, nothing came of it.

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    1. I had a critique partner the same as that editor. I learned to discount most of what she said. We have to understand the terminology and the tropes to write with conviction. Readers know.

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  16. Yesterday was crazier than normal, and I didn't get to anyone's posts. I'll get to them starting today. Promise!

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  17. This question made me chuckle and it was easy to answer. Since at this point I make more money (such as it is) doing book reviews than writing, it would be pretty silly for me to proclaim to be a writer who doesn't like to read!

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  18. All of the replies I've read so far are in agreement. I can't imagine another answer but I have heard authors brag that they don't read.

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  19. Fascinating, reading the answers to this question. I read quite a bit. I'm fortunate that at work (my 40+ job) I often to quantitative testing too. When I do those, I listen to the Kindle TTS read books out loud to me.

    I read all genres, not just what I write. I think it does improve my craft, increases my vocabulary--and one that's really helpful--makes me acutely aware of when something doesn't work in a story. :-)

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    1. You offer several good reasons to read. I agree.

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  20. That's cool that the reading group has picked your books at times. I can't imagine not reading either. I do a little every day and like you, sometimes a few pages and sometimes up late when I should be sleeping.

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    1. The book group is so supportive. I'm really glad they enjoy my books.

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  21. There are times when I binge read, too. We need to make that a thing as popular as binge watching TV. :)

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    1. My binge-reading is as bad as my tv-bingeing. lol

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  22. I don't see how a writer could NOT read. The two skills are so inter-related that it would be near impossible not to read. And since there are no real new ideas, why not explore how other authors put a new twist on an old idea?

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  23. Thanks bunches for stopping by my blog. Sorry for the late reply, life just got in the way. I too enjoy Fall and have a birthday this month.
    Good progress on your WIP. You did a lot in September.
    I agree, being part of a book club has exposed me to books I may not have read on my own.

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