Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Insecure Writer's Support Group-October 2019



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group! Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has once again assembled some great co-hosts: Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

Don't forget to visit the IWSG website for great writing resources!

This post is going up a few hours later than planned. I've had a house full of sick kids, so that's kept me occupied. Kids don't like sharing toys, but they love sharing viruses. Good news is that they all seem to be on the mend.

Now on to this month's optional 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?

This is a great question. I can understand how someone might be worried about being too influenced about other works they've read. The things we read are clearly going to shape who we are as writers. There's no way around that, but I don't think it's a bad thing, either.

It's been said there's nothing new under the sun. Is it even possible to have an entirely original idea that in no way resembles what someone else has done before? I'm not sure. Even if you never read, you're influenced by the world around you, as are other writers. Your ideas still may not be as original as you might think. I also know it's possible to take an idea that has been visited by others and put a new spin on it. The idea doesn't have to be the most unique in the world if the execution of that idea is good.

This is where the disadvantage of never reading might come into play. I'm not saying never reading means a person can't possibly write a compelling story, but it may be more difficult. Through reading, we see the methods other writers use to build atmosphere and convey ideas. We see how they build characters and complete satisfying character arcs. This can be an invaluable resource as we navigate the process of creating our own stories. Personally, I think I'm a better writer today because I'm a reader.

What do you think?


11 comments:

  1. We read so we can see how it's done. And sometimes not done well...

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  2. Sorry to hear your kids are sick and I hope they get better quick (and don't share with you.)

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  3. I completely agree with you :-) Happy IWSG day!

    Ronel visiting and on co-hosting IWSG day Co-hosting, Flagship Content and Interesting Developments

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  4. I think it's a cop-out to say you don't want to read so that your writing can be original. Unless that writer also refuses to watch TV or movies, or even listen to music, they will be influenced by what they take in. A good writer finds a way to take what is all around them and make it their own.

    Sick kids are definitely a handful. Hopefully they are indeed on the upswing!

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  5. It isn't a bad thing, as long as we pick up the good habit of other writers and not the bad ones.

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  6. There are no complete original ideas but I think so many different things go into a story that they can still be unique. We shouldn't be afraid of being influenced by other books.

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  7. Totally agree! Reading is a doorway to learn so many diverse things - telling stories being one of those :)

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  8. What a good post!! And so true. I'm sorry to hear of the virus attacking your house. I hope all the kids are feeling better.

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  9. Yes, I agree with you. It was a tremendous shock when I spent the last two years on a course and realised I hadn’t kept up with the latest books from so many excellent authors.

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  10. Oh man, sick kids are definitely sharers. I was the oldest of five. Those littles could sure get me sick over and over again.

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  11. I believe my writing has improved from my reading, but also my life and experiences of the world over six decades have fed into my writing. Matured or marinated?

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