Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: November 2020



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means! Let's kick off another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another great group of co-hosts: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, Tyrean Martinson, Rachna Chhabria, and me!

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for great writing resources!

The optional question for this month is: Albert Camus once said, "The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." Flannery O'Connor said, "I write to discover what I know." Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

That is an excellent question, and I love these quotes. I don't know if I feel competent to keep civilization from destroying itself (there's a lot of pressure there in that statement), but I can certainly relate to what Flannery O'Connor is saying here. Writing can certainly be a process of self-discovery. I use it as such all the time.

However, in seeking to answer this question for myself, I can't help but think of how I first started writing. I made my first attempt at writing a novel when I was six years old. It was awful, I think that goes without saying, but I was eager to put words on the page.

My parents were avid readers when I was growing up, and I emulated that. I also lived out in the country, and though I had half-siblings, I spent most of my childhood as the only child in the house. At least I had a gigantic backyard to keep me entertained. I used to stalk about the yard, weaving around trees and pretending I was on a grand adventure. 

The moment I started learning how to write, I began to translate those imaginary adventures onto the page. Maybe it was the fact that I'd already fallen in love with reading. Perhaps I did it to keep myself entertained. Mostly likely, it was a combination of the two, and I've been writing ever since. I grew up as a writer.

So why do I write?

I write to be who I am.

That's my declaration. I wouldn't be me without writing. It's been such a formative part of my life that I can't see myself without it.

Why do you write?


39 comments:

  1. That's such a wonderful thing you said. Writing grows on you. Writers wouldn't be themselves of they didn't write. I sometimes think like Camus but on most days I think it's a process of self discovery.
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

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  2. i adore the idea you started your first novel at 6! I WONDER what the plot would have been about...and what you were interested in at that time.

    My 9 year old plotted out a story while we were in the car. And then...was his favorite transition!

    Thank you for the share.

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  3. "I write to be who I am." What a lovely statement. My answer to this question is "I write to be my best me." Sounds like we have similar outlooks! Thank you for hosting IWSG this month.

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  4. Writing to keep yourself entertained! I love this. This is me as a child and now.

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  5. Hi,
    Reading is so important. I fell in love with reading first. It was a highlight of my life as a kid to get lost in a book.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  6. Hi again,
    Thank you for co-hosting this month. I forgot to mention it.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  7. Thanks for co-hosting. My little grandson began his first novel 3 years ago when he was 6. He's still working on. I think that's a remarkable thing. I think writers like you and my grandson make the world a better place.

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  8. I think having parents who read made a big difference. Mine were always reading and so was I.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  9. What a great post! I can see myself in so many of your reflections. Thanks for sharing and co-hosting this month!

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  10. I love your declaration! My parents also loved to read and I enjoyed storytelling and books from a young age, too. :)
    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  11. I also started reading and writing young! I agree with your "Why I Write" statement.

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  12. Great answer to today's question. Thanks for co-hosting #IWSG!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  13. I really love the idea of keeping yourself entertained. Exactly! Entertaining oneself by writing what they love. Good Post. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  14. Love that! I kept my stories in my head for far too long before I realized that writing them down was an option! And a fun one at that!

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  15. What a great childhood. I love that you translated those adventures into stories. What fun! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  16. How great it is to be able to imagine something, then share it with others by writing it down. Thanks for answering the question and for co-hosting today.

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  17. "I write to be who I am." Wonderful! Thanks for cohosting.

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  18. So simply put but pointedly loud in truth! Writing is who we are.

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  19. I love that you marched around your backyard. There is so much to be said for letting kids entertain themselves. Thanks for sharing that.

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  20. My avid reading morphed into compulsive writing as well. Thank you for co-hosting. Happy IWSG Day!

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  21. That's lovely. I kind of feel the same way but with creativity and art. It's kind of in my blood.

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  22. What a great statement! My mum was always reading, and also worked in a bookshop, so birthdays and Christmas brought lots of books. I definitely grew up with a love of books, although I didn't start writing quite so young!

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  23. I like your reasons for writing! I remember going on many adventures with my dog when I was young. And I read a lot too, which I'm sure influenced me.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  24. Hey great to meet you! Love your answer. It's great when we learn at an early age what we love to do so we can do it all we can. Writing is such a treat. :)

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  25. "I write to be who I am." - this is profound! Great back story, too.

    Thanks for co-hosting this necessary blog.

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting today, L.G. I hope that you've had fun. I spent a lot of years working with young writers, 4-9 years old. I never came across a child who didn't have a purpose for what he or she was writing. They aways wrote with intent, even if they began reluctantly. Every squiggle or word had meaning. I'm glad that I spent a lot of my life working with such pure souls. It's awesome that you tried to write a novel at six. It's wonderful that you found your way so young. Wishing you all the best!

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  27. Thanks for co-hosting today! I started young as a writer, too and I love your answer: to be who I am. Succinct and true! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  28. I also started young. It's what I know. How do people stop when it's who they are?

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  29. That's great that you started writing as a kid. I wish I had. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  30. Interesting phrase 'to be who I am" I need to think about that some more.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  31. I've been writing since I was a kid too. My first story was published in the newspaper when I was about 6. I can't imagine not writing because it's such a huge part of who I am.

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  32. It's odd the way writing about made up people can teach us about real ones, including ourselves.

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  33. I feel like I have always been a storyteller, but it took me a long time to connect that with writing. I love that you have been writing your whole life!

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  34. It's so fun to live a thousand lives behind the safety of a keyboard, isn't it?

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

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  35. To be who you are is a good summary of why I write as well. I didn't start writing until the 3rd grade, but I was reading fairly avidly prior to that. I can also relate to the concept of self-entertainment. I've written so much that few to zero have read, but it gave me enjoyment to write.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  36. Thanks for co-hosting! I also have been writing since I knew how. It's just something I've always done, as intrinsic as breathing.

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  37. I write for relaxation and to get away from the real world for a while, but when it comes down to it, I can't not write. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  38. Wow! You sure have been writing (real stuff) for a long time. It's so wonderful to read about people's passions and talents from the moment they were young. That was "the path." Being an avid reader helps to become a successful writer! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  39. A love of reading at an early age does seem to contribute to a love of writing as someone grows.
    I hope your November went as well as it could and that you'll experience joy in the coming holiday season.
    There's a giveaway on my blog that ends today, if you're interested.

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