Tuesday, October 1, 2019

IWSG Blog Hop: To Read or Not to Read--That is the Question

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IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* 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! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.
***

Question for December 4


December 4 Question 

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?


A timely question for me this week. I just released my “heart work,” Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories, a journal to record life stories. I call it my "heart work" because my passion is to encourage sharing the memories of a lifetime with family and friends.

When I was in a writer's group many years ago, a woman brought her great, great, great, great grandfather's diary to share with us. I believe it was written in the early 1800s. He was a minister living in London and a prolific writer. He described his everyday life in that era, peering into bookshop windows wishing he could afford to purchase those beautiful books. I can't remember exactly everything she read from the diary, but I do remember realizing how amazing it was to be able to step into the real world of a 19th-century gentleman. Not fiction, but his actual experience in those times. The diary was a treasure to me and to the minister's family.

This was a turning point in my life. I wanted to record my life stories for my kids. They wanted to know the story of how their dad and I met--a blind date, about our childhoods in small rural towns in Central Illinois and more.

I couldn't stop there because writing about the good old days and seeing my life through a lens at a different time allowed me a new perspective on experiences. I started presenting workshops.to encourage others to examine their lives and share their life experiences for family and future generations. 

The best part was not the teaching, but the times when participants read their stories to the group. Some so funny we laughed at the experience and others so poignant we had tears in our eyes. And these pieces were written by ordinary people living ordinary lives. 

Because the support of the participants to those who shared their writings was so helpful, I have established a Facebook group to those interested in telling their life stories and memoirs. You can ask questions, share your stories, offer suggestions and share tips. Plus we'll have fun with prizes and games. Click here to join the private group, Telling Life Stories and Memoirs Circle.

My dream soon became to teach more people how life-changing and satisfying sharing memories can be. I decided a book based on my workshops could reach around the world. After learning how popular low content books such as journals and planners are, I decided this was the path I had longed for.

Thus, my dream actually is a reality this week when I kick-off the book launch for Your Words, Your Life Story. When I was planning the book launch I was as giddy as a little kid. I never had this feeling when my mysteries were published. I was filled with pure joy knowing I would reach more folks all over the world and help them preserve their legacy for their children and family.

Take a peek at the book--8000 words with lined pages for journaling.
Your Words, Your Life Story is available in paperback at amazon
ISBN 978-1702360579
During the book launch I will be giving away this book at the stops along the way, so I am happy to offer a lucky commenter a free copy of Your Words, Your Life Story. right here on the Focused on Story blog. I can send you a PDF or if you are in the US and want to use the book as a journal, I can mail you a printed copy. Just leave a comment below that you are interested in having the book. I will select the winner of the drawing on Sunday, December 8 after 10 pm EST. Good luck!







34 comments:

  1. I read all kinds of things. I lean to certain genres but if the story interest me I will read it.

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    1. I'm with you, Juneta. Sometimes a plot or situation of a fantasy or sci fi might intrigue me enough to pick it up. But favorites are romantic suspense, memoir and time travels.

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  2. I typically only write in a couple genres but I read all kinds. I think that's why when people ask me what I like to read, I don't know how to answer!

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    1. That's a good point, Sarah! I know what you mean!!

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  3. Hi,
    I believe I am a cross genre person. I can't nail it down because I have elements of fantasy and suspense in my writing.
    I read all genres except Horror. It is not that Horror is not good but it is not good for me because I have nightmares after I read something that is way out on the edge.
    I think it is cool about your writing a memoir. Someone told me recently that I should write a memoir.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Oh, Pat, I understand nightmares after horror stories. In fact, I wrote a book with "light" horror in it. I soon learned to NOT work on that book in the evenings or I'd never be able to sleep! Yes, you SHOULD write a memoir or at least a few life stories from your life. Start with the easy ones like stories told around the table at a family gathering. The ones told every year. Go for it!

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  4. Yep, you're a reader and a writer - and a traveler! Traveling helps inspires writers to get ideas and to be "focused on the story." Lots of cool incentives in that.

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    1. So true, IB. You should know cause you, as the cyberspace and Pukelitzer award-winning reporter we all wonder about, interviewed me enough. Thanks for stopping in.

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  5. Love your JQ courier picture! While I prefer reading mysteries and sci-fi, I've been making an effort to read more broadly. I've found that I'm really enjoying reading in other genres.

    Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Broadening your reading horizons, Ellen. Good idea. If you don't like a book though, do you quit reading or feel like you have to finish it?

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  6. It's good to try different genres in both reading and writing. I'm always surprised at what I enjoy that I wouldn't have picked up on my own. Being in a book club helps with this. Also, I wrote a short story for the recent IWSG anthologies, which stretched my writing muscles and imagination.
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. I'm not in a book club, but I have reader friends who read books I wouldn't think of picking it up. They share their books with me so I am "exposed" to other genres. And I love that. Thanks for stopping in Mary. (PS I like that you leave a link where I can find you to comment on your page.)

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  7. I read widely and indiscriminately. I've read 95 books so far this year according to my goodbooks page. Not reading is an impossible thought and for those who would write without reading - I ask - cook without eating?

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    1. Wow, Jan. That is quite a an accomplishment and you still have 3 more months to go in 2019. Love your question. Enjoy!

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  8. I read widely, and I always have a book on the go! When I'm editing, though, I advise writers to read A LOT in the genre they are writing in. You can learn so much from great authors. And it's totally fine to find inspiration in another author's writing.

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    1. I agree, Helena. I am immersing myself in memoirs right now as I am working on mine. Don't tell anybody, but some of the celebrity memoirs are NOT worth reading!

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  9. I have yet to read any post from a writer who doesn't read but I'll keep going.

    BTW, great newspaper article! What app did you use for it (since I'm assuming you created it--Fun Times!)?

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  10. Jacqui, I can't imagine a non-reader completing a book or even an essay, especially if he doesn't like to read in the first place.
    I used Photofunia.com to make the graphic. Lots of fun to play with.

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  11. I just checked it out--how fun! I've never heard of that one. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, I wondered if this was a trick question. I thought all writers were readers. LOL

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  13. I read a mix of fiction and non-fiction.
    The Goodreads challenge keeps me accountable (not that I have a problem... I don't need motivation to read)
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Michelle, I like to read a mix too. And I read the fiction right before bed time and the non fiction anytime. Thanks for stopping in.

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  14. What a lovely introduction for people who are new to IWSG. I also liked your numbered response to this month's rather complex question. I also like to jump around (and read) different genres . . . currently working on a romantic suspense (a switch from traditional historical fiction), and a memoir! Happy writing ahead! https://bethandwriting.blogspot.com/

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    1. Why thank you very much, Beth. We MUST get together for cyber coffee sometime. My mysteries are romantic suspense and I'm working on a memoir.!! Thanks for your feedback.

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  15. All great and true points about reading! Best wishes with your memoir! The subject matter sounds pretty intriguing!

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  16. Liza, thanks for the best wishes and so happy to hear you think the memoir's subject matter sounds intriguing. I always have doubts about it.

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  17. I totally agree with you regarding reading. It's so important for all of us, but especially for writers.

    And best wishes for your memoir

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  18. Jumping into a different genre can be scary, but it can also be recharging. I'm interested in how you like memoir. Let us know.

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  19. I read all kinds--always have. My book group "forces" me to read outside my comfort zone. lol Good luck with that memoir. I'm sure others will enjoy it and learn from it.

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  20. I love to read thrillers. I love to read YA. I've been known to read MG books. Love mystery. I'm not into romance novels. I LOVE science fiction and fantasy (is that zombie genre?). I like to read, but I like to write even more.

    Teresa

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  21. Hey, JQ. I mostly read romantic suspense which is what I write. I do traipse over to cozy mysteries or straight romances for author friends. :) And I can't wait to read your memoir. I'm so impressed that you're stepping out of your comfort zone to do that. Of course, I guess that's what your first year was all about. :) I also pick up some romantic suspense with some paranormal elements. If I were to write something different, that's where I'd go. I'll share. :) Congrats on the newsletter! I signed up.

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