Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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

IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every month.
Happy October!!

Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 

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 October 2


October 2 Question 

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?

1. Call me crazy, but I think not reading a book is NO WAY to be an author. New and original can actually mean a writer doesn't know how to begin to put a novel together using all the elements of a story--the 5 W's. Instead, the book may turn out to be a disaster. Reading several books helps to see the structure of the story, characterization, etc.

2. In the case of non-fiction, the writer may not focus on the solution to a reader's problem and take him/her down so many rabbit trails, the reader becomes confused and bored. Reading several books will allow the writer to see how the answer to the question is clearly explained or demonstrated.

3. The writer needs to know his audience because a reader has a certain expectation from different kinds of books. Non-fiction books need to solve a reader's problem. Sweet romance readers expect a Happy Ever After (HEA) ending. Memoir requires the true-life story to resonate with the reader. (I guess that's pretty true for fiction too.)

If a writer doesn't focus on the story or answer the reader's question, the reader will be lost.

I feel the more I read, the more I open my eyes to diverse ways of telling my stories. 

Do you have a specific genre you like to read? Do you try different ones or always read the same kinds of stories? What genre would you never be interested in reading?

***
Painting courtesy of Julie Ann MacKevitt

Talk about reading different genres, how about writing different genres? I'm taking a break from writing fiction these days and concentrating on writing a memoir. I feel I have to write this story about our first year in the flower and greenhouse business. The crazy thing was--we had no experience in operating a business and no knowledge of the floral business either! Duh. But we had a dream to be business owners. I hope this story will encourage readers to dream big!! To realize there will be obstacles to their dreams, but with a goal in mind, persistence and determination will make that dream a reality!

A memoir or life story is a guide for those who come after us. They can find comfort and assurance knowing someone before them could overcome difficulties, be gracious in situations, be a contributor to society and find joy in living an ordinary life.

Did you or do you have a dream to be a writer and to be published? It's possible. Just be "persistent and determined" and talk to those who have done it. Sit down and write are the first steps (and in regard to the question of the month, read books too.)

Wishing you all the best in your writing projects!


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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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    Replies
    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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  12. Replies
    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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