The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#109

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!               

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the April posting of the IWSG are:  PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton! 

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

APRIL 07TH QUESTION: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?
To a certain degree, I love experimenting with shorter writing pieces. This includes micro- fiction, and different types of poems. I also enjoy haiku writing and stream-of-consciousness writing. Stream-of-consciousness writing can take you into different places and spaces. So am I a risk-taker when writing? It depends on what you perceive as risk-taking. I believe in moving beyond your comfort zone and trying new things in order to grow. So wouldn’t that involve taking risks?

The issue of literary snobbery has been on my mind. What is literary snobbery? I don’t think that there is a clear-cut answer. It’s definitely evolved to become more than just classic literature versus modern literature.
I present the following scenario:
My “ordinary” story (think basic, predictable plot) is read by 100 new-to-reading individuals. This is the book that “hooks” these brand new readers.
Your “fancy” story (think intricate plot filled with twists and a whopper of a surprise) is read by 10 000 avid readers.

Which story is more valuable/ significant/ beneficial {insert suitable word}? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Are you a risk-taker when writing? What is your perspective when it comes to literary snobbery?
Happy IWSG DAY! I’ll be visiting blogs over the next few days. 

16 Comments

  1. Jemi Fraser on April 7, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    As I’ve been reading through the posts today, I’m realizing that I’ve taken a lot more risks than I thought. Everything about indie publishing is risk-taking I think 🙂 Probably trad publishing too, but I don’t have much experience there.
    Literary snobbery drives me batty. As a person who wants a happy ending and enjoys a wide variety of genre fiction, I hear it a lot. As a writer of romance, I hear it a lot. It’s exhausting. I’d much rather be entertained than read something deemed “important” because they’re almost always depressing! Although, does that make me a reverse literary snob??? Oops 🙂

  2. Lori Bossert on April 7, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    You make a very good point about getting out of our comfort zones. I need to remember that.

    Literary snobbery is so aggravating. Are we seriously telling people to quit reading?

  3. Ellen Jacobson on April 7, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    Literary snobbery bugs me. Writing is about telling a story. We all like different types of stories – that’s why there are so many different genres. Write what you love, read what you love. The snobs will be snobby no matter what, but you’ll be enjoying a story you love.

  4. Beth Camp on April 8, 2021 at 1:26 am

    So far, reading about writers as risk takers that IWSG writers have posted has expanded my sense of what a ‘risk’ really is. Aren’t we writers generally pressing away at boundaries, real and imagined? I was somewhat taken aback when I first encountered literary snobbery at a party thrown for several published writers. Sadly, I still see people sniping away at some genres — as if writing didn’t call forth our very best commitment. The older I get, the less I want to read those complicated plots that hint at great pain. One doesn’t need to be ‘of the elite’ to appreciate, experience, or write about reality, social justice, or loss. I’d really rather celebrate creativity and beauty in any form!

  5. Anna on April 8, 2021 at 1:27 am

    Our opinions don’t matter half as much as your readers. They read the work, and they know if they connected with it. The question is, did they love it? To me, that is the only answer that matters.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. M.J. Fifield on April 8, 2021 at 3:20 am

    I love stream-of-consciousness writing. I love to see where a scene ends up with that technique.

    I know a writer who only will read or write literary fiction. They view genre fiction—any genre—as being not worth their time. That’s what I tend to think of when I hear the phrase ‘literary snobbery’. Their loss, though, because they’re missing out on some amazing stories.

  7. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 8, 2021 at 10:33 am

    What Jemi said. There are a lot of risks I didn’t consider.

  8. L. Diane Wolfe on April 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Both stories are valuable as they are both being read.

  9. Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy on April 9, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Stories, no matter how they were written or in what style, find their value in the people who read them and love them.

  10. Hilary Melton-Butcher on April 9, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Hi Michelle – so many risks for writers/authors out there … one needs to find one’s voice – be it blogging, authoring stories … but one has to start and then build on those openings. Being unique to be me is important … while being positive with commenters – regardless of their thoughts or comments – unless completely unacceptable: then best ignored. All the best as you go into winter … stay safe too – Hilary

  11. Patty Josephine on April 9, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t think I really takes risks, but I do like to play with things and try to turn them on their heads a bit.

  12. Yvonne Ventresca on April 9, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    I agree — moving out of our comfort zone is definitely a form of risk-taking.

  13. HRSinclar on April 9, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    The one I read has more value to me. And depending on the topic and execution is could be either one.

  14. Gwen Gardner on April 10, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Both are valuable. It seems like you can’t have the second one without the first? Develop a love of reading first and it evolves and grows.

  15. Toi Thomas on April 11, 2021 at 6:19 am

    I too like trying different things, but they are not always risky, but sometimes they are. I think literary snobbery is not acknowledging that both “ordinary” stories and “fancy” stories have merit and are deserving of an audience of any size.

  16. Julie Kemp Pick on April 18, 2021 at 5:37 am

    Hi Michelle, Interesting thoughts about “literary snobbery” which I’m glad doesn’t apply to me. I remember taking tiny risks during The A to Z Challenge. When it was difficult coming up with ideas for every letter of the alphabet, I began experimenting with silly poetry, and surprise endings. Though I enjoyed exploring new avenues in creative writing, I often fell flat on my face and still do. But on rare occasions, I’m able to pull off a snappy text or two. Stay safe and healthy, Michelle!

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