Wednesday, May 5, 2021

ISWG: The Surprising Effect of Your Own Words

 


I still remember the first time  my writing affected someone else. My aunt died of leukemia when I was in junior high, and I wrote a very thinly veiled short story about someone dying from cancer. I gave it to my best friend, and she cried.

As clichéd as that is, that was one of the first sparks that made me what to be a writer. Not that I wanted to make people cry, but I wanted my writing to affect people.

Over the years, I’ve often gauged my writing skill by people’s reactions. There was the time I attempted to create heroine with a very big character arc. Well, she was unlikable and her character arc paltry, and I’m thankful for the critique partners who told me so—to my surprise.

There have been many other times that people’s reactions stopped me short and made me rethink my story or my characters.

I’m not sure if this is a sign of growth, but I’m finding that the longer I write, the less I am surprised by people’s reactions. Of course, most of my audience is other writers, but I’m finding more and more when I write a funny scene, other people do laugh. Except for my teenage friend, I don’t know anyone else who cried.

I will keep working on this—trying to make what emotion I want to evoke on the page actually come across to the reader.

That is the hardest task of writing, but the most satisfying.

Has your writing affected other people in surprising ways?

Insecure Writer's Support Group:

 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 - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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!

May 5 question - Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?


13 comments:

  1. I found that I'm usually surprised when people like my writing. Call me insecure... :)
    I have been participating in a blog hop WEP for several years now. Every second month, we write flash fiction on a certain theme, and then read and comment on each other's entries. Last year, all my entries were about the same protagonist, but each story was a different adventure. Sort of a series of interconnected flash stories. This year, I came up with a different protagonist for all the stories. But when people read my story for the first entry of this year, many asked if I'm going to continue with the last year's heroine. They liked her. They wanted more of her and were slightly upset that I switched to a different hero. Those comments gave me such a warm feeling. And they were a surprise. I didn't expect them.

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  2. Wow! That's really cool, Olga. Your heroine came to live for them. There's no better compliment!

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  3. Hi, Jenni,
    Pulling a reader into your world is the most satisfying compliment that any writer can receive. That when you receive a tiny peek into the gift you have been given.
    If it is any comfort to you, achieving this art doesn't make you feel confident, it makes you afraid. You become unsure or uncertain of what you're writing. At least that is my experience.
    However, you keep on writing. That what you're called to do. That what makes your life purposeful. So you write through this uncertainty.
    That piece that you wrote that made your friend cry means, you had touched her emotional world, and she was reliving the loss of your aunt with you.
    I hope you keep writing with the raison d'etre to touch peoples' hearts and never stop because I believe people are yearning for such books.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Thank you for such a kind and encouraging comment, Pat! I really liked what you said about making you feel afraid. I think that's the humility that comes with this great gift/calling.

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  4. We improve the more we write and feedback helps, so I think it's natural to be less surprised as we become more experienced.

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    1. Yes, definitely. I think the hardest part of writing is getting on the page what you want the reader to experience--but it does better easier with practice.

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  5. I love that you're able to touch people's emotions, and I envy your ability to do so. Whenever I try to write something emotional (or even funny for that matter), it always comes out flat.

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    1. Even if people aren't crying or laughing, they are probably still being effected by your writing, Loni.

      Humor is the hardest thing to write. I'm in awe of people who are naturally humorous. It's something I have to work at, but taking myself less seriously seems to help. :)

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  6. I hope my writing makes people think.
    Occasionally people like my writing. Maybe. Probably they're just being polite.

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    1. Making people think is more important than anything. The nice thing about fiction is that you can make people think without them realizing it. :)

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  7. Evoking emotion is the key for sure. And sounds like you've always had the power to do that!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Jemi!

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  8. How amazing that your writing had that effect on someone!

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