Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG~Line In The Sand

When I began writing and developing stories I leaned on what I knew best, what was most familiar to me, and what I was most knowledgeable about. In my case, that was children. With four of them, I had plenty of material to work with. Thus I began writing picture books - poorly, I might add. But it was a start. I didn't set limits on what themes or topics I chose to write about because I literally was writing from my experiences with my kiddos. Pretty innocent stuff.

But as I improved as a writer and became more read, I moved up the age scale into middle grade and young adult literature. That broadened, not only the age of my characters, but what could affect them in life, what problems they might encounter, and what goals they might develop.
Here's where I'll address today's optional IWSG question:
 In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Keeping in mind my writing age group, my red line in the sand isn't as close or close-minded as you might think. I would welcome writing about many topics and themes, but I would only continue with a story if I felt well-informed on said topic/theme. My drawn line as far as language is another story. I'm not a fan of using slurs, demonizing or foul language for the sake of spiffing up a scene. However, if (and only IF) the story or character calls for it in reference to development and deepening then I will stretch my consideration some. But even then, I will only use what is essential and not a word more.
Feel free to answer this question in the comments. I'd love to know what your opinion is as both writers and readers.
 And if you'd like to read more answers to this question, feel free to click on this image.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Here we are at another IWSG discussion to start our month. Can you believe it's September??? Crazy, huh? And our fourth and last child entering his senior year in high school, this is a big year for our family.

On that note, wishing all teachers, librarians, parents, and educators alike a wonderful 2021-22 school year!

So this month's optional question is as follows: 

How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Good question. Hmm . . . I'd have to say that over my writing journey this answer has changed. Initially, it was submitting my work, receiving an acceptance, and then seeing my words and thoughts (and my byline) in print. Short story, community-based article, or a recipe in a collection, it really didn't matter. From there I'd have to say it was going through the entire process of receiving offers on my manuscripts, working with editors, creating all the marketing/promo goods, and then receiving my publisher copies in a big box from my favorite UPS or FED-EX peeps! Having an authentic book release party at a library helped that feeling of "I've finally made it as an author!" helped a bit, too. 😁
But now, after lots of articles, short stories, and a few novels under my belt, my opinion has changed. The finished project is not where the definition of a successful writer comes. It is in the journey taken, the processes adhered to, and the faith to keep forging ahead. It is also in the wisdom to stop and examine if we're on the right path; if we find we are not, it's in the humility to turn around. C.S. Lewis says it best here:
"I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand."
So I currently define being a successful writer as one who stays the course, seeking knowledge and wisdom and the human condition, in humble ambition to share and explore that through the world of fiction.

Thank you so much to our amazing co-hosts this month!
Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie! Click on this image to find other participating writers or to join our group!


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