IWSG: Your Words Made a Difference

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This is the first Wednesday in July and therefore it is time to post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where once a month we have this wonderful blog hop to share insecurities, tips, encouragement on the writing journey. This month, the group is asking us all a question: what is the best thing that anyone has ever said about your writing?

That’s an easy one for me – and at the same time I’m embarrassed to say it. The best thing is always the rare but always welcome praise that says simply what you wrote made a difference in my life.

Here’s something I really struggle with personally as a writer. I want to write stories that matter. I also want to write stories that entertain. These two things are not separate. Of all the works I’ve read that have really impacted me (from Harry Potter to Middlemarch), none of them have been boring. Great reads that change hearts are NOT the ones chock full of blatant agendas so bloated by their own self-importance that the story is a half-baked afterthought. Conversely, empty throwaway fiction also bores me no matter how many plot twists and interesting (but shallow) characters you throw in there.

I know this. So, why, in my head are the two things diametrically opposed? And I have to be honest, that’s because I grew up in a world where according to the Official Wisdom (TM, All Rights Reserved) you can either be serious and therefore serious, or fun. You’ve gotta choose – one or the other.

Thanks Insecure Writer’s Support Group for asking a question this month. I always struggle with – darn it, what am I going to say this month? This post pretty much wrote itself. Next month ask me about my kittens. I can also write about that for hours, with pictures. In fact, here’s one. I call it Little Red Riding Kitty.

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True story, I actually snapped eight pictures. This is the only one that is not either 1) a red blur or 2) a cat staring down at its vanquished foe.