Frequently Asked Question: With a Little Help From My Friends

Today’s question comes, once again, from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

It may help to know that WordPress is not my first rodeo as a blogger. I was on Livejournal in the early 2000s (I have a paid, permanent account), but I was part of the exodus after the Russian company bought it out and laid down some heavy censorship. I also had an author blog over at GoodReads starting in 2009; this blog is now sent there via RSS.

So, when you consider that I’ve been part of the blogosphere for 20+ years, it makes sense that I have indeed made friends this way. Back when we were still traveling, we would meet up when one of us was in town (whoever’s town it was) and have dinner and/or drinks. It’s been wonderful getting to know the folks who were, at first, just pixels on the screen.

What doesn’t make sense is asking a closed question (i.e., yes or no) as a writing prompt.

Frequently Asked Question: When Is Quitting Time?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeThis month’s question from the Insecure Writers Support Group is timely.

Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

I stopped reading a book just two days ago. It was one that many other people appear to have enjoyed greatly, but it wasn’t for me.

There are a few things that will pull me out of a story (homophone errors, for example), but the main one is this: if, by 100 pages into the story, you haven’t given me a character I can care about, I’m not reading any further. There are too many books out there and too little time.

Now, I will say that I have been on the verge of abandoning books and had them take a turn that kept me reading. It really is a rarity for me not to finish. But I have to care about the characters and what happens to them in order to do so.

Frequently Asked Question: It’s The Time of the Season

Hi, everyone. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it’s time for our question from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Here is this month’s question:

Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

In short, no. Living with autoimmune disease, having a full-time job, doing research; all of these impact my ability to write. Throw in the stress of COVID-19, and I’m just not producing on the level I would like.

And you know what? That’s fine. Every word we get down on paper (or the screen, but you know what I mean) is one we didn’t have before. Be gentle with yourself, friends. There are no rules.

Frequently Asked Question: That Thing You Do

Well, it’s the first Wednesday of the month. That means it’s time for the Insecure Writers Support Group question.

Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

I write because the stories in my head won’t shut up until I let them out. It really is that simple.

Frequently Asked Question: Working Hard, or Hardly Working?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeHi, everyone. It’s time once again for our monthly question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

I believe that every writer is a working writer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pre-published, traditionally published, self-published, writing for your own enjoyment, etc. Personally, I’m in the position of being both traditionally and self-published these days.

Now, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m having a hard time getting the creative juices flowing during this pandemic. I have heard the same from other authors in my circle. However, the fact that I’ve only got 12K words on Pompeii Fire so far doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on it. It just means that work is slow right now, and that’s okay.

If you’re writing,  you’re a working writer. Period.