#IWSG: Questions about your writing

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The Insecure Writers Support Group is a marvellous group set up by Alex Cavanagh. On the first Wednesday of every month, members post thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

The link above takes you to details about the group and how to join. You’ll also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge – do check them out.

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!


This month’s question
– What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

Do you know, I’m not sure that I can speak of this from a position of experience as I so rarely get asked about my writing.Β  Before you all start to shuffle your feet and think how awkward this is, the truth is that I’d don’t do much talking about my writing; in fact, it’s been a bit of a dirty secret. I did out myself to a degree when I started to co-host a fiction website with my writing accountability partner a couple of years ago, but whilst I was happy for it to be out in the ether, I never really pressed my passion upon those I know in real life. When I’ve mentioned it, my family and/or my colleagues have largely been disinterested, occasionally offering the “oh how nice/interesting” type of response, before changing the subject to something more well … of interest to them I guess.

However, I have the suspicion that benign neglect could be easier to bear than some of the following …

  • “you’ll give me a signed copy when it’s published, right?”
  • “isn’t it finished yet/you still working on that one?”
  • “if you can’t get it published, maybe it’s not good enough?”
  • “self-publishing … that means it wasn’t good enough to get published the proper way?”

So … in many ways, I’m pretty happy being largely ignored.

Hypothetically speaking, I imagine my favourite questions would come from a place of genuine interest and/or knowledge.

Β© Debra Carey, 2019

28 thoughts on “#IWSG: Questions about your writing

Add yours

  1. Thank you Ann. I’ve been offline for a couple of months, so it was good to get signed back up again and back into the swing of posting (and writing once more).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So right Ellen, so right. Not one I expected, but we have to take whatever plusses we can find eh?


  3. This happens to me all the time – “When I’ve mentioned it, my family and/or my colleagues have largely been disinterested, occasionally offering the β€œoh how nice/interesting” type of response, before changing the subject to something more well … of interest to them I guess.” I found it hurtful because writing was so incredibly important to me. Now, it still hurts but less. And writing is even more important to me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Debra! I can commiserate with the experiences you shared in this post. Definitely my friends and family are largely disinterested, unless they have the writing bug themselves. I’ve been asked every one of your shudder-inducing questions. Benign neglect is looking good! Thank you for sharing. Happy writing in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alex, thank you. When I wrote this, I’d no idea that this would chime for so many other writers. This group is so good for a writing soul.


  6. Elsie, thanks for the welcome back. These replies have made me feel a lot less “out there” and way more in a great group.


  7. Madeline, you’ve absolutely nailed it. I’m interested in such a wide range of things, so when I meet someone with a new interest, I absolutely love to find out more about it. I guess when that doesn’t get reciprocated, it feels particularly “ouch” … but I’m getting used to it and have staretd to turn to other writers for it. Thank you πŸ™‚


  8. Spot on Teresa, I kept my first blog totally annoymous and told virtually no-one about it til I’d been doing it for a couple of years. Having decided to be brave and more open about it, I’ve found the response left me rather flat. I didn’t expect a big fuss or anything, just … I dunno, not this. It makes me doubt my ability I guess.

    But as you say, I love writing and when I don’t do it, I miss it. So, I’ll continue writing …


  9. Thanks Ronel. You seem to have done rather more with your post this week – I’ll be over shortly to check it out (and maybe to gain some inspiration on goals & resolutions).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had that particular horror. I started to think that benign neglect was the better option when I wrote this, but now I’m utterly convinced. πŸ™‚


  11. Thanks so much for stopping by my new blog. I’m not a writer, but my friend Toi Thomas is. Most of her friends and family know she’s a writer, but the people at her day job have no clue. Everyone, though, knows how much she and I both love to read books. I like your point of view, though. Sometimes it’s nice to fly under the radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. On the ball, Debra – or the nib. Neglect is probably a good thing compared with the requests from signed copies that never get read. I’ve lost count of those readers…mostly family members.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I sympathise Roland, of course, I’m not actually in that position yet. Still, when it does come, I’m sure I’ll feel the same way πŸ™‚


  14. I understand you prefer no talk to some of these questions/comments indeed. Particularly the judgmental ones.


  15. Deb — You know what? The recent influx of Christmas cards included several comments about my writing……. “I enjoy your stories and/or blog. Keep it up.”,,,,,,,,from folks I see from time to time, who never show any interest in what I’m doing. Perhaps our candle is more visible than we realize.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Always a pleasure to find new blogs. Like both you & your friend, everyone knows how much of a reader I am, but largely don’t share my taste of reading material. Perhaps that’s another reason why they’d prefer to avoid knowing about/having to read what I may have written.

    I’m quite happy flying under the radar for now.


  17. Debs, I’ve been thinking on and off about this since you posted your thoughts. Firstly welcome back! I hope that the blog will not go on a long hiatus (like mine!!) since I always enjoy your posts.

    Comments. It’s not only writers who get off comments. You should have heard some of the ones I used to get when I, as a 6-foot plus male, used to say that I was a professional librarian! Didn’t fit the mental image, you see. I eventually realised that it took some people’s brains time to catch up, to process the information and they had to say something to fill in the conversational pause hence the (literally) thoughtless remarks. I eventually decided that I really didn’t need to worry about what other people thought, I just had to be sure that I was being the best professional I could be, and if I passed that self-test all was well.

    You go girl!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have to say, I believe you could be so right. I’ve had one friend comment that she loves when I do a piece on my blog showcasing my photographs – which is truly lovely, as that is also one of my great passions. As a reader, I know only too well that writers can’t please everyone, so why should I be any different!

    Thank you, I love the image of that candle providing more visibility than realised. πŸ˜‰


  19. Alan, thank you, although those two words sound nothing like enough for the feeling behind them.

    My hiatus was an experiment in time management and re-focus. I can honestly say that it didn’t go quite as I’d expected. Being hit by a virus that left me unable to sleep would’ve dented even the best laid of plans and intentions in all honesty. What I can say is that I missed blogging too much to consider putting it aside again.

    Having not delved into my creative side before my sixth decade, so much has flooded in that I want to do and which gives me joy, I’m overwhelmed trying to fit it all in – especially whilst trying to ensure that time for loved ones doesn’t get compromised. I’ve always been able to organise myself out of any difficult situation before and finding it hasn’t possible, has been tough to accept. But I no longer consider my blog a waste of my time – creative or otherwise.

    I shall take on the mantra you’ve espoused and make sure that I’m being the best (be that blogger, photographer, writer, coach) I can be. Thank you again, your words have really resonated.


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