IWSG: Pushing Out of the Comfort Zone


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, so be sure to click on the image above and link your blog--and visit as many as you can.

The Monthly Question:
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

This is a great question, and one I can speak to, because I have certainly surprised myself when I've tried new genres. Answering the question also spares me admitting that my writing has stagnated all summer. But hey, I've had some good trips, and saw the eclipse! That has to be worth something!

One of the things I like best about my weekly flash fiction, besides being good practice and a way to make sure I at least write *something* (even when I'm not doing at all well about getting to work) is that it's a place to play with genres. I get most of my prompts from Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds blog, as he posts a weekly challenge (usually). And many of those challenges play with genres, or suggest a genre that isn't either the cozy mystery or the children's fiction I usually write. Sometimes I twist them to make them fit my style, and I never wholly let go of certain limits (for example, because I write for children, who may find this blog, and because my mother reads this blog, I do not write erotica, nor anything that I wouldn't want my children or my mother to read. Makes sense, right?).

Maybe the best challenges Chuck offers are the sub-genre mash-ups, which sometimes force me to research just what the genres I drew actually are, since there are many I haven't heard of. What I have learned is that I can write in almost any genre (see note re: erotica), though maybe not in every style. 

But every now and then, a story goes beyond that deliberate stretching. Sometimes, I read them over and ask myself, "where did that come from?" There might be a darkness I didn't know I could tap, or something weird, or I might stop in the middle of a story because it is leading me to a kind of violence I'm not willing to write (or at least to publish here). Writing may sometimes show us corners of our minds that we'd rather not see.

How about you? Leave a comment below and tell me about something you wrote that surprised you.  

Then hop around and see what other writers are feeling insecure about this month.

P.S. The Ninja Librarian is out biking, so we won't get back to you to read your comments and your posts until next week. Bear with us! 


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