Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#IWSG Pause For Thought

It's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of the year. This is where writers post their thoughts, doubts and fears about the writing life, as well as offer experience, advice and support to fellow writers. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thank you to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome co-hosts: Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

The optional question this month is: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

My least favorite question is: "What do you write?" 

I write lighthearted cozy paranormal mysteries. I'm not writing the next great American novel, or an epic thriller, or anything literary or earth-shattering that touches on the myriad social issues facing the world. I don't have a message to give or a lesson to teach. 

So I my real issue with the question is that I think I should be writing about something more important. 

Sigh. 


Does the genre you write ever give you pause for thought?

What is your least and/or most favorite question you're asked as a writer? Why? 





45 comments:

  1. I can really relate to what you've said. There have been times when I've explained to people that I write cozy mysteries that I've felt a bit embarrassed because I don't have any big message to deliver or that my books are what some people would describe as fluffy.

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  2. Writing for the enjoyment of others is just as important.

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    1. I agree. Escapism is what I want as a reader.

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  3. Sometimes books just need to entertain. I would hate to read heavy, serious books over and over and over again.

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    1. I know. It'd be like college all over again. LOL.

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  4. I think it's a great genre that you write in. We should write what we love. And I'm like Sarah, I don't enjoy reading too heavy, serious books.

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  5. We all should write what we love. I write children's books, I often get asked why I don't write for adults??

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    1. I'd love to write for children as well--someday!

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  6. I don't write serious, heavy stuff either and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

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    1. I don't think I have it in me to write serious. It'd be a boring write, as well as a boring read, I think.

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  7. When I didn't know how to define my WIP, I hated having to explain the genre. For me, though, it was "What is your book about" that drove me nuts because I had no clue how to explain what it was about. lol

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    1. The dreaded, "What is your book about?" question! That's always been a tough one. And then it ends up sounding not as good as you wanted it to. LOL.

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  8. I don't like that question much either, except lately, I've been thinking about how we all write about things (themes) that touch everyone, whether it's good conquering evil, friendship, love, or solving mysteries, and we write to create narratives that make sense within themselves thereby proving to ourselves and others that narratives (like life) can actually make sense, so ... we are all still writing about big picture events, whether or not we are "literary" writers. And, hey, literary technically means "of letters" so anything written with letters is literary. Everything. Even my comment here.
    Write the stories you love.

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    1. And my reply here is literary. I'm on a roll :)

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  9. I think we should write what we love. It sucks that people may judge our stories for not being life-changing or important, but odds are someone will get joy from reading them. Earth-shattering works may be important, but light-hearted fun reads have a place, too.

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    1. I love lighthearted and sometimes even dark, but more and more I go to the light side. Life is too real right now and heavy is just not something I want to escape to.

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  10. Except that pretty much anything you write is going to have touched someone somehow, even if just because they enjoyed it! Reading is about enjoying, even if we're reading to "learn" something. I don't like that question either because I don't write in just one genre. Happy new year!

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    1. Yes, I'd be pleased if my books gave readers a chuckle or two. It's important.

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  11. We should all be proud of whatever genre we write. I, for one, do enjoy reading cozy mysteries, and my mom loves them. They're about all she reads. Happy New Year, Gwen!

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    1. I belong to some cozy sites on Facebook, and the people there really love them.

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  12. I think a lot of people prefer to read more lighthearted books because reading's their escape, and they don't want to be taught a lesson. They just want to be entertained—and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

    Happy writing!

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    1. That's why I read, to be entertained and to escape for a bit.

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  13. Cozy mysteries are so popular now. I think you're right in the middle of a growing genre wave. No one genre is more important than others despite what some snobs might say or believe.

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    1. Oh I love to hear that they're so popular now. I'm gonna hop on that train :)

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  14. Gwen, you write to entertain. That is important. Nothing more is required of a writer. Just carry on. And frankly, as a reader, I'm not always so thrilled with the "message" books. I've got a brain, I can come to my own conclusions.

    Best to you in the new year!

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    1. If my cozies send a message at all, it's about friendship with some shenanigans mixed in. That's my message. LOL.

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  15. Reading was my best friend growing up as an only child. I love story. I love the genres I love because of the joy the authors gave me. So no, I never wonder, but I do wonder if I can give back all that authors have giving me in writing their books. Happy IWSG>

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    1. I love that, Juneta! Books were my best friend growing up too. They gave me so much pleasure.

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  16. I will also defend the validity of writing light fiction, since that’s what I do, too. And remember, the mystery genre is all about the triumph of good over evil, and the cozy especially values thought over violence. That’s not something to scoff at. Add in that you provide pleasure for your readers, and I think that’s not a bad place to be. All my books are “escapist.” I can’t write serious—I’ve tried. I have to instill humor into any story, and the result will never win a Pulitzer Prize, but it may give some reader a laugh. I’ll take that.

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    1. I can't write serious either. And I've tried other genres because I thought it was the thing to do. But it doesn't work for me.

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  17. It's important to entertain people. We're inundated with so many real and terrible issues, that a cozy mystery is a perfect antidote.

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  18. Oh heck yes my genre gives me pause for thought. Science meets the supernatural. This is an every day occurrence for me.

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  19. There is an audience for entertainment reading Gwen. Someone has to just enjoy making people loose themselves in another world. Nothing wrong with pure enjoyment for a time. Even I, as cynical as I am, sometime just enjoy a good story with no moral or social message. And perhaps you are not changing THE WORLD with your stories, but you are changing SOMEONE'S WORLD by offering a respite from trudgery. If the story made someone laugh when they were ready to cry, or be kind when they were ready to chew up the world (family), then that is something special. Something to be proud of as an author. Keep doing what make you, and so many others, happy and light hearted.

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    1. Oooh, I love this thought. I'd love to change someone's world to the good.

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  20. We write what we love, that's what makes good writers great. Have a great 2019!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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  21. Of course lighthearted cozy paranormal mysteries are important! They help people escape, which is all too vital in this world. If that doesn't deserve praise, then I don't know what does.

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  22. I love your stories! I often wonder about my genres. I get a lot of not so encouraging looks if I say I write romance. Many people don't have nice opinions about that genre. Yet I always find relationships have a strong role in my stories.

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    1. Romance does get a bad rap, but look how many people read and love them!

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  23. I don't encourage conversation/questions about my writing... especially not with non-writers who just 'don't get it'! I'm sensitive in that way.
    Happy New Year, Gwen!

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