Tuesday, October 5, 2021

October IWSG - Not Dead, Yet

Thank goodness September is over, and I hope my whirlwind of stress is too. (Although I am not naive enough to believe it is...)

I took the month "off" from blogging, short/flash fiction writing, reading, and pretty much everything except a small task list. I never stopped working on my novel. I kept weekly tasks and deadlines and met regularly with my coach, but I did not put extra pressure to move any mountains. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group is such an important part of my author journey that I simply cannot miss the blog hop. So here I am, sipping my cup of tea, soaking in the last of my birthday energy, and hopping along.

October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

I think writing is the perfect place to cross the line "with topics." What other chance do we have to experience the thoughts in someone else's mind? When else are we forced to listen to someone without injecting our own opinion? If a topic conjures emotions and reactions, then it is because we are seeing into someone else's thoughts. Even if that person is a villain (real or fiction) they will have their own thoughts. The great thing about writing is no one is required to read it. Readers can put it down whenever they want.

I personally would hope that my words would never cause someone to stop reading. This is one reason why I do try to use language that is widely accepted. I work with kids, so word choice is a big part of my daily life. I spend a lot of time helping kids choose the best words to express themselves. Most importantly, I teach them to choose words that do not hurt others. Maybe that is one reason I like Science Fiction. I can come up with insulting words that mean nothing to "Earthers."

The awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

My plans for this month involve continuing my limited task list to revise my novel, keeping up my writing meetings, and supporting writers in this community.


  1. Glad you decided not to miss our blog hop this month. I write for MG and YA and agree that word choice matters. Good luck with your project list for this month.

  2. Coming from someone whose words have stopped people from reading on more than one occasion, I can tell you that it gets easier. The first time you might be insulted or upset, but eventually you get to the point where you realize that those readers are just not your target audience. Nothing can appeal to everyone, nor should it try to.

    1. So true! I am definitely not here to make EVERYONE happy!

  3. If you were still making progress on your novel, then you have plenty to be proud of. :-)

  4. Insulting words that mean nothing to 'Earthers' - I like that! I don't use them in my work, but it always gave me a chuckle to hear 'frack' in the new Battlestar Galactica series.

  5. Since most of my writing is geared towards an adult audience, I tend to be pretty sweary--but not always. One of the stories that I recently published was a Lovecraftian fantasy romance and it didn't contain a single cuss word.

  6. Creating your own insults is great for sci-fi. I do that sometimes too. Good job keeping up progress on your novel!

  7. I also work with kids, so I keep my language G-rated most of the time. It shows up in my writing. I think I could be a little bolder to show characterization, though. Some people swear. Have you listened to the news? All best as you continue creating and connecting.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  8. The audience definitely matters when it comes to topics and language.

    It's good to take a month off on occasion. Hopefully that stress will stay away.

  9. IWSG keeps me coming back monthly too. Good answer to the prompt.

  10. I like what you said about teaching kids not to use words that hurt others.
    And you're right with sci fi and even fantasy, the fun part is making up new words and worlds, too!

  11. That is one of the fun aspects of sci-fi/fantasy, you not only get to make up worlds, you get to make up language and most (all?) languages have some type of cussing going on. (Dropped that brick on your foot? What did you say?) :)

  12. SF and fantasy offer so many fun opportunities to make stuff up :)

    I think your "slowed down" but not stopped approach to giving yourself some space sounds smart.

  13. I like being able to make up words in science fiction, too. And I agree, not using words that hurt others is a good place to draw the line.

  14. Yes, cursing in science fiction could really be quite imaginative.

  15. I live in the bush and most of my neighbours are involved with the forestry in one aspect or another. Some are loggers, some truck drivers. I heard quite a variety of curse words. Sometimes I have to laugh, but mostly I think where is the soap. Haha. I don't mind swearing in fiction. Reading the words don't bother me much, not like hearing someone use the bomb as a continually adjective. That gets old fast. I do still imagine my mother cringing. Sadly, I've become conditioned.

  16. I prefer G-language as a rule. I don't like to read profanity or hear it, if I can help it. And yes. Our ideal readers matter in how we create story.

    Thanks for a great post. Hope you were able to relax and rid yourself of some stress. All best!

  17. I’m with you — IWSG is how I connect with writers and I need it!
    I agree that i hope my words don’t hurt, unfortunately, everyone takes things their own way and it seems some people are looking for ways to twist meanings to their advantage and make them feel like victims, no matter what our intent is =(
    I’ve been stressed over so much lately, I got shingles (and didn’t know that’s what it was until later)! Trying hard not to worry so much about things I can’t do anything about. Let go and let God, right? And just try to send positive vibes into the world!

    Thanks for inspiring me to vent!
    Hope you are more relaxed (and belated happy bday!)
    Tara Tyler Talks